5 things I loved about the eerie castle in Lemery, Batangas
Imagine yourself dressed as a prince and you’re roaming around your very own castle surrounded by mighty knights. As you walk to your maze-like garden, you see beautiful flowers and magical creatures along the way, greeting you good morning. And as the clear and peaceful sky welcomes another magical day of life, you stumbled upon a cute little winged dragon excited to give you a ride to explore your kingdom. Except your home is an abandoned castle on top of the mountains, where all the eerie stories we hear came from.
Moving on, another challenge is thinking of how can you make your story interesting enough to get people to listen or read your page. Photos! People love viewing photos more than reading detailed stories, so no matter how much information you have you still have to own a technique on editing your photos. Here’s mine.
Okay, lemme get this straight. Fantasy World isn’t (technically) an “abandoned” theme park. The word “abandoned”, per Google dictionary, means “having been deserted or cast off “. Fantasy World had not been deserted. The plan really was to build the first and only castle-like amusement park, inspired by Disneyland, in the Philippines. The construction was just stopped because of financial difficulties so it didn’t go well as planned. So no ghosts, no creepy stories, just eerie looks and ta-da! People started calling it abandoned.
Also, it is not in Tagaytay. I know it’s part of almost every Tagaytay itinerary Google showed you, but it actually is located at Lemery, Batangas.
City of Tagaytay is a component city in the province of Cavite, in the Philippines. It is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations because of its outstanding scenery and cooler climate provided by its high altitude. Tagaytay overlooks Taal Lake in Batangas and provides one of the iconic views of the Philippines, the view of Taal Volcano Island in the middle of the lake, viewable from several vantage points in the city.
Tagaytay City is located in the Province of Cavite, island of Luzon. It is approximately 56 kilometers south of Manila, with a total land area of 6,500 hectares, which represents about 5.14% of the total land area of Cavite. It overlooks Manila Bay on the north, Taal Volcano and Taal Lake on the south and Laguna de Bay on the east.
The city is linked by the national highway to the Metropolitan Manila Area and to the Province of Batangas. It is also connected by roads to the adjoining municipalities of Amadeo, Mendez, Indang, Silang and Alfonso in Cavite towards the northwest, to the municipalities of Calamba and Sta. Rosa in Laguna in the northeast and to the town of Talisay in Batangas in the south.
How to get there? MANILA TO FANTASY WORLD BY PRIVATE CAR
Whip out that smartphone and consult your new best friend, Waze. But if you want to do it old school, here are the directions.
Hit SLEX and take Santa Rosa Exit. You can also take Eton City or Greenfield City Exits to avoid traffic jams in Sta. Rosa.
Stay on Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road until you hit Silang Junction.
At the junction, turn right onto Tagaytay-Nasugbu Road and drive across Tagaytay and Alfonso.
At the Batangas-Cavite boundary, TURN LEFT. The left goes to Lemery, the right goes to Nasugbu. You know you’re on the right path when you’re navigating zigzags that treat you to spectacular views of Calaca’s rolling hills.
When you see the Lemery arc, you’re close. Fantasy World should be on your left.
MANILA TO FANTASY WORLD BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
By Van via Tagaytay. Vans bound for Lemery use the terminals in front of Starmall EDSA-Shaw and on the 2nd floor parking of Starmall Alabang. Fares: P140 from Alabang, P200 from EDSA-Shaw. Before hopping in, ask the driver if it will pass by Fantasy World. If he says yes, go for it. The reason you need to ask: sometimes, drivers take STAR Tollway instead when traffic is so bad in Sta. Rosa or when Diokno Highway is closed. If everything’s fine, ask the driver to drop you off at Fantasy World. Travel time: 2 hours from Alabang.
By Bus via Tagaytay. At EDSA-Taft and LRT-Buendia, board a bus bound for Nasugbu. Tell the conductor to drop you off at the “Boundary.” It refers to the Cavite-Batangas boundary. Travel time: around 3 hours. Fare: P160. At the boundary, ride a jeepney bound for Lemery and ask to be dropped off in front of Fantasy World. Fare: P18. If there are no jeepneys, you can take a tricycle but it’s pricey. Fare is P200 per ride (not per person). Travel time: 15-30 minutes.
By Bus via Lemery. This is the longest route. At LRT-Buendia or Cubao-Kamuning, board a bus bound for Lemery. Travel time: 4 hours. Fare: P178-200. At the bus terminal, hail a tricycle and ask to be taken to the terminal for jeepneys bound for Boundary. Fare: P10 per person. Ride a jeepney and ask to be dropped off at Fantasy World. Fare: less than P40. I dunno the exact fare, but the fare all the way to Boundary is P40, so it should be just a few pesos lower.
Please note that jeepneys and tricycles seldom pass Mayasang. The only jeepney route that use the entire length of Diokno Highway is Boundary-Lemery (and vice versa). Thus, waiting for a ride back to Lemery or boundary can take a while. If you can find a private car, that would be most ideal.
The entrance fee is P1000, good for up to 10 people / P100 per pax
Fantasy World Operating Hours: Open from 8am-5pm.
— Museo Orlina
— Puzzle Mansion
— Sky Ranch
— Twin Lakes
— Fantasy World Read more of my Tagaytay trips here >> TheMhayonnaise x Tagaytay
Where to eat?
— Antonio’s Restaurant
— Charito by Bag of Beans
— Silver Bucket
— La Creperie
— Mahogany Beef Market and Bulalohan
5 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT FANTASY WORLD
1. Getting “lost” in the Maze Garden
2. Climbing the Tree House
3. Medieval Architecture… bec I’m a fan!
4. Infrequent visitors = no photobombers
5. The creepy look makes me feel like I’m in a horror movie!
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May Vargas (@themhayonnaise) is an auditor by profession, a writer by passion, and a single mom in between. Currently based in Manila, she spends her time (well, aside from her corporate job and being a mom) blogging about food, travel, and almost anything. She tends to overshare her experiences and dramas on themhayonnaiseonline.com.
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