Discover Banaue Rice Terraces - Manila
Banaue is a sleepy town in the province of Ifugao, known all over the world to be the home of the world-famous Rice Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage site. These rice terraces have been carved right into the mountains of this hiking paradise like stairways ascending to heaven and is truly a sight to behold, even for the casual traveler.
It's said that the terraces were built two thousand years ago. They begin at the base of the mountain range where the province is located, extending several thousand feet upward with a combined length that would encircle half the planet if placed end-to-end. It is an engineering marvel and a testament to the industrious spirit of the Ifugaos, the name used to refer to the indigenous people of the province. Other than the terraces, you can head over to Tappiyah Falls in nearby Barangay Batad, a majestic waterfall straight out of a fairy-tale book that empties itself out onto a pool below banked by rocks. Swimming in the pool is allowed, though the low temperature up in the mountains typically discourages doing this for too long.
Most attractions are typically an hour's walk from the town proper. Because the roads are steep and most places are inaccessible by motorized vehicles, it's best to equip yourself with comfortable clothing and shoes in order to have the best experience. Trip Guru suggests those who seek a respite from the great outdoors can opt to head into either or both of the two museums in Banaue, the Banaue Museum and the Cordillera Sculpture Museum. The food is excellent here; the coffee moreso. There's also some shopping to be had, for those inclined towards bringing home a small trinket or some native-inspired furnishings for the home.
Banaue is 333 kilometers from the city of Manila. There are air-conditioned buses that can take you direct to the town, and travel time should be about eight to nine hours.