THE ROYAL CHEF: Why Baguio is one to visit

Day with the horses @ Wright Park
Day with the horses @ Wright Park

Most often, playing the part of a tourist is one of the most fascinating things in the world. Not to mention, the many adventures and misadventures you stumble upon along the way — the dilemma’s you encounter, places you accidentally discover, food you tasted and of course, the people you meet along the way. Everything is but a beautiful reason to be a tourist.

A recent trip to the country’s summer capital is not a first. Despite such, it was but a beautiful chance to re-discover the many beautiful reasons why we always, always flock Baguio despite the distance. On why we always consider Baguio a stop whenever we yearn for a cold embrace from Mother Nature herself.

Re-visiting Baguio was like opening a box of chocolate — you know what to expect but once it hits your palate, you’d be taken into a flavourful journey unlike any other.

Mount Costa Mirror

Places

Baguio, like the rest of the country, is packed with places to visit. If you are up for the challenge, go ahead and visit Mount Costa but be forewarned that the flowers are seasonal hence better call before booking a trip. Despite the absence of flowers, you can still enjoy their numerous attractions. Flower power? Drop by the Baguio Botanical Garden and be one with nature. Again, be ready for some trekking. Any Baguio visit is not complete without a trip to the Good Shepherd – go ahead and hoard.

Shopping

Shopping in Baguio means a trip to the ukay-ukay or wagwag. Nothing like the malls, at the wagwagan, you’d find a plethora of choices — designs, colors and of course, sizes. If you are tight on the budget, then this is the best place to be. You just have to have more than enough patience to score that designer knitted top you’ve been eyeing on the mall. Another best place to shop, specially for pasalubong, is the market where everything you can think of that appertains to Baguio is readily made available. Walis, anyone?

Fresh Greens

Food and Dining

Any trip won’t be complete without sampling their local faves. Pinikpikan, a Cordillera staple, is one local fave that’s flavourful and full of stories. Just ask how they cook this and you’d surely be amazed. A grilled day-old-chick on skewers sold on the street is another food staple when in town. Though I regret not having the guts to take a bite, it is said that it’s best eaten when it’s still hot with vinegar on the side. Baguio has so much nibbles that for anyone who has a sweet tooth, this place is for you. Try the strawberry taho for that surge of morning (or any day) energy rush. Love it hot too.

Azalea Residences and Hotels Baguio

Accomodation

Azalea Residences and Hotels Baguio is one of the many best accommodation places in the city. It’s Alps like log cabin design is enough to have you smiling from ear to ear. Like a warm embrace, it makes you very comfortable and at home once you step inside.The rooms, amenities and of course, the bed is something to look forward to. Not to mention, the accommodating staff ready to make your stay one to remember.

Now, anyone can visit Baguio minus the rush. AirAsia now flies from Davao to Clark 4 times a week (S|M|W|F). Less than 3 hours from Clark, you’d be able to enjoy the many wonderful reason why Baguio is a must visit anytime of the year. Of course, it helps if your hotel has a concierge to pick you from the airport. Don’t forget to keep warm and bring your appetite anywhere you go.

Colours of Benguet.

For my latest food finds, follow me on Instagram @iamleebai and Facebook @theroyalchefeats.Happy munching, royalistas!

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