Batad Rice Terraces were the first destination I went to after i had visited Manila, the capital of the Philippines. It was one of the places where I really wanted to see before traveling to the Philippines. Batad is the most special one among Philippines rice fields, because they call it the eighth wonder of the world. These 2000-year-old fields in the UNESCO World Heritage List are made by human hands. But its appearance is like a wonder of nature. Along with the places to visit in Batad Village, you should also go to Banaue Rice Terraces, because it is very close to each other.
You can see rice fields in almost every country of the Asian continent, but Batad Rice Terraces have a truly legendary view. It impresses its visitors with its appearance like an amphitheater. The landscape becomes more beautiful and lush green in May. I went there in January, but the view still was awesome. If you are planning to go on a tour in the Philippines, Batad and Banaue Rice Terraces should definitely be on your route.
Things to Do in Batad and Banaue
Batad is a small village. The villagers, who live here, work in these 2000-year-old rice fields. Others do business for tourism. For example, some of them rent a room of their house for tourists.
Banaue is a very small town. It is a place where most tourists come to see the village of Batad because buses from Manila or other cities come to this town first.
Ifugao Tribe built Batad Rice Terraces, the eighth wonder of the world, with their own hands 2000 years ago. They built it very useful, so that it is still used by the villagers in rice cultivation. It was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995 because it really has an amazing view.
Transportation from Manila to Batad and Banaue
How to go to Batad and Banaue? I came to Banaue by bus from Manila. Buses depart from the Sampaloc district of Manila. If you google ‘Sampaloc Ohayami terminal’, you can see the exact departure point of Ohayami company on the map. I used the Grab Taxi app to go from Makati to the Sampaloc bus terminal. Maybe you can also use jeepney or other public transportation depending on your location.
The buses leave around 10 o’clock in the evening, and you arrive in Banaue in the morning. The journey takes 9-10 hours. Before you get on the bus, definitely take a jacket with you. Because they turn on the air conditioner on the bus, so it is really cold inside.
On weekends, many people travel to Batad. So if you go to the terminal last minute, you may not find a ticket. So that is better to book before. I had reserved my place by sending an SMS to the phone number written on the bus company’s site. They also replied to me ‘come at least a few hours before the bus time’. But now, I checked the company’s website, and you can book online. The ticket price is around 540 pesos.
Where to Stay in Batad and Banaue
There is not much to do in the town. You can just take a short walk and sit in any cafe or restaurant. Restaurants are cheap and fine.
In Batad, there are suitable guest houses where you can stay against the view of the Batad Rice Terraces. The feeling of waking up in the morning against this view seems indescribable. If I come here again, I will definitely stay in this village.
How to Go to Batad Rice Terraces
When the bus arrives in Banaue from Manila, they took everyone off the bus at the entrance of the town. The bus did not enter the city center. First, we paid a city tax here. Then, they took us to a restaurant in the center with their minibus for free. Here at the restaurant, a guy tried to sell me a tour of Batad Rice Terraces.
Actually, what I call a tour is a tricycle and a guide that will take me to Batad. He told me a very expensive price at the first. We agreed for 1500 Philippine Pesos if I do not remember wrong. After that, I checked in to my hotel and left my stuff there. Then we set off with the tricycle driver.
Tricycle brings you to a place. After that, you continue with the guide on foot. My guide was a 15-16-year-old child. When we arrived at the village, the place where the guide first took me was a restaurant with a beautiful view. They asked me what I would like to eat here for lunch, so that food would be ready when I am back from the tour.
We started the walk between rice fields. Although it has a unique view, the tour is very tiring. Due to its difficulty and tiring, the t-shirts of ‘I Survived Batad‘ are sold here. The next day my legs were already very aching. But it is really worth it.
After the tiring and sweaty walk between the Batad Rice Terraces, we arrived at the beautiful Tappiya Falls with its nice view and water. You can rest, swim, and take a lot of pictures here. Your guide will wait for you here while you are swimming or resting. When you are done at the waterfall, you will go back to the village by passing through the rice fields again. This time more climbing will be waiting for you.
After the waterfall, as I explained above, we came to the restaurant in the village for lunch. The homemade pizza I ordered was not bad. After eating against the excellent view, we walked to the place where the tricycle was waiting for me with my guide.
By the way, if you do the Philippines rice terraces tour as I did, you don’t have to give extra money to the guide. But if you are satisfied with the guide, it would be good if you tip some. Because they did not give any share to the young people who guide. I don’t know how true though.
Banaue Rice Terraces
On my first day here, I had a trip to the Batad Rice Terraces only. On my 2nd day (also my last day) I decided to see the View Points. I compromised with a different tricycle driver to go there the previous day, but the guy didn’t come to pick me up. So, I dealt with another tricycle driver, and then we hit the road.
There are 4-5 different View Points here. After taking lots of photos in each, we moved on to the other. It was very enjoyable. It is really nice to travel between greenery with the tricycle.
After arriving at the last point, the tricycle driver told me that he could show me the traditional Filipino houses for an extra fee. Because it was a little farther. I gave him an extra 150 pesos or so. After spending some time around the native houses, we went back to the town center again. Eventually, I saw everywhere I could see in 2 days here.
Journey back to Manila
I already bought my ticket for a round trip, but I still had to check it at the ticket office. Because unlike other bus trips in the Philippines, you have a seat number on your ticket. Finally, the return journey to Manila started by jumping on a light rainy evening bus.
I arrived in Metro Manila very early in the morning. I do not remember exactly, but it was around 4 o’clock. At the Sampaloc Bus Terminal, I immediately booked a taxi by using the Grab Taxi application and went to where I stayed in Malate. By the way, if you also want to stay in Manila, you should read ‘where to stay in Manila‘ article.
Natural Beauties in the Philippines Like Batad Rice Terraces
When you come to the Philippines, which is famous for its tropical islands, don’t think that you will find only the sea and sun. There are many beautiful places that nature lovers can prefer, such as the Philippines’ rice terraces and waterfalls.
I suggest you to visit some places like that for at least a few days on your vacation. For example Sagada, Baguio, Tagaytay, etc. Since I did not have enough time, I could not go to Sagada, which is famous with its hanging coffins. But it is one of the places to visit in the Philippines. Also if you might want to visit tropical islands like El Nido and Boracay.