(SPOT.ph) Traveling solo every now and then can give you the calm that you need, especially in this chaotic world. Sure, it can be uncomfortable at times. But you’ll be happy to find out that there are many satisfying options for persons traveling on their own in Baguio City, Benguet.
First off, many buses have coaches that travel non-stop and you can take your place in solo pods. You can sit and nap in peace all through the ride, or browse the Internet or catch up on your shows and movies in well-cushioned comfort. There are also several places that now offer shared dormitories or even single-occupant accommodations for your privacy, comfort, and savings.
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Check out these Baguio tourist spots and things to do if you’re traveling alone:
Tap into your creative self at Ili-Likha Artists’ Watering Hole
The ship-like artists’ village was put together by talented Baguio-based and Cordilleran artists and artisans, using recycled materials. Within the gates, you will find a selection of cuisines. Pair a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee with salted caramel waffles at Cafe Cueva. Try some carbonara with homemade bacon at Leandro’s Bistro. Alternatively, get some good, affordable vegetarian rice meals at Natengan Ed Ili (Gulayan sa Nayon) and healthy yogurt bowls and milkshakes at Yomichee Snackhouse. Local films are once again being screened at the Balanghai ni Ikeng Cinematheque, a unique art film house experience.
Ili-Likha Artists’ Watering Hole is at 32 Assumption Road, Baguio City, Benguet. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Enjoy a hot bowl of pho at Yes Pho
Something hot is comforting at any time of the day in cool Baguio. At Upper Session Road, you can sit perched above the traffic surrounded by flowering plants while slurping some beef pho. They also have goi cuon (fresh spring rolls) and cha gio (fried egg rolls), banh mi (sandwich) with different meat as well as vegetarian fillings, and authentic Vietnamese coffee.
Yes Pho is at S Building, Upper Session Road, Baguio City, Benguet. It is open from Monday to Thursday, from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and from Friday to Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Satisfy your midnight cravings at Tuk Tuk Egg
This Thai-Korean cafe has wide windows that are conducive for sitting and staring out the laidback neighborhood, especially as day turns into night. It is open until late with spacious, cozy, comfy hangout spots to choose from. You can satisfy your egg drop sandwich cravings and pair it with a refreshing extra-large glass of Thai milk tea.
Tuk Tuk Egg is along Upper General Luna Road, Baguio City, Benguet. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Get your coffee fix at Patch Cafe
Located within Bloomfield Hotel, it’s a quiet place from which to look out at the changing cityscape. They open early enough so you can sit with a steaming cup of locally-sourced arabica coffee as you warm yourself up. They have enough of a selection of savory and sweet dishes to carbo load too, to get you ready for the day ahead. There are electrical outlets available if you need to get a bit of work done before heading out.
Patch Cafe is at Bloomfield Hotel, 3 Leonard Wood Road, Salud Mitra, Baguio City, Benguet. It is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Watch the sky change its colors at Hill Station Bistro
A more compact but still delicious experience awaits you at two Hill Station branches: at the AyalaLand Technohub in John Hay and SM City Baguio. Choose a table on the balcony if you want a good view of the trees or a wide perspective of the rest of the dining area. The customer service and food quality are topnotch whether you’re up for healthy takes (like adlai champorado and adlai arroz caldo) or indulgent favorites (like Baguio longganisa breakfast and spaghetti bolognese)—all the way to desserts.
Hill Station Bistro has branches at Baguio – Ayala Land Technohub, Ordonio Drive, Camp John Hay, Baguio City, Benguet, and at SM City Baguio, Upper Session Road, Baguio City, Benguet. The Camp John Hay branch is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., while the SM City Baguio branch is open from Monday to Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and from Friday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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Have a date with yourself at Rebel Bakehouse
What started as a cloud kitchen for freshly made croissants has now expanded to an open-air dining experience a little off the touristic core of Baguio. Now, you can sit down to a warm pain au chocolat and a hot cup of joe, cocoa, or tea. The ambiance is such that you can sit for hours and take your sweet time enjoying every bite and sip, or reading while enjoying your comfort food.
Rebel Bakehouse is at Km. 3 Naguilian Road, Baguio City, Benguet. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Learn more about Baguio's culture at Museo Kordilyera
Located within the University of the Philippines Baguio, the Museo Kordilyera has a carefully curated permanent ethnographic exhibit that is a good introduction to the Cordillera region and its people. Even if you think you know all there is to know, you’ll find some new or emerging knowledge from the rich cultural heritage of the indigenous societies represented here.
Museo Kordilyera is at University of the Philippines Baguio, Governor Pack Road, Baguio City, Benguet. It is open from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entrance fee is P60 with discounts for students (P30) and senior and PWDs (P45).
Go forest bathing at the John Hay Yellow Trail
In stark opposition to the busy crowd that can gather outside, Camp John Hay's Yellow Trail is truly an immersive experience. Towering pine trees provide you shade from the direct rays of the sun, while the other foliage gives you plenty of fresh air to breathe in. Drop the ear pods and keep your ears open to the symphony of songs from various birds. The landscape undulates but does not get too steep, so it doesn’t require a lot of trekking experience. However, make sure to wear footwear with good traction and cushioning. Walking through the Yellow Trail lasts for two hours.
There are two locations from which to enter and/or exit the trail. One is behind the Scout Hill activities area and the other is through the horseback-riding area. So, if you enter through one, you emerge on the other end.
Hoard pasalubongs at ONGkoleyt
Take a shopping basket (or two) as you enter ONGkoley'ts massive store along General Luna Street. This hub for varieties of sweet treats from all over the world (including hard-to-find brands) has hard-to-beat prices. They have recently expanded their stocks to include even frozen meats and an astounding array of snacks and sandwich fillings. Actually, we couldn’t blame you if you decide to keep all your purchases for yourself instead of giving them away.
ONGkoleyt is at 100 Lower General Luna Road, Baguio City, Benguet. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Get pampered at North Haven Spa
Put up your feet for a traditional dagdag-ay massage or pedicure to feel your stress just dissipate. As you enter North Haven Spa, you’ll smell a combination of lavender oils and strawberry scrubs; the darkened halls and rooms contribute to a truly relaxing day spa experience. They have an extensive menu of services from a foot spa to two-hour treatments. Then, you end with a warm cup of lemongrass tea.
North Haven Spa has branches at Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road, Baguio City, Benguet; and at Ferguson Road, 21 Avelino, Baguio City, Benguet. Both are open daily from 9 a.m. with the Casa Vallejo branch closing at 9 p.m. and the Ferguson branch closing at 8 p.m.
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