The Cordilleras

Visiting the famed Ifugao rice terraces has been on my to-do list even before I came to the Philippines. Largely due to some poor planning though, I didn’t get to visit them until recently. And while they did not fail to impress, my trip to the mountains of Luzon stands out in my mind because of my transportation adventures.

soaked and exhausted after hiking through the rice terraces

The jump off point for visiting the rice terraces is the town of Banaue, which despite being only 200+ miles from Manila, is over ten hours away by night bus due to the difficult mountain roads. I was somewhat surprised when stepping on to the bus in Manila to see the concentration of white faces staring back at me, something I hadn’t seen in quite awhile. It turns out that many travelers, particularly those with only a few days in the country, head straight from Manila right up to Banaue.

Getting to Batad

But I wasn’t planning on staying in Banaue for long. From what I read online and in my conversations with Filipinos, the consensus was that the best rice terraces were to be found in the nearby town of Batad. Nearby being a relative term because even though the towns are only 18 km apart, travel between them isn’t easy.

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