At first glance, Talisay doesn’t seem to offer much beyond a postcard view and proximity to the lake. But for water sports enthusiasts, it’s a place nobody should miss.
Just down the road from the town proper is the Taal Lake Yacht Club (TLYC). Dubbed by Lonely Planet as the “sailing mecca of the Philippines,” it is home to a small but steadily growing community of catamaran sailors and windsurfers.
What to do in Taal
- Learn from the best
TLYC is the home base of the most active Hobie fleet in the country. Races are regularly held at the lake — from highly competitive international regattas like the Philippine Hobie 16 National Championships, to casual Sunday club races when members just get together to practice. Those interested in learning the sport can start by taking basic sailing lessons with the club’s instructors. Then, once they’ve improved, they crew for highly experienced skippers at the Sunday club races. Eventually, they can start competing in the bigger regattas.
- Hot off the grill
TLYC doesn’t charge corkage and allows guests to pitch tents and set up barbecues. So if you want to make the most out of your day trip, bring some cooking utensils and a cooler packed with ice. A quick tricycle ride from TLYC is the Talisay City Public Market. Here you can buy fresh fish and vegetables for grilling. Don’t forget to try the local delicacy, tawilis, which is best served deep-fried with a spicy vinegar dip.
- Peak season
Trekking to Taal Volcano may seem a little daunting especially on a hot day, but Taal’s caldera is said to offer one of the most stunning vantage points in the country. You can take a 30-minute outrigger boat ride from TLYC to Volcano Island, and then walk or ride on horseback along the Daang Kastila trail to the crater of the volcano. Keep in mind that since Taal Volcano is an active volcano — the smallest active volcano in the world, in fact — trekking to the main crater doesn’t come without risks. However, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) keeps a very close eye for volcanic earthquakes and spikes in carbon dioxide emission. As of February 2012, the alert level has been brought down to Level 1.
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