Does the sun ever shine there? It looks cold and dreary :-(
Manila is pretty warm, though, so I guess its a nice getaway. Although it looks like the people are as poorly dressed as in the big city.
The climate looks similar to some of the cities in Colombia. Check Bogota, Manizales, Medellin they are 4degN-6degN, and 1500-2500 meters above sea level. Also the central highlands of Papua New Guinea. Very beautiful weather in those places. The high altitude parts of the tropics are the most beautiful areas on the planet IMHO.
I believe it is rainy season here in the Philippines, and we did take these photos just before it started raining in the afternoon.
It is much warmer than Bogota, Quito, Cusco, or La Paz, however when you compare Panajachel, Guatemala to Baguio, I would say Pana is warmer. The advantage over Pana is people that speak English and the ocean is only one hour away and I am sure hot.
The urban heat island of Manila is one of the worst on the planet.
South America and Central America are great, I think the benefits of the Philippines is the abilty to buy any high tech or modern thing, while in S America and Central America it take a lot more work and dramatically more expensive.
Pana is 10 times more family orientated, the same time zone as the USA and you can talk your normal friends into coming to visit. The reputation of the Philippines would allow me to talk single men into coming to visit.
To work in the USA over the Internet would be easier in Panajachel.
I need a map of the tropics, with every spot marked off that is 1300-1600 meters and has a city big enough to be fun.
While I was in East Africa, I was at this altitude the whole time, however not many cities had anything of interest. Nanyuki, Kenya was close, but all the expats in Africa took the last train out.
This is not a dreary city, there is energy here, the expats do move bar stools.
The big stopper for Baguio for me is negotiating a room. If you can afford to pay 30 dollars a day for room, consider this absolutely nothing, do not mind paying 1000 dollars per month for lodging, than this place is perfect.
I like to keep my monthly room rent around 300 US, to pay more makes me feel like going to Pana, where I can find a room for 10 dollars per night easy.
Spiritual places, hmm I would assume you are talking about good spirits.
There are some interesting spiritual people in the park, I am not sure they are good spirits, but I can photograph them. To me good spirits are in places where people have good intentions. This is rather easy to find, however people with good intentions and good spirits are only seen by like kind.
Thanks, I always like photo request, I will also find some children.
Hello Andy!, I could recommend Medelliacuten, Colombia which is at 1500 meters. I am living here in a beautiful part of town in a room in a shared apartment for $300 per month, including all utilities, wi-fi, laundry, change sheets, all modern stuff, security, etc. My room is 18 square meters with a window overlooking the park. The going rate for a more normal place in a decent neighborhood is $300 per month, including food and Wi-fi, cable. But you have to speak Spanish here (not good for the girlfriend). It is a city of 3 million with lots to do. Tourism is taking off here although it is still small compared to Phils and Thailand. It is not cheap for regular things like Thailand, more like the Phils, maybe even more. It does not seem too polluted here like Quito, for instance, and it is a basically safe place (but again, not as safe as Thailand).
My understanding is that Baguio is freezing in the winter! Is Cebu city too hot for you? I like it and it rains less there. The temperatures in Medelliacuten are close to constant year around (average high of 29/84, low of 17/63). But it does get 60 inches (150 cm) of rain per year.
One can basically stay here in Colombia for 180 days per year on tourist visa without preapplying for anything (not as good as the Phils which is very generous with tourist visas, but better than Thailand).
Andy, crime in Guatemala has recently skyrocketed. Someone who was just there recently told me that it is having an effect on tourists and that locals are saying it as dangerous for them now as during the long civil war that ended in 1996. In the first four months of 2009, Guatemala had approximately the same number of murders as Mexico, although Mexico has about 7 times more people. Cuiacutedate.
The world is full of bad neighborhoods, I hope that Panajachel has not become a bad neighborhood, I highly doubt it. Americans drive in Guatemala, this is dangerous in any country, the people see you driving down the road and set up a road block, there are no witnesses, while a bus if full of people to know what their neighbor is doing today.
I love your photos! (Especially of the street market.) Its so nice to see similar scenes from all the way across the world.
You may want to check out Costa Ricas Central Valley, which is not just limited to San Jose. I live in the mountains of Heredia, just a few miles north of San Jose -- its very safe, quiet and tranquil here, but Im so close to every amenity I could need. I have high-speed internet, cable, etc. at home and, best of all, at 1200 meters above sea level, temperatures hover around 75-80 F (24-26.5 C) during the day and about 65 F (18 C) at night.
Baguio has really a lot to offer. I love the market in the photo, specially the variety of Chorizos! http://www.cdokay.com/