The Batad rice terraces were my first experience of Filipino life outside of Manila. And what an incredible first impression of the Philippines!
Getting to Batad
The easiest way to get to Batad from Manila is on the night bus to Banaue. This should set you back 450PHP one way if you buy the ticket directly from the bus company, Ohayami. I’m terrible at sleeping on night buses so I was awake for the majority of the journey. This wasn’t helped by the drivers insistence on playing a Phil Collins concert DVD, at a loud volume, until the first stop after midnight and the freezing temperature of the bus. All I can say is take warm clothes & ear plugs!
The bus should arrive in Banaue between 6-7am depending on the bus you catch. From there, you can get a tricycle to where the road ends before Batad. There were two of us and we paid 300PHP based on what other travellers had told us. Leaving Batad, we managed to get a jeepney which was much cheaper. After the road ends there’s a 15-20 minute walk down a muddy path to Batad.
The Rice Terraces
Once in Batad, we checked into Simon’s guesthouse. The accommodation is basic but comfortable. We paid 500PHP for one night’s accommodation. Simon’s also doubles as a restaurant and has a decent menu. Simon’s also has great views of the rice terraces:
Getting a guide to take you around the rice terraces is easy and should cost around 800PHP. I’m not sure whether it’s possible to do the walk without a guide, however, I would recommend a guide because walking around the rice terraces can be slippery and are very narrow in some parts. The first stop is a lookout point across all of the Batad rice terraces, which will give you spectacular views:
The second stop is a waterfall which you can swim in if you like (it’s freezing). Overall the tour took around 3 1/2 hours, including a stop for lunch.
It’s possible to visit the Batad rice terraces without staying overnight in Batad or Banaue as the night bus leaves Banaue around 6pm. The Batad rice terraces are an amazing site and I would honestly recommend them to anyone visiting the Philippines.