There’s no need to book a flight to Japan to get a glimpse of the Sakura flower. Around 40 Japanese Sakura trees were planted in Paoay, Atok, Benguet last 2016. You can visit the Sindaya and Yakiwari Sakura varieties at the Benguet-Kochi Sisterhood Park.

The Yakiwari Sakura variety bears pink blossoms while the Sindaya Sakura produces white flowers.

The Yakiwari Sakura trees started blossoming when they were around 10 months old. The trees are still young and expected to mature in one to three years.

Now, we wait as the trees grow into beautiful sakuras.

Update on Atok’s tourism as of February 21: The travel ban has been lifted. Tourists can enter Atok again. 🙂

Haight’s Place

haight's place

History

haight's place

Franklin Guy Haight, a former member of the US engineering corps, came to settle in Paoay, Atok, Benguet in the 1900s where he married a local and became a farmer. In his farm, he grew all kinds of vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, cabbages, celery and a lot more.

He introduced farming and many other vegetables to the Igorots. Even the very first strawberries served at the Baguio Country Club were from his garden. Now, his great-grandchildren manage Haight’s place.

The Sakura Park, on the other hand, is rented by the government for 25 years. The sakura trees are from the great relationship between Benguet and the Kochi prefecture in Japan.

Sakura Park

Sakura Flowers in Atok

We arrived at the Sakura park at around eight in the morning with the sun shining bright but it was still cold. The relatively low temperature of the town made it the perfect place to plant the Sakura trees.

The area is surrounded by vegetable farms, and the view is quite stunning. I can imagine how the park would look like in the future, with all the Sakura trees in full bloom. It would be a great place to go for a picnic.

sakura park

Cows and goats grazed around the place. On one side, some trees looked similar to the ones found in Mt. Pulag.

The park has a simple comfort room and a few Nipa huts to sit in. There’s also a BnB in case you want to stay overnight and a cafe for you to enjoy the view and the weather.

We went back the third time and found that there are now flowers planted around the park. You can find here alstroemeria flowers in several colors, sunflowers, hydrangeas (million flowers), and calendulas (pot marigold).

Cosmos Flower Field

Just last December 2019, Haight’s Place decided to plant cosmos flowers and opened it to the public when the flower bloomed.

The photos below looked like they were taken outside of the country. It was the most beautiful flower field I’ve been to!

atok benguet

Best Time To Visit

About the weather: Early mornings in Atok, Benguet are the coldest. The Haight’s Place location has the coldest weather in the municipality because of its elevation. It’s also the reason why the Sakura trees were planted there. By 10:00 AM till noon, you can get sunburned from the heat of the sun (also because of the elevation).

So the best time to visit is early morning or late in the afternoon if you want to stay overnight. Just be sure to wear a thick jacket because of the cold.

Avoid the rainy season (July to November) because of the frequent typhoons. During these times, the staff has a hard time planting because of the strong winds and rain. December to May are the best months to visit.

If you want to see the sakura trees in bloom, visit by April. However, don’t expect the trees to be fully grown yet. Visit after 8 to 10 years for the best view of the sakura.

Fees

  • Registration Fee: P20 per head (if you paid the registration fee at the Brgy Hall, there’s no need to pay here again)
  • Maintenance Fees: P80 per head
  • Photoshoots: P1,500

Accommodation

There are three rooms and one cabin you can book for an overnight stay. Each room can accommodate 4 to 6 persons and has its own mini kitchen and hot shower.

You can also camp. Just bring your own tents and sleeping bags.

haight's place

Accommodation Rates

  • Good for 4pax – P3500
  • Good for 6pax – P4500
  • Kubo – P3500 with kitchen, toilet and bath, mattress on the floor
  • Camping (if with own tent) – P100 head
  • Tent Rentals – P500 plus P100/ head

Getting There

If you’re coming from Manila, first ride a bus going to Baguio. You can book a bus ticket online here:

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From Baguio City

IMPORTANT:  Following the Executive Order No. 09-2020 by Mayor Raymundo Sarac on lifting the temporary suspension on tourism activities, it is asked that all tourists, visitors, and guests visiting the municipality of Atok, to pre-register first at the designated registration area at PAOAY Barangay Hall in Sayangan, Paoay, Atok, Benguet for monitoring purposes. (NO PRE-REGISTRATION, NO ENTRY).

Here’s the directions on how to get to Haight’s place and Sakura Park:

1. By Bus from Baguio City, take the bus going to Mountain province such as trips going to Sagada, Bontoc located in Dangwa Station or Slaughter House, Magsaysay Avenue. Ask the driver to drop you off at Marosan’s Restaurant in Atok. The fare is around 100+ pesos and travel time from Baguio is 1.5 to 2 hours. Then Step 3.

2. By UV express vans, ride one that passes by the municipality of Atok in Halsema Highway such as trips going to Mankayan, or Abatan. Ask the driver to drop you off at Marosan’s Restaurant in Atok. The fare is around 100+ pesos and travel time from Baguio is 1.5 to 2 hours. Then Step 3.

3. From Sayangan, (less than ten minutes ride) take the tricycle in front of the town market, or fx”garage” parked in front of Marosan’s restaurant, then ask the driver to take you to Sakura Park/ Haight’s place.

4. If self-driving, drive via Halsema Highway, when you reach Petrol Station “Neborhud” in Sayangan, Atok, turn left the next Barangay road and follow the road. Travel time from Baguio City usually takes 1.5 hours.

Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/y4MR6GFnx3ibWVVs5

If you want to visit other tourist spots in Atok, follow this step:

  • Once you’ve arrived in Marosan’s, register at the Paoay Barangay Hall located a few steps behind the restaurant. Registration fee is P20 per person.

Upon registration, you can choose to avail of the following packages:

Circuit I

Price: P1,200 (good for 5 persons)

Places to visit:

  • Sakura Park (Haight’s Place)
  • 2nd Highest Point
  • Lourdes Grotto

Circuit 2

Price: P1,800 (good for 5 persons)

Places to visit:

  • Sakura Park (Haight’s Place)
  • 2nd Highest Point
  • Lourdes Grotto
  • Mt Timbak

Circuit 3

Price: P3,500 (good for 5 persons)

Places to visit:

  • Sakura Park (Haight’s Place)
  • 2nd Highest Point
  • Lourdes Grotto
  • Mt Timbak
  • Spanish Trail

If you want to visit Northern Blossom Flower Farm after the tour, you can ask your guide to drop you off there.

READMt. Pulag : DIY Adventure Above the Sea of Clouds

Contact

For more information, you can contact:

FAQS: https://haightsplace.wixsite.com/haightsplace/faqs

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