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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Conquer Batad

Philippine cultural books never fail to mention the famous rice terraces of Cordillera. In various travel blog sites, Batad is often praised for its majestic view of “green staircases”, built along the mountain range by the indigenous people thousands of years ago. Unknown to many, this man-made attraction is one of the few UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Philippines.  

I have chosen Batad as my local itinerary for the weekend to break away from my usual beach vacation. Photos of Batad rice terraces prior to my visit led me to believe that one could easily go downstairs and upstairs of the rice terraces. However, when I set foot in Batad, the stairs were approximately 10 feet high and the wall foundations were made of big stones! The pictures might deceive you; it is not an easy trek on the rice field.













Travel time: Manila è (9 hours) Banaue Town Proper (40 minutes) è Batad Village

A bus from Manila will leave for Banaue at 10pm (http://ohayamitrans.com/). You will arrive at the Banaue town proper at around 7 the next morning. From Banaue town proper, it will take you another 20 minutes of van/jeepney ride plus 20 minutes of hiking to get into the Batad Village. There are lots of guest houses on the upper area overlooking the stunning Batad rice terraces.

The trek to Tappiya Falls is the most exciting activity you can do during your stay in Batad. It will require you to be attentive on the way to the falls; the most difficult part is your way back to the guest house due to the challenging ascents. This half-day trek is a rigorous activity but it is definitely worth it.




video

Much energy is needed for this long haul land travel. Below are the travel tips when visiting Batad:
  • Wear rubber shoes during hiking (not advisable to wear slippers). The steps are steep and sometimes slippery.
  • Bring also trail food and supply of drinks. The cost in the sari-sari stores are 2x-3x the actual price.
  • It is advisable to have a tour guide on the way to Tappiya falls and to hike in a group. Do not proceed with the trek during rainy season. The water level will rise and there are landslides (stone falls)
  • For beginners, it is advisable to have a pre-climb work-out/warm up prior to the Batad adventure.
  • Although rated as 3/9 in difficulty level (which means “ok” for beginners), there is an adrenaline rush during your trek to Tappiya falls. Endurance is a must!
  • There is no mobile phone signal in Batad.
  • Do not take pictures of the locals without their consent.
  • Take a tour at the Banaue town proper prior to your departure.
s            note: some of the photos courtesy of rein alfonso 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Highly descriptive blog, I loved that a lot. Will there be a part 2?



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