Tag: sagada

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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Sagada – Caves, Food and Fresh Air

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Sagada is one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. I really loved it because it’s temperatures are cooler than the rest of the Philippines, making it the perfect temperature for a Brit like me.

Sagada is a village in the Mountain Province, north of Manila. It’s surrounded by mountains and caves, making it perfect for tourists looking for outdoor activities.

Activities in Sagada

When arriving in Sagada, all tourists must register and pay 35PHP at the tourism office. They’ll give you a receipt and a list of all the tours on offer, with prices. You need to hire a guide if you want to do any activities or walks.

I did the caving short course, which was 500PHP. This tour takes place in Sumaguing Cave and takes between an hour to an hour and a half. The walk to the cave takes just under an hour and there’s an option to get a shuttle for 300PHP. There’s really no need to get a shuttle because the walk to the cave isn’t difficult.

On the way to Sumaguing Cave, I saw hanging coffins and rice terraces. I also stopped by the entrance to Lumaging Cave where there are stacks of coffins.

 

Hanging Coffins Sagada

Hanging Coffins in Sagada

Sumaguing Cave has three stages. The first bit is the ‘slippy bit’. The type of rock combined with bat guano makes for a slippery walk into the cave.

The second stage is the rock formations. There’s loads of different rock formations and the guide told me the names of them. The most famous is the Kings Curtains. A bit of imagination was needed when my guide was showing me the rocks.

The third stage involves going through some water up to your chest. I ended up falling into a deep pool so got completely drenched. This bit was optional for those who don’t want to get wet. When I left the cave I was completely soaked and a few worried people asked whether they would get soaked.

Food in Sagada

I found Sagada to have some of the best food in the Philippines. Every restaurant I ate in had great food.

My favourite place was Gaia which is a vegan restaurant at the bottom of Sagada with amazing views of the rice terraces.

 

Rice Terraces Gaia Sagada

View from Gaia Cafe, Sagada

 

Other restaurants I visited include, Kimchi, Yoghurt House, Sagada Brew, Masferre and Bana’s Cafe. All restaurants had great menus.

Getting to Sagada

I was in Subic Bay before going to Sagada, so for me the best option was to get a bus to Baguio then another bus from Baguio to Sagada. I stayed a night in Baguio because of the bus times.

Returning from Sagada was much easier because there’s a direct Coda Lines bus from Sagada to Manila. The bus leaves Sagada at 3pm daily and goes via Banaue, arriving in Manila around 2am. I was lucky enough to have 2 seats to myself plus Coda Lines provide passengers with blankets. A one way ticket costs 720PHP.

Any questions? Anything to add? Let me know your thoughts…

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