Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hot Springs In The Cold

It took a hair-pulling half hour to pack the jeep with passengers. Our then two-month old daughter was getting fidgety. My legs were deadened for getting stuck in an awkward position, and couldn't stretch them because the floor was occupied by sacks of rice and baskets filled with farm produce.

Baguio City's full on frigid in November. It's been two weeks since we moved to our rented house, and already my hubby and I were dying to head somewhere warmer, even for just a few degrees.

Palm Grove's main pool. Mountains serve as a soothing backdrop.

That jeep transported us to Asin in Tuba, Benguet. The 45-minute zigzagging ride reminded me of Halsema Highway, in a strange mix of fond and terrifying aspect. The landscape is stunning, but I was too queasy to be all ecstatic.

We got off at the last stop. The Tourist Assistance Center, not too far from where we alighted, looked a bit dodgy to me. An old lady sprawled on its front steps, selling a heap of cucumber. The office seemed deserted.

Reception and souvenir shop.

To our right we read a sign, "Palm Grove Hot Springs and Mountain Resort". The structure's an odd sight in the middle of mountainous nowhere. Interesting, nonetheless. We walked to the reception and paid the P100 admission fee.

The resort was a box full of surprises. For one, we didn't expect it to be full of day trippers. And two, there's a big octopus slide at the main pool, which certainly looks weird (c'mon, a pink octopus?!), in the highlands. Also, a slew of Koreans (possibly Baguio residents as well) were there for the bath house spa.

Since we didn't intend to stay long, I shrugged off the idea of renting a picnic table and instead sat on a pool chair and laid our daughter Luna beside me. She was agitated with the heat. Asin's sitting on a lower altitude compared to Baguio. Though its climate's perfect for us, it ain't working for Luna's long sleeved top.

I undid her clothes, lied down myself, and watched the merrymakers in the pool.

At the balcony of the resort's in-house coffee shop, with a view of the Olympic-sized pool and the bath house spa.

Shervin was done with his dip in half an hour. Teensters in the pool were already getting rowdy, it was our cue to pack up.

From afar, the coffee shop didn't look inviting but we went anyways. Well, it's got the same impact when you're inside. We were famished but didn't find the menu enticing either. The dishes were pricey, and we'd rather spend that amount of cash in a more known resto.

Left: An empty hot spring bath. Right: Celebrating our second year since we became steadies.

So we resolved to having a bottle of beer each. Not a drop more to keep the little one safe. I savored a gulp, it was going to be a long ride home.

Trip's Nitty Gritty:

1. How to get there: Terminal of jeeps going to Asin Hot Springs (do not take the Asin Road jeep for it doesn't reach the resorts) is along Kayang Street near the public market. Fare as of November 2010 is P25.

Jeeps won't leave until they're full, so expect to wait 30-45 minutes if it ain't rush hour.

2. Admission fee for adults is P100, children under 4 feet P50. Picnic tables good for 10-12 persons can be rented for P200, gazebo with private grill for 15-20 persons is P800.

3. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be taken in. Beer can be bought from the coffee shop, P40 a bottle.

4. Coffee shop's meals range from P130 (pasta) to P285 (seafood dishes).

5. Operating hours 8:00 AM-5:00 PM. Indoor/outdoor hot bath and jacuzzi use has a specific schedule. Ask the reception for it.

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33 comments:

Mhe-anne Ojeda said...
June 13, 2011 at 4:19 PM

nice post as always. thanks for the tips!

Micamyx|Senyorita said...
June 13, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Baby pa talaga si Luna dyan o :D Hindi ko pa nata-try mag-swimming sa Baguio. Might as well drop by there sa next Baguio Trip :D

Markyramone said...
June 13, 2011 at 4:32 PM

awww Luna is smaller, yan ung size na katakot kargahin ang mga babies. Parang ayaw nya mg swimming gusto lng matulog haha.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 13, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Thanks Ate Mhe-Anne, hope you get to use the tips someday :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 13, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Mica, she was still a bit difficult to carry around because she was still uber fragile :(

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 13, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Marky, pareho kami gusto lang magsleep! Lol.

lakwatsera de primera said...
June 13, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Akala ko post from your recent trip noong nabasa ko yung title pero sa picture pa lang ni Luna, nagets ko na agad, isa lang sa sangkatutak mo ring backlogs :)

sometimes kim & sometimes mj said...
June 13, 2011 at 7:11 PM

You have this way of telling a story that keeps me hanging on your every word:-D Great account.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 13, 2011 at 7:32 PM

Claire, I assume you got heaps of backlog too.. Ei?

