The Bataad Rice Terraces, Philippines

The Bataad Rice Terraces, Philippines

In my last travel tip I focused on an out of the way place in Thailand to escape the crowds and pollution of Bangkok. If there is a city more crowded and polluted in Southeast Asia it is Manila in the Philippines. A great destination close to Manila that will really take the tourist away from the crowds not to mention their breath away are the famed rice terraces of Banaue and Batad. Take a bus north to Banaue from Manila or Baguio. The adventure only begins here. There are picturesque rice terraces in Banaue, but the real gems are just north in the small village of Batad. Take a cyclo or arrange a ride to Batad from Banaue. I paid for a cyclo myself, but was able to get a rid back for free on a jeepney with a very nice Philippine family that refused my offer of money for the ride. The ride ends about a mile from Batad as no roads go into the mountains. It is necessary to climb up a mountain and then back down again to Batad carrying a small backpack with your personal items. Check out the pictures and you will agree the trek is worth it. Food is not necessary as that can be purchased at the guesthouses. Rooms are amazingly affordable in Batad usually costing around $1.00 usd per night. There is no electricity in Batad, so do not expect CNN or a hot shower in your room. What you can expect is one of the most beautiful views ever from a guesthouse. After settling in take a walk down to the actual village and explore the rice terraces. A short distance away from the village is a beautiful waterfall and there is a nice system of trails through the beautiful mountain range. Explore on your own or get a guide. There is no shortage of willing guides in the town. Ted Nelson is the adventure travel examiner for Chicago, IL for examiner.com. Read his articles about Chicago and beyond here:
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