Exploring a Rich and Well Preserved Culture On Top Of the Mountains
Batad Rice Terraces is 350 kilometers from Manila the capital...

Batad Rice Terraces is 350 kilometers from Manila the capital of the Philippines Islands. There is no airport in Banaue and the only way to reach the rice terraces is through car or public transport. The best time of the year to visit Banaue is from January to June because there is less rain.

I have always been intrigued about the Cordillera Mountains in Northern Luzon and I thought I should do something about this desire before I visit other tourist spots all over the world. Besides that my savings are not yet enough to take me to Singapore or South Korea.

The problem about going to Banaue is the lack of transportation because only a few buses ply the route from Manila. It takes a lot of planning to go Banaue and we decided to go first to Baguio City the Summer Capital of the Philippines and then Sagada before we take a jeepney ride to Banaue. However, it seems that we need to hike for a few hours to reach Batad Rice Terraces.

Unlike Baguio which has all the trappings of a small city, Sagada is more laid back although there are lots of local tourists. The January weather was a bit harsh and the air was so cold even with the multiple layers of clothing, two sets of socks and thick denim pants. Internet connectivity was spotty and I felt that we were isolated from civilization.

When we reached the jeepney stop in Banaue, it meant we have to go down and start with the trek. We had a guide who helped us through the slippery and muddy path until we reached a sign that says Batad. A few more minutes of trekking and we will finally see the Batad Rice Terraces. It looked exactly like the pictures with the perfect rows of terraces planted with organic rice. The terraces have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List which meant that the wonderful view will be untouched by modern technology. Life here is very basic and I felt that I was in a different world surrounded by mountains and trees with no modern infrastructure. The people are happy and that is all that matters.

About Author
philippe