Tag: rice terraces

Five Places I Loved In The Philippines

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After two months travelling around the Philippines, I thought I’d list my top 5 destinations:

1. Batad Rice Terraces

batad rice terraces philippines

The Batad Rice Terraces

It’s difficult to show how stunning the Batad Rice Terraces are on pictures alone. They are incredible. Built over 2000 years ago by the Ifugao people, it’s easy to see why they’re a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fact that Batad can only be accessed on foot makes viewing more worthwhile. Read more about getting there here.

2. Apo Island

turtle apo island philippines

There are too many turtles to count near Apo Island

Apo Island itself isn’t much to shout about but its surrounding reef is amazing. Boasting over 400 different types of coral and teeming with marine life, this is paradise for snorkellers and divers alike. Oh, did I mention there’s a turtle sanctuary?

3. Sagada

rice terraces sagada philippines

Views of the rice terraces near Sagada

Sagada is a beautiful village surrounded by mountains, caves and hiking trails. It also has an impressive number of restaurants with a large variety of foods. Sagada is very popular with Filipinos living in Manila, who drive there at weekends to enjoy some of the fresh mountain air. Read more about Sagada here.

4. Bohol

chocolate hills bohol philippines

Chocolate Hills, Bohol

Bohol is an island close to Cebu and is home to the Philippines famous chocolate hills. Bohol is also home to the world’s smallest primate, the tarsier, which can be seen in a sanctuary. Bohol is a popular stop for tourists and backpackers. Read more about it here.

5. El Nido

el nido palawan philippines

El Nido, Palawan

El Nido is situated at the northern tip of Palawan. There are numerous islands to explore along with many gorgeous beaches. The water is incredibly clear which makes it perfect for diving.

Do you agree with this list? Got anything to add? Feel free to comment below!

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Batad Rice Terraces

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The Batad rice terraces were my first experience of Filipino life outside of Manila. And what an incredible first impression of the Philippines!

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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:

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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:

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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.┬áThe Batad rice terraces are an amazing site and I would honestly recommend them to anyone visiting the Philippines.

 

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