December 02, 2015

Batad Rice Terraces: Backpacking for Starters

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  • This summer, let that adventurer out to explore!

    We don’t usually associate the terms “peace and quiet” with “excitement and adventure”. Usually, these terms will make us think of two different destinations. But that just might be because we don’t usually think about the Batad Rice Terraces.

    Located in the province of Ifugao, this UNESCO World Heritage site is arguably one of the best places to go to in the Philippines for backpackers or people who would like to become backpackers. What’s perfect about it is that it’s not too difficult to get to, and yet it’s remote enough that the only way to get to it is by foot.

    Not directly, of course. If you’re coming from Manila, the first thing you’ll have to do is to take a bus. The Ohayami bus in Sampaloc has trips that take you straight to Banaue. The bus leaves the terminal at 9 or 10 p.m. and arrives at Banaue at around 7:00 in the morning. It’s a bit of a rough journey, but you’ll feel that it’s worth it as you will wake up to amazing scenery.

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    TERRACES ALONG THE ROAD. The bus drives on a road on the side of a mountain so you’ll have a view of other terraces around the area.

    It’s ideal to have breakfast at this point as the next step is to take a jeepney to Batad Saddle, and this ride takes around two hours.

    Batad Saddle is the point from where you start your trek. It’s a two-hour long trek on a rocky path so make sure to wear appropriate footwear.

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    WATCH YOUR STEP. The path is clear enough that you won’t get lost, but it’s uneven so you have to be careful not to slip

    All this may sound difficult, but actually, along the way you’ll already be treated to fresh air, the sounds of nature, and nice views of some small terraces. Of course, the best part is still arriving in the town of Batad and seeing the amphitheater-like terraces for the first time.

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    MINI-TERRACES. The path to the town of Batad is already filled with smaller terraces like these.

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    BATAD RICE TERRACES. The majestic view that greets you once you reach your destination.

    As beautiful as this view is, it is not the only thing that Batad has to offer. Just another trek away, you can find the Tappiya Falls. Around 30 meters in height and with very very cold water, it’s the perfect place to cool down after a long journey.

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    WALKING ALONG THE RICE FIELD. The way to get to the waterfall is through the rice terraces themselves.

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    ON TOP OF THE WORLD. There is a point in the middle of the terraces where you have a 360-degree view of the place.

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    TAPPIYA FALLS. Some huts and makeshift dressing rooms at the bottom of the falls where you can place your things and change if you’d like to go swimming.

    There are no luxury hotels in Batad and mobile phone service is intermittent, but there are several inns with friendly owners whom you can ask for more details regarding tour guides, porters and the like.

    Ramon’s Native Homestay +63 916 874 3787

    Rita’s Mount View Inn and Restaurant +63 910 842 3076

    Hillside Inn +63 919-379 9599

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    Photos and article by Ida Irigo.

               
               
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