After I was in the city of Manila I went to Banaue. I was really glad to get out of the city where I only seemed to see poor people, people living on the street and begging for money. I was so sad about that. I also wanted to visit the Ancient Old Rice Terraces so I didn’t mind going along right away.
When I came to Banaue it was a really refreshing. In terms of the temperature but also the people. Very nice people, hard working people. The people of Banaue also had it well prepared for all the tourists that came to their village. The village is covered with guesthouses, it is a busy village full of activity involving tourists.
Up in the Hills it’s Fresh – Banaue Rice Terraces
Within an hour after my arrival I had booked a room for the night, for 300 pesos at People’s Guesthouse. They really have the best view while getting your breakfast 🙂
View at People’s Guesthouse, Banaue
And I booked a trip for the same day to Batad, to walk between the rice terraces and swim at a waterfall. I must say that I was positively surprised by that. My travel in the Phillipines where not that easy till now, no easy bookings of trips. And if I got one than I would be alone on the trip, no fellow travelers to talk with.
Trip up to the Riceterraces
The drive up the mountain alone was an adventure. The bus wasn’t that good and the road either. The people are building and working hard to make it better. But therefor there are many stops and oneway parts to pass by on the way up there. I think within a year or two the roads will be ready and the way up there will be more easy. I did liked it liked this also, has an adventurous feeling 🙂 Especially the second day sitting in a tricycle on those roads 🙂
Banaue and its Ancient Rice Terraces
Walking down the Rice Terraces
When we were up there you could rent a walkingstick, the Frenchmen in our company did so. He is an 63 year old man. We saw doctors who started the same walk as we did, they had some goods and medicines with them for the villages in the area. Our guide took to rucksacks to carry with them to help. I offered my help but it was already divided.
402 steps to go down – Banaue Rice Terraces
At first we went down a staircase of 402 steps. Those steps were not the same hight and therefor an intensive walk. While watching my steps I stopped everey once in a while to enjoy the scenery. It was a clouded day, it rained already a couple of times but the views were astonishing.
After the stairs we walked on and now we were walking on a junglepath, again you need to watch your steps because of the roots of the trees and plants. It’s great to walk in the jungle and getting a great view after passing a curve or suddenly standing before a cliff and getting the best view panorama over a couple of rice terraces with mountains on the background!!
The life in Batad
The village we entered was Batad. It was also the birthvillage of our guide, TJ he was called. Don’t know if this is the way to write it 🙂 He told about the way of living here. He told that when work needs to be done people help eachother. The would be owing the people that helped them a day work at their rice terrace. When you see people working on the rice terraces you almost always see a couple of them working on a rice terrace. The next day they will be working on another families rice terrace. So they divide the work and everything will be done in time. There is not really a season for planting of sowing. The guide told that it went all year around so you will always see green rice terraces and empty rice terraces.
Lunch at Batad
In the village of Batad we had lunch while enjoying the great scenery of the rice terraces. Again there was a little rain but once we were done the rain had stopped and we went to hike along these great rice terraces.
Walking the paths the locals do too
Walking along these rice terraces you see that the mud out of the rice terraces is put on the sides of them. This will get hard by drying in the sun. We walked along these paths which are used by the locals too. You also can see how they go from one rice terrace to another terrace. The walls of the rice terraces are big stones, some of those stones will stick out and form a stairs up or down which way you like. It is very easy to walk them. Sometimes you don’t even see them sticking out the walls untill the guide suddenly rises up along the wall of a rice terrace 🙂
Most of the paths along the rice terraces are old and like they were from the beginning. But you see also some paths that are newly made and those are wider and more even so it is easier to walk on. On those paths you have the time to walk and watch the scenery 🙂
Swimming at the Waterfall, Batad Rice Terrace
We walked up and went down on the other side of the mountain where we could hear the water falling down. We went to the waterfall. Before we got there we were allready wet because it started to rain again. But that didn’t stop our whole group to go in to the water and swim at the waterfall. Great! The oldest one of us, the Frenchman was the first to enter. We were still standing at the viewingpoint when all of a sudden we saw him struggling on the slippery stones to get in the water. We went down and got in too. It was really cold in the beginning but afterworth it was really refreshing after the hike we did.
We went back to the rice terraces again and some of the group stayed there for the night and the rest of us walked back up. That last part was getting very heavy for the Frenchman and a Argentinian girl but we made it and got back to Banaue to get a well deserved diner!
The Village of Hapao
The next day I met with the guide and the Canadian girl again. The plan was to go to Hapao, do another hike along the ancient old rice terraces. I really enjoyed that one. The views were wider and the walk along the rice terrace was longer. It gave me a better feeling about the surroundings too because of the drive there. Also the weather was better that day and just the two of us so we could stop for photomoments easier 🙂
Hapao Rice Terraces
Showing how to use the ancient stairs 🙂