On Monday, we went on an awesome 3-day trip here in the Philippines.
Some family came to visit the Philippines from the States. They wanted to go to some parts in northern Luzon, so Jason and I tagged along since we hadn't been before. We rented a car and made a trip to Banaue & Sagada.
This is part one of our adventure:
Banaue is a town located in the province of Ifugao in northern Luzon. It is known for its rice terraces. These rice terraces are about 2,000 years old. They were carved into the Ifugao mountains by the ancestors of the indigenous people. These terraces are located about 5,000 feet above sea level and cover approximately 4,000 square miles of mountainside.
We wanted to go to a nice viewpoint of the Batad Village and Rice Terraces, which is the amphitheater-shaped rice terraces. We drove our car to Saddle (the point where the hike starts), but on the way, a local stopped us and said our tires were too low to continue on. He offered to drive us the rest of the way in his vehicle. After some discussion and bargaining with him, we decided it was a good idea since our car was just a rental and we didn't want to damage it. He took us up to Saddle where we started our trek to the viewpoint.
The hike took about 45 minutes to an hour one-way. The path was nice and pretty easy. Some parts were a little slippery from being too rocky, but nothing serious. You can rent walking sticks at Saddle, or do what I did and find one on your way.
The viewpoint was breath-taking! From the valley, to the rice terraces, to the mountains, to all the greenery- everything was perfect. We relaxed and enjoyed the view (& breeze!) for a while.
After enjoying the scene, we headed back. On the path, there are a few little stalls where people sell drinks, snacks, and souvenirs. You can also pay a few pesos to use their toilets.
|Taking a break.|
Jason and I decided to take the "shortcut" which was a path of 412 steps. Jason did it with no problem, but I was going slowly (but surely!).
|View from the top of the steps.|
|Tired! But I made it!!|
When we got back to Saddle, we immediately bought some fresh coconut (buko). They were gigantic and so refreshing! Best thing ever to have after a hike.
After our hike and resting for a bit, our driver took us to our car and then we headed out. On our way, we stopped by the Banaue Main Viewpoint to get our last look at the rice terraces.
Banaue is a very pretty place and they keep the rice terraces very well-maintained. It was my first time seeing rice terraces and I have to say- it was really impressive. It's such a wonder how the people were able to carve all of them out on the mountainsides. It must have taken a lot of hard labor and time. It's good to see the locals taking care of the land, even after thousands of years.
After Banaue, we headed up to Sagada (about a 3-hour drive). Next time, I will talk about our adventure there!