Many people are not aware that Lipâ is elevated more than a thousand feet; the highways leading to the city have gentle ascents on wide open spaces that when one gets there, it hardly occurs to anyone it's actually in an elevated valley between the Malarayat range and Mount Maculot.
But the elevation is most obvious if you drive to the next town of Mataás na Káhoy, southward from the city center past Fernando Air Base. Once past the town center of Mataas na Kahoy, the road makes abrupt descents and will slowly reveal a panoramic, bird's-eye view of Taal Lake and Volcano Island down below. The waters of Lake Taal are actually still not sea level, but anyway the town clearly gives us perspective on how high Lipa is in the first place.
In the last couple of years, Mataas na Kahoy has become a new venue for stunning weekend homes; a more private, less congested alternative to Tagaytáy across the lake (below).
The roads are lined with beautifully-designed gates, with some affording peeks to the equally-interesting houses inside.