17.5.17

Banaue + Sagada Travel Guide: Batad Rice Terraces, Tappiyah Falls, Accommodation & Budget

Taking a break from my Singapore posts to finally share with you our Banaue/Sagada trip a few months back. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision (our original plan was to go to Ilocos) which proved to be worthwhile. Instead of going straight to Sagada, we decided to do start our trip at Banaue first. It was also my first time there so I didn't know what to expect. We only stayed there for 1 night and 1 day, but we were able to do so much! Here are stories and photos from our trip including our budget. Read on...



Transportation:

I only know 2 bus companies which offers Manila to Banaue routes-- Ohayami & Dangwa Tranco (operated by Florida Bus). For this trip we opted for Dangwa because they were the first one to answer when I called to inquire regarding schedules & reservations. I was told that it's best to buy tickets beforehand because they can't guarantee that there would still be seats available if you buy upon departure (ala Victory Liner) and they only offer a few trips per day. It was also what I read from my online research. So we tried buying the night before our trip but failed. When we got there the counter had already closed even though it was still early. Huhu. We were told to come back again the next day. So Nico and I woke up early to secure our seats. When we got there there were still a lot of seats available for the night trips. So we bought 4 tickets for the 10:45pm trip, P550 each one way. :) Success!


Book tickets here:

OHAYAMI (via Lagawe)
Cor. fajardo St., Lacson Ave. Sampaloc, Manila
#09276493055/ 02-5160501
Fare: P490 (+P20 for online bookings)


DANGWA TRANCO (via Solano, Nueva Vizcaya)
Sampaloc, Manila: (02) 743-38-09
Fare: P550 

Or book here!



with my favorite travel buddy hehe

Saw this Florida sleeper bus! So cool!

Our bus! Yey!

Time to board! Bet ko yung may printout ng rice terraces. Lavet!

Wish there was more leg room. It's a little cramped if you're tall like my cousin and Nico. Hihi. 

Stopover!

Bought snacks from this store inside

And bought hotdog for midnight snack! 


After 9 hours of tossing and turning, we finally arrived in BANAUE!!! We all got off at the Florida / Dangwa Transport booking office and then from there we rode a public jeepney going to the town or market where most of the transient houses, inns and lodges are located. 


The Florida booking office is just beside the Hall of Justice

Beautiful morning

Public jeepney fare is P50 one way. 

After 10-15 minutes, we were finally in town!

Narrow streets

After inquiring at different lodge houses, we all agreed to stay at STAIRWAY Lodge and Restaurant.

They had us at WiFi. Haha! Connection was not that strong though. And you could only connect if you're on the 1st floor. Still good enough for me. 

No sleep, haggarda versoza look

Dining and reception area

View from the dining room's balcony!

Good morning, Banaue!

Our friend Ivan making the most out of the view hehe

Banaue Tour Map for your reference!

We paid for our room right away!  P350 per person per night

Our room is located on the 3rd floor. It's a little tiring coz the stairs are so steep.

We were assigned to Room 15!

The room has 4 beds and a private restroom. We each had a towel and there was hot shower! 

View from our window

More rooms on the 2nd floor. This is also the common area :)

There's a common restroom too

After checking in and changing, we headed out and searched for someplace where we can eat breakfast before our long hike through the terraces and to Tappiya falls. Before checking in, we met a local who offered to take us to and from Batad via a private van for P500 each. At first, we wanted to DIY and commute instead of hiring a guide, but we were told that the public jeepney leaves at 8:30am and leave Batad at 2pm-3pm. We didn't have enough time since we're leaving for Sagada the next day, so we opted for the tour. I think in a way it worked to our advantage because we were able to discover the place in our own time and pace since we had our own service.

A few steps away from our accommodation is PEOPLE'S Lodge & Restaurant! We decided to eat there.

Love the photos


It's the busiest restaurant in the area and a favorite hangout for tourists and locals!

Hello boys! Breakfast with a view!


You can see a mini rice terraces from here! Hihi

I wanted to go to the bridge but had no chance 


Our breakfast! I ordered Hotsilog for P100. Coffee is free!

Met up with our guide and service after eating! This was our van to Batad. 

Had to change into hiking clothes! 

Quick stopover on the way. So pretty.

Our driver, guide, Ivan and our Japanese tourmate!

After almost an hour, we stopped at this "junction" or "saddle" and it was the start of our long walk to Batad and then to the falls. Mejo killer hike if no exercise or training like me!

Most tourists get off here and then walk for more or less an hour going to Batad

The start of our long walk!


