When I was younger, I always believed that there is a different world where fairies, princesses, dragons and anything magical exists. Where I can live inside a towering colorful castle and sing songs with the cheerful birds every morning while waiting for my prince charming to come and rescue me. I know everything I believed before was not even close to reality, maybe that’s the reason why magical theme parks were created. For us to experience that feel beyond the bounds of reality.
It is one of my travel goals to visit the famous theme parks all over the world. Last year during my 22nd birthday I visited Disneyland in Hong Kong, and it was most probably one of my happiest days. For those who still can’t go out of the country but wants to experience a magical day in these kinds of theme parks, lucky for us Filipinos because we have our very own version of ‘Disneyland’ that is just 3 hours away from Manila.
‘Fantasy World’ located in Lemery, Batangas is a semi-abandoned medieval-themed park turned to photo-op park constructed more than a decade ago by a Japanese businessman. It was meant to compete with world-class theme parks like Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, and Universal Island of Adventure but unfortunately, it was not finished because of financial constraints. It is a replica of ‘Neuschwanstein castle ‘, a castle built by King Ludwig II located in Germany, which is also the same castle model used as by sleeping beauty in the Disney Films.
Although this place never became fully operational, it’s beauty is still accessible for tourists as managed by the homeowners association. You can access it for just 1,000 pesos per 10 people, if you will access it alone you still need to pay it in full. It’s actually very affordable if you’re going with a large group but for solo travelers like me, it’s definitely better to join tours arranged by trusted travel agencies. In my case, I joined a very affordable day tour under Bakasyonista Travel Agency.
Diokno Highway, Brgy, Mayasang, Lemery, Batangas Philippines
How to get there?
- Via private transportation
Estimated travel time: 2 ½ hours
2. Via Public transportation
- Bus bound to Balayan/Valatagu/Nasugbu
- Drop off at ‘Boundary’
- Jeepney to Lemery via Diokno Road
- Drop off at Fantasy World
- 5 minutes ascending walk to the main entrance
Estimated travel: 4 hours
Most of the travelers who don’t own a car would first choose this option, the problem with this is the transfer to different locations. Off course, if you will visit a certain province you want to maximize your tour so you need to visit different spots. It’s going to be a big hassle if you need to mode of transportation from time to time and also there’s a big tendency to waste time in getting lost.
3. Via Bakasyonista Travel Agency
If you want to just travel and enjoy without stressing out on your itinerary like me, well this is the perfect option for you! I availed a Batangas-Cavite-Tagaytay Day tour under this travel agency which only costs me 999 Pesos (27 US Dollars)! That’s 101% sulit (very affordable)!!!!!!!!!!
• Fantasy World
• Korean Temple
• Bulalo Point
• Taal Church
• Gingerbread House
• Sonya’s Garden
• Sky Ranch
• Caleruega Church
Click the link for more tour details: http://bakasyonista.com.ph/
What to do here?
- Make your Magical Fantasy come to life
I believe that all of us have some kind of fantasy living deep down in our hearts! This is definitely one of the perfect places to fulfill that fantasy! As you enter the main gate, you’ll get the magical vibes already and soon before you know it you’re already living in your own fantasy world. Treasure the experience and enjoy the moment! And to make it more exciting, you can dress up as many costumes as you want for just 300 Pesos (You could actually bargain for less hahaha go and work your magic!). They got prince and princes’ costumes, pretty headdresses, wigs, clown costumes, royal accessories and other courtly wardrobes! Sound fun right!?
2. Climb the castle’s tower
Want to get the best view of the Taal Lake and its surrounding mountains? Well, you should get ready to climb the magical stairs! Since the park is located on top of a hill it offers one of the perfect views in the area. Nope, my loves there are no elevators here to help you with you lazy problems, but the good news is you can climb it based on your own pacing haha no pressure!!!
3. Conquer your fear of heights by crossing mystical hanging bridge
There are two tall towers that look like a huge trunk of the tree and is connected by a large mystical hanging bridge. You need to climb up through a winding staircase until you reach the top of the tower
From there you can cross the bridge to reach the other side. Though this park is semi-abandoned, it is maintained very well. Rest assured that the bridge is 100% safe for people who want to cross it.
