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“Lake Pandin Has Much More to Offer”
Review of Lake Pandin

Lake Pandin
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San Pablo Trails Mountain Bike Tour from Manila
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed May 12, 2013

Lake Pandin, one of the 7 lakes in San Pablo, Laguna is just a short 15-minute drive away from Casa San Pablo where we stayed for the night. From the public parking for visitors, we walked through what seemed like privately owned vacant lots where coconut and banana trees are planted. After a 10 minute trek on semi-paved but narrow uphill footpaths, we reached the 180 feet crater lake. We were told that prior reservation is needed but we were lucky to have arrived early and get the last remaining bamboo raft at P150 per head, complete with free fresh coconut juice. Lunch and snacks of local delicacy can be ordered for serving on the raft. A busload of students on field trip which came without prior booking a few minutes later were unable to experience the lake tour. Two women rafters paddled our raft, occasionally pulling a rope that is connected on both sides of the lake to pick up some speed. We enjoyed the cool breeze in the middle of a very hot summer day. Some people parked their raft on the far end side of the lake to swim, dine and party. On reaching the other side of the lake, we got off and climbed a hill to view Lake Yambu. This is a much bigger lake but there was no activity when we reached the place. The Lake Pandin tour is a simple, east-to-west sail but I just thought that creative activities can be organized to make the short trip more productive and meaningful, e.g., story-telling by the rafters about the lake and surrounding areas, serenading guests with local native songs, tourism talks about San Pablo, and the like. We were told that the local government does not collect any fees from the tour organizers composed of local residents but only makes sure that the lake is preserved from pollution and abuse.Nevertheless, experiencing the lake and discovering that there are 7 lakes in the area was exciting enough. The raft assigned to us had some broken bamboo slots and we had to be cautious when posing for a photo shoot. When I called the rafter's attention, I was told that the newer ones are assigned to the bigger groups.The four of us were given life vests but because the lake was perfectly flat and peaceful, we decided not to wear it. We were told that on rainy days, the current can be strong, but I imagined that sailing, dining and restricted fishing under the 'nipa' hut in the middle of the lake must be fun.

Thank pnaytraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"bottled water"
in 9 reviews
in 8 reviews
"day trip"
in 9 reviews
"bamboo raft"
in 16 reviews
"life vests"
in 7 reviews
in 13 reviews
in 14 reviews
"raft ride"
in 7 reviews
"san pablo"
in 15 reviews
"halo halo"
in 7 reviews
"bring your own"
in 7 reviews
"parking lot"
in 6 reviews
"per person"
in 6 reviews
"the food is great"
in 4 reviews
"per head"
in 5 reviews
"the main road"
in 5 reviews
in 4 reviews

86 - 90 of 95 reviews

Reviewed May 11, 2013

Even though there’s a couple of write-ups about Lake Pandin, not a lot of people frequent this place. Maybe because there’s a signage that looks more like ER Ejercito’s campaign ad than Lake Pandin’s welcome sign. Maybe because there are other lakes around. But the lack of commercialization carves out its charm.

It will take you about 15 minutes from the entrance towards the lake, and it is all worth it. Make sure to get a guide on your walk, or you might get lost. Just tip your guide. Here’s our awesome guide, Jessie.

You will be greeted by a beautiful green lake surrounded by plants and trees. There are a couple of balsa with huts, wherein you can take your lunch while marvelling in the beauty of the nature that envelopes you. It’s great if you go here around 10am, then you can take your leisurely lunch and take a dip in the lake.

If you already brought lunch, you only need to pay P180/adult (it’s free for kids) for the balsa ride. This gives you two hours (or more— they’re pretty laid-back and generous) to enjoy your lunch and swim for a bit. Life vests are also available for the whole family.

Our lunch included 10 cups (when we just paid for 6) of rice wrapped in banana leaves (save the banana leaves, as you will use it to cover your plates) and Grilled Tilapia. I’m not a fish person but I found their tilapia to be very fresh and tasty! Maybe it’s a plus that the Lake Pandin’s group are all fishermen. This Lake Pandin business, actually, augments their familiy’s income, especially if it’s a lean season for seafood harvest.