Batad is a far-flung village in the Cordillera Administrative Region, a village of fewer than 1500 people, situated among the Ifugao rice terraces. It is perhaps the best place to view this UNESCO World Heritage site. Since no road leads to Batad, there are no motorized vehicles to be found anywhere in the village. This means, of course, that one must get around on foot. It also means that one can enjoy a delightful respite from the ubiquitous din of tricycles and jeepneys. 



It was a hot and tiring walk, but this stunning view kept me entertained

Mejo masukal na gubat. Bring water!

Taking a quick break and enjoying the view!

After an hour of walking through the forest, we've arrived in Batad!

If you're planning to stay here for a few days, you could rent a room at one of the pension houses or inns.

We had to register and pay P50 for the heritage fee

Haggard but happy! Ganda ng rice terraces!

Worth it :)

Enjoying the view before our long trek going to Tappiya Waterfalls

Our guide preparing his chewable tobacco

Such a cutie

And then it was time for trekking!


Hi Lola!

And Lolo! You could stop for a chat and you could also give them something as a gift. :)

After a few minutes of walking, we finally reached the rice terraces! It was just the start of our long journey.


So by this time I was already panting. Haha! I pride myself on being a mountaineer, but this was something I didn't expect. Well, I expected the trek to be tiring but bearable--it was not. Haha! There were times I felt like dying especially on our way back when we had to climb super steep (as in almost vertical) steps and rough terrains. I felt like I was gonna puke my heart out. My cousin Chollo saw my desperation and offered to carry me on his back which was very very tempting but I am not a pabebe girl so I had to decline. Haha. Anyway the lesson here is, one must be physically & mentally fit to conquer this place. Train a little if you can. Or don't listen to me and just go for it. Haha.  

Navigating our way through the rice paddies! 

We had to walk on the walls of the rice terraces which are wide enough for just 1 person

Balance balance si Ivan hehe

The rice terraces of the Cordilleras are one of the few monuments in the Philippines that show no evidence of having been influenced by colonial cultures. Owing to the difficult terrain, the Cordillera tribes are among the few peoples of the Philippines who have successfully resisted any foreign domination and have preserved their authentic tribal culture. The history of the terraces is intertwined with that of its people, their culture, and their traditional practices. (source: Wikipedia)


It was kinda surreal to be walking along these amazing irrigated rice paddies carved into the mountains over two thousand years ago. 



We couldn't help but stop and stare at this beauty every once in a while. Picture daw muna sila.

There are villages which you can go to and visit.

What is BATAD RICE TERRACES? This magnificent place is a part of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras named as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in 1995. Batad is under the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Banaue but is not referred to as the Banaue Rice Terraces. They're totally different, okay? Batad's amphitheater-like terraces are stone walled unlike the earthen walled terraces in other areas.  

We stopped at this sari-sari store in the middle of the rice field to buy water and use the restroom. 

Snacks and drinks for sale! 

After 10 minutes, we were on our way again.

We stopped at another store before our big descent. 

Took another break along the way, we think it's Kuya Guide's home! I think baby niya to. Hehe.


We were instructed by Kuya not to stop at a certain area because it was prone to landslide or rocks might fall. Yes, sir!

That area! Can you see that thin line on the left side? That's our trail. Haha.

I kept on asking, "Are we there yet?" It was so tiring. But finally after 1.5 hours of walking....

...TAPPIYA FALLS!!! Such a beauty. :)

There's a store on the way down to the falls. We rested here for a bit before going down.

Time to go down!

The steps leading to the river was so steep my legs were shaking so much.

Our kind of date:)

You have to climb over huge boulders to reach the falls

And walk in ice cold water

Thank God I was wearing my MERRELL shoes! Worked wonders. It dries easily too.

Kapoy besh

This 30-meter beauty was worth it

Nico and Chollo went in for a dip! 


The water was freezing so I made no attempt to swim hehe



Go guys! Haha

We stayed there for more than an hour to enjoy the view and revel in the beauty of the whole place. We took more photos and the boys spent some time swimming in the cold and fresh water. After we've recharged and regained our energies, we decided it was time to leave. The hike back into town, for me, was harder. It took all of my strength and willpower not to faint and give up. Haha. I had to stop a few times just to catch my breath. I decided to buy a walking stick for P20 just to make the walk easier. After more than an hour of walking, we were finally back! Whewww. We haven't eaten lunch yet, so we first grabbed a bite before our hike back to the main road. Andaming walk guyssss.

Lunch at Rita's!



Food and other commodities in Batad (and Banaue) is quite pricey. Well one should understand because everything, from bottled water to sacks of cement, enters the valley on the backs of residents walking its many footpaths. :)





You can leave a photo as remembrance!

