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Stairway to the Heaven – Batad Rice Terraces, Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines

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Spectacular! That was the best word to describe our Batad Rice Terraces experience.

Batad Rice Terraces is dubbed to be the “Amphitheatre Rice Terraces”, it is over 2,000 years ago when our Ifugao ancestors carved the mountain into a stairway-like rice fields. The iconic Batad Rice Terraces is situated at Banaue, Ifugao. It is 1,500 meters (4800 feet) above sea level, and cover about 400 square miles of mountainside. It has semi-circular terraces with a village in the middle.

My family and I left Baguio City at 10:00 PM. The trip was long yet smooth. We were all hungry when we arrived in Banaue at 6:00 AM. We had our breakfast at People’s Lodge and Restaurant and waited for our ride to fetch us and go to Batad saddle point. When the jeepney arrived, we met our tour guide, Ate Irene. Ate Irene will be our companion for 2 days and happened to be the sister of my former instructor at my university.

The trip going to the saddle is about 40-50 minutes. From the saddle point you need to walk for more than an hour to go to Batad. The trail was easy at first since it’s a concrete way and was under construction but at the latter part, it becomes hard and tiring. Moreover, we were all struggling with our backpacks that made us weak and weary.  But amazing landscape along the way helped us ease our exhaustion.

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After a long walk we finally reached our destination. The first thing to do is to register at the the Batad Tourist Information Center. And just beside the registration area is a viewpoint of the Batad Rice Terraces where you can take photos.

Ate Irene led us to where we will stay for the night. We stayed at Batad View Inn and Restaurant. The place where we stayed can show us how the people in Batad live in a simple yet happy life. We had a rest for a while before trekking the Rice Terraces at that very same day.

After gaining back our strength, we started our hike. The weather was perfect for walk over the trails.  We were all geared with camera to capture every perfect spot in the Rice Terraces.

The first part for trekking is a cemented way but it is steep and congested, afterwards you will reach a higher altitude.

The next path was the terraces itself; we were able to see this giant work of art up close and personal.

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Extra care while trekking is needed. It is narrow and dangerous, – one wrong step and you will fall.

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As we go on, we saw the people in Batad planting and harvesting their crops. Needless to say, the rice they sow and reaped helps the locals for their everyday living.

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We were all tired and thirsty but the hiking must go on. Heading farther, we were able to see a shed with a man selling some cold drinks. We didn’t miss the chance to buy some. It was quite expensive yet reasonable.

There will be a greater view as you reach a higher altitude. Ate Irene said that we are approximately 1,300 meter above sea level.

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Honestly, the trek in Batad was the hardest and the most challenging I ever had; one must be physically fit and ready to do this. But of course as the saying goes “Nothing worth having comes easy.

We were able to seize every moment with the beautiful landscape of the rice terraces.  We captured every view and amazed by everything we saw. It was an incredible masterpiece.

 On our way down was less challenging because it was different.  It’s a concrete stairs which helped us walk down easier.

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Batad Rice Terraces adventure would not be complete without visiting its falls- Tappiyah Falls, it is a wonder secluded at the back of the Batad Rice Terraces.

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It was the best falls I have seen ever, it will literally take your breath away. The water is so cold which will freshen you up after a very exhausting hike. Tappiyah Falls is huge and is said to be 32 feet high, the water is very clear and the current is strong. There are rocks underneath the waterfalls where you can sit to relax or make stone balancing as high as your height. We stayed there for minutes and didn’t miss the chance to wade in the water before we go back. The falls is really the perfect reward after the tiring hike you experienced.

Do you want to know how difficult the trek back was? We walked through village at the middle of the amphitheatre terraces. After passing through the village, the path was the most difficult part. No joke, you will climb an unending staircase with steps that is a feet or two.

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After our trek, we returned at our homestay, bone-weary. But of course nothing beats our experience of trekking through the “stairway to the heaven”.

Things To Consider:

  1. The last place for phone reception is at the Saddle Point.
  2. Always greet people you meet along the way not only in Batad Rice Terraces but also in places you visit as a show of respect and courtesy.
  3. Be ready physically, all the places in Batad are reached by foot.
  4. Meals and drinks are quite expensive. Moreover, always order in advance so that you will not wait long for your food.
  5. Try to experience the life of the natives in Batad, learn how to pound rice, stay in Ifugao native huts, and try their signature dishes.

Other Travel Details:

Homestay:

Facebook:

  • Batad View Inn and Restaurant

Tour Guide:

Irene Binalet

  • E-mail add: bireneann@yahoo.com
  • Contact # 09169848380

 


When we visit a place, let us all adhere to the motto:
“Take nothing but pictures. Kill nothing but time. Leave nothing but footprints.”
If you have questions, ask me and feel free to leave comment in the comment box.
Thank you for reading, please check my other blog entries too!

About the author

Aspiring to travel as much as she aspires to pursue her dreams, Hannah is fascinated with planned adventures and shares tidbits of her travel experiences and photographs on this website. Outside of travel, she mastered finishing an entire season of a TV series in one go or replenishes her soul by indulging herself in reading well-written novels and substantial non-fiction books.

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