Mines View Park
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Mines View Park is located on a promontary of land on Baguio's northeastern section -- about 4 km from downtown Baguio.
Standing on a small observation deck in Mines View Park, the tourist has a spectacular view of the Amburayan Valley and adjacent mountains and over the gold and copper mines formerly operated there by the Benguet Corporation.
From the car park and its souvenir shops (selling items such as tribal artefacts and silver jewelry), the observation deck can be reached by following a winding stone-constructed stairway. Sometimes the stairway can get a bit slippery in Baguio's damp weather -- so take care!
Since the main attraction of Mines View Park is the view of the nearby mountains, there are people hiring out binoculars so you can get a better view. The cost is only a few pesos for 5 or 10 minutes.
If you get a sunshiny day, take the opportunity to quickly get some photos of the views from Mines View Park -- for the odds are that one of Baguio's mists or fogs may soon sweep in and obscure the view.
The view from the lookout at Mines View Park
About 100 meters from Mines View is the Good Shepherd Convent (run by Belgian nuns) where you can purchase some of Baguio's famous culinary specialities: cookies, strawberry, coconut and ube jam and peanut brittle. Tourists almost always want to buy a few of each of these to take home as gifts for family and friends. Filipino tourists buy here too (gifts that they buy for family and friends back home are known as pasalubong). everybody likes buying here as they know that money spent supports the religious and charitable work of the nuns.
Visitors at the observation deck at Mines View Park in early morning
If you have more time, you may like to visit the old gold and copper mines mentioned above. These mines are known as the Balatoc Mines and are located in the mining town of Itogon (about 16 km from Baguio City). Mining operations have now ceased but interesting tours of the mines are available.
Balatoc Mines Tours take around two hours. During the tour you will wear mining gear, ride an underground locomotive train to the Vegas Tunnel, and learn about how gold mining used to be carried out.
While in Itogon, you can also visit Crosby Park, a 6 hectare pine forest with wonderful mountain views. The park is suitable for hiking, bushwalking and picnics.
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Author: David Paul Wagner
(David Paul Wagner on Google+)