While waiting for the food, I played muna with the owner's adorable kids :)

So cuteeee

Chollo and Ivan ordered the P200 pizza


Nico and I ordered plain rice (P45 each) & fried luncheon meat / maling for P150

After eating, we had to walk for another 40 minutes to the jump-off point where our service was waiting. So much effort also the hike going there. We were so tired our feet went into auto-pilot mode. Haha. It also started to rain. 



Here are a few reminders if you plan to do this physically challenging activity:


1. Bring cash - there are no ATMs in Batad
2. Bring enough water and snacks because the trek could be very tiring
3. Wear lightweight hiking clothes - I wore a tanktop, shorts and all-terrain shoes. Perfect sha because it could get very hot!
4. Bring a jacket (depending on the season, it might get chilly). I also brought a light / fast drying jacket that has a hood which helped me when it started to rain. 
5. Hire a guide - the trail could be confusing at times and also for safety. You also get to support the locals in some way!
6. Buy a walking stick - it will help you! ("kung walaaaa ka ng maintindihaaan, kung wala ka ng makapitaaaaan..."
7. Rest if you need to - don't push yourselves too much or you might faint! Hihi. 
8. Put your belongings in a zip lock - just to be safe! 
9. Be respectful 
10. Have fun!


We were back in Stairway Lodge by 4pm. We went up to our room, freshened up, exchanged musings, edited photos and fell asleep. It was already 8:30pm when we all woke up. We had to hurry and left our room in an instant because we were told that the restaurants and stores closes at 9. We decided to eat dinner at this restaurant located on the 2nd floor of a building near our place. The food was okay but not great (I stopped eating when I tasted something weird sa food ko huhu), but it was a nice place to chill in and drink beer. I was just halfway done with my first bottle when Nico came back (he had to get something from our room) and told us that we had to hurry because Stairway will be closing soon. We forgot that they have a curfew. Haha. There is no nightlife here. Sorry folks. But it was peaceful and quiet and it didn't take long for us to fall asleep again. 



There are public jeepneys at the Batad market that will take you to Bontoc for P150, and then from Bontoc you could ride another jeepney going to Sagada. We woke up early because the jeepney leaves at 8am and we didn't want to miss it. You may also rent a jeepney but it could be quite expensive. If you're traveling in a group I would recommend it. We were traveling on a budget so we chose the Banau-Bontoc-Sagada option. The public jeepney did not leave immediately since they had to wait for more passengers. We had to wait for more than an hour before it finally left. To kill time, we ate breakfast first! 


 People's Restaurant again! We bought hot pandesal from a bakery across a street and I just ordered an omelette. Hehe.

 After more than an hour of waiting, we are finally en route! Kami lang din naman passengers haha. 

 Passing through zigzag pavements and cliffs, the road to Bontoc offered an amazing view of the mountains and beautiful flowing streams. 

Kuya Driver was nice enough to lower our fare from P150 to just P100 each! If you're feeling extra adventurous, you could ride at the top of the jeepney which the boys did. Such a thrill! I skipped on it because I was so sleepy and I slept during the whole ride. Hehe. After an hour, we were finally in Bontoc! Kuya dropped us off at the end of the Bontoc-Samoki "Chico" Bridge. The bridge is still being monitored and heavy vehicles still couldn't pass through, due to the structural damage Typhoon Lawin caused last 2016.   

 We had to walk to get to the other side 

 Chico River

 Look at that house!!! The land holding it up collapsed during the typhoon.  


 Security measures

 grabe it just toppled over!


So anyway, from the bridge we had to walk some more until we reached the Walter Clapp Centrum building. It is where the jeepneys going to Sagada are stationed. We rode on the Tamaraw like jeepney and paid P50 for the ride. Passengers were not allowed to topload because it is now prohibited in Bontoc and drivers could get fined by the police. 



After about an hour, we finally arrived in Sagada!

Hello, Sagada!



So this ends Part 1 of my post! I decided to divide it into 2 entries dues to the huge volume of photos. On my next post, I will share with you our 3-day Sagada adventure with lots of tips on where to go, where to stay and where to eat! Thanks for reading! :)



My expenses/Budget in Php:
Bus fare from MNL to Banaue - P550
Stopover snacks - P100
Jeep from Banaue to town - P50
Accommodation at Stairway - P350
Breakfast (hotsilog) - P90
Tour (with guide) to Batad - P500
Walking stick - P20
Lunch at Batad - P150
Batad heritage fee - P50
Dinner - P150
Breakfast - P80
Random water buys - P50
Jeep to Bontoc - P100
Jeep from Bontoc to Sagada - P50
_____________________________________
TOTAL = P2,290
 (it could be quite pricey for 1-day trip but the experience makes it all worth it!)




Link to all my travel posts:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting my humble blog! I read all your comments (even though I don't reply often). So keep them coming! Love to everyone:)