The Banaue Rice Terraces: So so so worth the drive
Banaue Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
The Banaue Rice Terraces is one of the five Unesco World Heritage sites in the Philippines. And I am so proud of finally making it there.
With the work I do, I meet a lot of tourists traveling to the Philippines. Being bitten by the travel bug as well, we share travel stories and I will often frown whenever they ask me whether I have been to the Rice Terraces. It's a ten-hour drive and there are some winding roads (and they do wind big time!) and there's no other alternative means of transport. Sheesh!
I finally got the chance when my (then) boyfriend, Eric, who's from the New York decided he'd take me there. Driving. I brought along my Japanese (Wakako) friend and her boyfriend (Charles) but neither drives. So it was a challenge. 10 hour drive. 2 drivers.
We left Manila at 2AM armed only with a 4x4, coffee and a map of Luzon.
We rested for a bit after checking in then took an jeepney to Batad, the best viewing point of the Rice Terraces. It was a tough, rough road that we needed to leave the car in the hotel and hire a local jeepney (otherwise we'd mess the car up). The road was unpaved and really beaten. You'd get tired just from holding on to the vehicle. And it was kind of a thriller too, some lanes were single and was immediately ending with the edge of the cliff - no barricades.
We finally reached the top of the Batad lookout - dusty and dead tired - but wait, the viewing deck was still a 45-minute hike down (or so they say).
The rice terraces was created by the ancient people of the Mountain Province in order for them to be able to farm rice even though their mountainous land will not permit. Their creativity has engineered this masterpiece. Kudos to you Mountain Province people, you make me proud that I am Filipino :)