The Banaue Rice Terraces: So so so worth the drive

Banaue Travel Blog

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rice paddies

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.

w/ Wakako San and Eric
I drove for the first 5 hours and then we switched. I think you can say we drove kinda fast coz we arrived only after 8 hours. With a breakfast break too.

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).
And when I say hike.. I mean a serious hike. Eric is in the military, he's in total shape. Me on the other hand, a corporate slave is in no physical shape to do this hike. Still I went down, wearing my Ipanema flipflops (credit to the flipflops! it survived the hike) and with 2 bottles of water in my bag. When we finally reached the viewing deck, there it was. An awesome view of the rice terraces. As I sigh and anticipate the deadly hike back up and the bumpy road home, I realize, I would take it anytime because of the magnificence that was before me. It was soooo worth it.

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 :)

tashgorgeous says:
Thanks Jonatz. Let me know if you need any advice. Glad I can help :D happy trip
Posted on: Nov 22, 2010
jonatz says:
helpful blog! will be on my solo trip here this week. =)
Posted on: Nov 21, 2010
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rice paddies
rice paddies
w/ Wakako San and Eric
w/ Wakako San and Eric
View from our hotel
View from our hotel
Las vegas diner
Las vegas diner
Banaue purple rice
Banaue purple rice
Banaue Hostels review
You get what you pay
My friends were being flash packers for this trip and so we brought our own 4x4 to the trip, but we got lost somewhere along the way. We called up… read entire review
25 km (16 miles) traveled
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Banaue
photo by: Jeroenadmiraal