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 13, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Thanks Kim, or MJ? It means a lot to me that you get to finish the post. Haha!

denmarco said...
June 13, 2011 at 9:04 PM

nice..i love this

Tripper10 said...
June 14, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Thanks po sa Pag-Share...
Cute ng Baby.. :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 14, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Aww... Thanks Joan(?)!

Nicely said...
June 14, 2011 at 10:53 AM

I'm glad you enjoyed your stay here. Mine was partly a misadventure: http://travelingnicely.com/2010/12/palm-grove-hot-springs-and-mountain-resort-partly-a-misadventure/

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 14, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Our jeep was filled after half an hour, thank goodness. We left the resort kasi at almost closing time, everyone started leaving. If not, lalakarin namin ni hubby to the Wood Carver’s Village! Hahaha!

Gabe Mitra said...
June 14, 2011 at 11:14 AM

gatas, napagitnaan ng beer! ayos!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 14, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Hahaha! If you were with us, 3 mugs of beer yan for sure Gabe. Prolly 4 kasi oorder ka ulit!

Anonymous said...
June 14, 2011 at 2:06 PM

wow mam salamat.. may puntahan na naman pagumakyat baguio,, sa wakas nahanap namin street ng terminal,,!

Cedric said...
June 14, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Lovely shot of you and Luna. But the shot with the beer mugs and the baby bottle is even lovelier. Haha.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 14, 2011 at 4:43 PM

It is indeed lovely, Ced :) Makes me smile every time I check on this post.

Aleah said...
June 14, 2011 at 11:34 PM

Wow, Luna looked really drained! Did you bathe her in the pool? Poor baby doll!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 14, 2011 at 11:40 PM

I did not bathe her in the pool, Aleah. She still slept a whole lot when she was 2 months old. So she kinda looks normal there. Lol.

Leave the Cube said...
June 14, 2011 at 11:57 PM

this is definitely better compared to poring hot spring in kota kinabalu. i love the trees surrounding the big pool :)

thanks for sharing the information about your trip (transpo, admission fee, etc.)

rome said...
June 15, 2011 at 8:41 AM

So you studied in Puerto Princesa pala, thats why you love waters. lets go back! ahahahaha. hey, I love your site, my short stay is fun – will hop over again and browse slowly… In the meantime, I’ve linked you in my blogroll.
Gest to Utopia

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 15, 2011 at 8:45 AM

What I like about Poring Hot Spring though is it's very near KK trails! I can imagine a refreshing dip after hiking :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 15, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Hahaha! Rome, yeah. Would really love to go back. Dami ko pang hindi napuntahan dun.

DGF | Explored! said...
June 22, 2011 at 8:56 PM

When I was still studying there, the "Asin hot springs" was not as better than what they have now. Though I have never been there. I should have done it when it was still had that rustic feel. But good to know there is a better accommodation now...

btw, I am now following you and will include you in my list. Cheers!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Thnks DGF! I prefer a more natural setting, but we had fun there anyways. Thanks for following!

Axel said...
June 24, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Wow! Didn't know there could be a nice resort in that area.. The view looks awesome..

strawhatjp said...
June 25, 2011 at 3:07 AM

Hi Ma'am! You have a great header :)

I saw this resord when I we went to baguio last summer. The shot with the milk and beer! PANALO!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
June 28, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Thank you JP :)

Super Xanang said...
March 22, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Hi! Do you know a place in Asin where there are natural hot springs and not just pools filled with water from springs? Thank you very much.

Gay Emami said...
March 22, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Hi there! Sorry but I only know of the resort type ones :(

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