They also served us with Ginataang Hipon. I should try cooking this at home! Although I’m sure it won’t be as yummy— they have easy access to fresh buko and the coconut milk they used in this dish is quite delicious.

The scenery is green, lush and beautiful. When you get to to the end of the lake, grab your lifevest and jump in.

For more digs about this ethereal place, feel free to check out my post here: http://lisawenceslao.tumblr.com/post/44513701332/lake-pandin

2  Thank Wence W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Me and my friend had a do-it-yourself tours to Seven Lakes tour in San Pablo City, but Lake Pandin is the best among them all. This is where we stay the longest and had a chat with the local kids, sitting on the raft and enjoying the view. The place is very calm and refreshing, way too far from the busy and chaotic Metro Manila. You can actually book your lunch there while in the raft cruising along the lake, although we did not had our lunch there. It's 2-hour drive from Manila, The only cons of going to Lake Pandin is hiking for about 15-20 minutes from the highway to reach the lake, but nevertheless, it's worth the visit!

1  Thank Ivy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

San Pablo City is about a 2-hour drive south of Manila. It is a city known for its 7 lakes and before this, I've only been to the biggest - Sampaloc Lake. Saw pictures of Pandin Lake from my niece's pre-wedding pictorial and liked what I saw. So off we went and booked a lunch tour in the lake. Pandin is one of San Pablo's smallest lakes but is also one of the more picturesque. The hike to the lake from the highway takes about 20 minutes and one has to walk an unbeaten path and cross some private properties. On the day we went, one side of the entrance to the lake was being fenced so I'm afraid that is the future, access to the lake could be a problem, unless the government intervenes.
The lunch tour is operated by housewives of fishermen. It is done on a bamboo raft that could accommodate up to 20 persons. The women paddle the raft to the other end of the lake where people can take dip in the clear, cool water. It is relaxing just to float in the water and appreciate the view. Lunch is quite simple - rice, small fresh-water shrimps cooked in coconut cream, a salad of mountain ferns, grilled fish from the lake, grilled eggplant in coconut cream sauce, grilled pork, and fresh bananas. The women also brought some baked cassava cake, sweetened yam and leche flan for dessert. We drank water out of fresh coconuts. This was the life!
Everything would have been perfect if not for the women cutting our tour short. We thought we had a 3-4 hour tour but they said the tour was only for 2 hours. Well, I guess this was a function of economics. The tour was growing popular and they could have wanted to have more tours for the day. From the reviews I had already read, it seems that the tour is now getting more commercial and losing sight of what they were supposed to be - show people how to take care of the lake and raise enough money for its upkeep. If this is so, then it would help to put up better toilets and shower facilities which the tourists could use.

2  Thank Dr_Bingcarlos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 17, 2013

My family and I went here yesterday and we had a great time despite the rains that fell from time to time.
I would not elaborate on the fees and the menu anymore as these have been featured in most of the many write-ups about the place.
If you are driving, there's very visible sign along the road (Schetellig Ave.) so you won't miss the place. Parking is guarded by the locals so don't worry about your vehicle as well.
The 15 minute trek to the lake itself is a bit uphill along a walkway lined by walls of a 'rich' man who bought most of the surrounding lands in the area.
The first sight of the lake was awesome and very refreshing.
Except for a few huts, the banks of the lake were full of vegetation. The air was fresh and the breeze was soothing.
Lunch was great. That 'pako' salad was to die for! I'd go back to the place if only to have another round of that delicious salad.
Water in the lake was indeed clean because we did not feel any itchiness afterwards.

My greatest 'but' about the whole great experience was the lack of comfort rooms in the area. Although there was one, it was dirty and not properly maintained.
This means that before getting there, one should drop by any fuel station restroom along the way.
It also means you should be wearing your swim attire when you get there as there is no place to change clothes except for hiding behind some brushes or, as in the case of one of my children after the tour, inside a half-constructed house near the bank of the lake.

This place would have easily earned 4 or even 5 stars from me if not for this lack of a basic amenity. I hope that the local or national government can look into providing this as their way of helping the good ladies of the lake.

1  Thank JrlnLP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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