Mar 25

Rice Terraces (Destination: Banaue, Philippines)

Traveled Nov, 2011

My flight from Palau got into Manila very early in the morning, so I had 5 hours to kill before my bus to the rice terraces.  I hung out in the arrivals section of the airport.  I killed the time by reading a book and felt safe because a security guard was there and I told him what I planned to do.  There was a direct night bus to Banaue but I didn’t want to wait a whole day for it, so I took a combination of Victory Liner bus at 5am followed by jeepneys.  At one point the bus stopped and nearly everyone got off.  I had to see what the commotion was and I discovered everyone was buying boxes from a stand so of course I did too.  I ended up with this buko pie (coconut meat) that made a couple good breakfast and treats.

The bus got to Bagabag at 2:30 pm where I had to catch 2 different jeepneys to get to Banaue just before dark.

The next day, I set out in a tricycle (motorbike with a side car) to head up to the Hapao rice terraces. I wanted to do the famous amphitheater of rice terraces, but it was very hot and I didn’t have the energy for that hike.  The road to Hapao was a mud pit and it was challenging to get there.  At the entrance to the trails, there had been a mud slide but when some workers saw me, they cut out a walk way across the mud slide so I could walk into the valley.

Upon driving back to town, I had lunch at the Banaue rice terraces and shopped at the view point.

Back in the town of Banaue was a children’s parade.

That night, I met a couple French guys and we made plans to meet up in the next town (Sagada).  I was going by jeepney and they by motor bike.

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