Banaue, a must-visit place in Philippines. The time I found this place on internet, I knew that this place shall not be missed during my trip in Philippines. Located in the province of Ifugao around 8 hours drive from Manila, a small city with those surreal rice terraces carved on the mountain appeals to whoever visits this place.
First thing we did upon our arrival in Banaue was looking for a place to eat. Taking a night bus especially with narrow seat somehow drained my energy. We went to tourist information center, right in front where the bus stopped and paid PHP 20 each person for the conservation fee. A short walk to the main area and we found a restaurant with a very nice view of the town. There were some guides offering their services but we denied them all. Our first plan was just walking to Banaue view point which is about an hour walk from the city and we thought we could do it by ourselves. Then a guide came by and offered us a trip to Hapao Rice terrace. We looked at the picture and it's pretty nice, so why not. The guide agreed PHP 700 for round trip to Hapao and Banaue View Point by tricycle.
For about an hour, we suffered from the road condition which was mostly still unpaved yet. Apparently the road was under construction, even some parts of the road was muddy. Hapao Rice Terrace is under different village called Hungduan. It's about an hour ride by tricycle. Visitors have to pay again for PHP 10 each person. Some viewpoints of the rice terraces are good enough to capture the beauty. For me Hapao Rice Terrace is not as impressive as the picture. Banaue and Batad Rice Terraces are more captivating. There's a hotspring near Hapao Rice Terraces but we skipped that.
|Hapao Rice Terrace|
Next, our driver took us to Banaue View Point. The rice terraces were there for about 2000 years, showing the high skill of ancient Ifugaos building the rice terrace on the mountain. No wonder it's listed by UNESCO as one of the world heritage site. There are still some elders of Ifugaos wearing traditional clothes in the view point. You may take their pictures and give some donations to them.
Getting to Banaue
and Florida Bus have daily schedule direct to Banaue. Ohayami Bus departs at 10 p.m. and 10.15 p.m. (PHP 450). If you wish to get day bus, you can take day bus to Baguio and from Baguio to Banaue. Both terminals are located in corner of Fajardo and Lacson Street, Sampaloc.
Where to Stay in Banaue
-Randy's Brookside Inn (PHP 400/room) : +63 917-577-2010, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(PHP 500/room): +63 92 02787 328, email: email@example.com
Tips: There is a culture show held every night around 7 p.m. in the public market. You shouldn't miss it!
Traveled in 7-10 February 2014
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