4. Get lost in the maze of life
A fully maintained hedge maze located at the side of the amusement rides is a perfect hide and seek spot for you and your barkada. Just be sure you’ll know how to find your way out or not. Sometimes it’s fun to get lost especially in a place where fantasy is living strongly.
5. Hop on the fun rides
Although these rides are not operating, it is still exciting to have your photos taken in here! Well, it’s up to your creativity and imagination how to make it look alive!
From the Ferris wheel to the classic carousel and to the roller coaster, I suddenly reminisced some of my happy childhood memories in the carnival.
6. Capture Instagram worthy memories
Probably one of my favorite thing to do on every trip I take!
Take photos! Lots of it!
Every spot in this park is amazingly Instagram worthy! Like OA guys, better get your cameras and poses ready!
This place is going to make your Instagram feed gaming strong!
Let’s talk about #FEEDGOALS !!!!!!
1. Korean Temple
-Formerly known as ‘ The Manila Buddhist Meditation Center’ is located just 15 mins away from Tagaytay City proper, is the best place to fulfil your kdrama fever! You can play ‘finding oppa’ here !!! haha! And the best part of visiting this place: It’s actually FREE ADMISSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2. Mahogany Market
-Fuel up in this famous but affordable Bulalo place located in the heart of Tagaytay City!With just 350 Pesos ( 6 US Dollars ) you and 2 other friends will enjoy a big bowl of this famous Tagaytay Delicacy with unlimited senorita banana and kapeng barako on the side!!! Amazing right!
3. Taal Church
-Minor Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours (Taal Basilica) is the largest Catholic Church not only in the Philippines but in the whole Asia. It was established in the year 1572 by the Augustinian Missionaries and had undergone a major renovation when the Tall Volcano exploded.
What’s one thing extraordinary about the church is its hand-painted ceiling, yes you heard it right can you just imagine how hard it was to do it? Well, the results are too beautiful not to appreciate!
4. Gingerbread House
-Make your fairytale cafe come to life! Sugar, spice and everything nice! I can just imagine myself dressing up as Gretel when I entered is cafe! Too many sweets for my heart to handle!
And the set up is very colourful and fun to look at, and I want to emphasize how instagram worthy this place is! You should try their DIY cookies, where you can design your own fancy sweets!
5. Sonya’s Garden
-take your flower gaming to another level! This flower cafe also offers good lunch selection and a spa for you to relax and unwind! You can also buy plants that you can use to decorate your home.
6. Sky Ranch
-this amusement park is one of the favourite go to places in the area. It offers a variety of rides including Top Dance, Flying Bus, Wonder Flight and much more! They also have horseback riding in the rancho inside the park.
Weekdays (Monday to Friday) - Php 80
Weekends (Saturday & Sunday) and Holidays – Php 100
Free entrance for children 3 ft and below
7. Caleruega Transfiguration Chapel
– Find your inner peace at this church garden located in Batulao Nasugbu Batangas. It is an actual replica of the original chapel of the Dominican Order in Caleruega, Spain and has been a famous place to shoot prenuptial videos and photos.
-It also offers an overview of Batulao Mountains, Hanging bridges, Transfiguration chapel, Garden café, Lion bust head at the fountain area inside Cenaculum.
-Entrance Fee: 30 pesos per head
-Fun fact: If your planning to have your wedding here, better reserve a slot 3 years prior to your planned date. It’s usually fully booked because of its extraordinary beauty.
I still have high hopes for Fantasy World, and I would like to see it fully come to life.
Just imagine the colourful rides moving, carnival music playing; cotton candy, ice cream, and popcorn; kids jumping and playing with smiles on their faces; amazing performances from magicians; prince and princesses waving, and everything that will give us the kind of magical place we always dreamed to live in.
Thanks for reading my blog post!
Hope it will help you in making your own adventure!
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Let’s stay connected loves!
Til’ my next adventure!
Joan Tapiz Maniago
THE NURSE OFF DUTY