Though not as dramatic as its neighboring rice terraces, Batad is well worth a visit as a side-trip from Banaue. Local villages dot the landscape, and the friendly villagers are accustomed to tourists hiking to the scenic Tappiyah waterfalls and stopping to buy traditional woven cloth and handmade knives.
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The village of Batad is perhaps the best place to view the region's rice terraces, although it requires a roughly 40-minute trek to access from the main road. Getting around on foot is recommended, as it affords the visitor a feel for how massive and expansive the surrounding terraces are.
Meet the people whose ancestors engineered the rice terraces and learn about the ways in which they continue to work the land as their forefathers did centuries ago. The older Ifugao still wear their traditional dress, which consists of a feathered headdress and woven red fabrics.
Have dinner at a casual local restaurant chosen by your guide, where you can dine family-style on Philippine specialties such as adobo (crispy chicken or pork slow-cooked with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, and black peppercorns); pansit (a Filipino version of Chinese stir-fried noodles); or lumpia (spring rolls). Make sure to pair your dinner with a couple of bottles of the de facto national brew, San Miguel.
Banaue is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famed for its amazing, emerald-green, mud-walled rice terraces — some 20,000 hectares of them created by hand labor over 2000 years ago by the Ifugao tribal people. Your guide will lead you to the best viewpoints to take in and photograph the spellbinding terraces and steep hillsides, before taking you to the more remote terrace sites of Hapao and Hungduan, which are also UNESCO sites.
While in Batad, hike into the hillsides surrounding the town to the picturesque Tappiyah Falls for a cooling swim at its base.
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With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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The Philippines’ spectacular Banaue rice terraces are over 2000 years old, and home to the Ifugao former headhunters. The perfect place for an exhilarating and exhausting adventure.
Photographer and writer Annapurna Mellor travels deep into the largest island in the Philippines to explore the mountains of Batad and the culture of the Ifugao on a Banaue adventure.
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