Blogs from Banaue, Philippines, Asia


Asia » Philippines » Banaue December 17th 2018

Before leaving NZ we’d found a driver to take us on a 5 day loop trip into the mountains. Being short on time we’d quickly realised we wouldn’t be able to fit in as much as we wanted if we went by public transport. Our first destination was Banaue in the heart of the region that is home to the Philippines infamous rice terraces. Its a 9-10 hour drive, so our driver had asked if we would be ok to leave at 4am to miss Manila’s traffic gridlock. Thankfully our bodies are still partly on NZ time and while we hadn’t got to bed any near as early as we should getting up at 3:30am didn’t feel too bad. We were surprised at how much life there was when we left, Manila clearly doesn’t sleep. Even ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Banaue April 5th 2017

2 -3 avril "To be or not to be" Hamlet Au réveil, je fais mon check-out au Z Hostel et prépare ma sortie de Manille. Mon plan est de partir vers le nord de Luzon, à la recherche de montagnes, de rizières et d'air frais. C'est au couché du soleil que se fera mon départ. Night Bus. C'est la meilleure façon de se rendre à Banaue paraît-il (on dit Ba-Na-Wé). C'est un vieux filippino au visage en gaufrette qui me cueille à l'hostel. Uber encore une fois: c'est l'un des sourires de la réception qui me l'a appelé. C'est que j'essaye d'éviter les taxis à Scam City. Souvent, leurs chauffeurs sont soit malhonnêtes, louches, complètement fous... ou une petite pincée des trois. Mon chauffeur jusqu'à la station de bus s'appelle Jewel (c'est Bijou ça). Il a ... read more
Night cycles

Asia » Philippines » Banaue March 29th 2015

As we intended to spend some extended time in the Philippines we decided to explore the north luzon area before we got to the islands so we could get a better feel for the country. We also like to work for our beach time; theres no pleasure without pain. Plus we figured 1 week of strenuous mainland activity equates to several weeks of beach time right? When we were told by other backpackers that the rice terraces in north luzon were truly beautiful although we were in no doubt about it, we could not start to picture or imagine what these terraces were like for ourselves. Looking at pictures gave us a general idea but this alone was not even close to the actual experience. The experience was far better. Being there with these terraces in ... read more
Overlooking the town of Banaue
On a mission to the view point

Asia » Philippines » Banaue July 31st 2014

Hoi beste lezers! Ik had heel graag foto's willen laten zien, maar helaas is mijn telefoon gestolen toen ik hem even in de bus had achtergrlaten. Ik wil jullie toch vertellen over mijn weekend. We zijn namelijk met z'n 6en naar Banaue Province geweest met de nachtbus. We vertrokken vrijdagavond en kwamen zaterdagochtend aan. 10 uur bus zonder slaap. Grappig was dat we in precies dezelfde bus zaten als twee andere groepen van onze dorm. Stom toeval, maar heel gezellig want ik geloof dat ong een kwart van de bus uiteindelijk uit AIESEC EPs bestond. Wij hadden onze trip zelf geboekt en er stond een gids op ons te wachten. Hij was superaardig en ontving ons in een superschattig verhuurhuisje met geweldig uitzicht. Ik wou dat ik foto's had om te laten zien.. Hij bakte pannenkoeken ... read more
32 meter hoge Tappia Falls

Asia » Philippines » Banaue May 19th 2014

After leaving Indonesia we headed to Manila the capital of Indonesia. This city was not nice. It was exceptionally walm and we only had a fan room that didn't help. The poverty was awful again and on our first experience of street food a young boy came over and asked for money. When we said no he asked for some of our food. It was heartbreaking. After 3 nights we were definitely ready to leave Manila. Our first stop was Banaue an 8 hour overnight bus journey. The bus left on time and it even had free WiFi. By the time I fell asleep at 1am we had just stopped in some traffic. I awoke at 6am and we had not moved - its no wonder I slept so well. We had been stuck in the ... read more
Rice Terraces
Rice Terraces

Asia » Philippines » Banaue January 7th 2014

We woke up very early, at six in the morning to begin our trek out of Batad. I looked for the sunrise but there were clouds hanging over the mountain tops where it would have appeared, so now I know I definitely should have taken a picture of it last night... Oh well. After our last breakfast at Simon's, which featured cheesy pancakes and a potato pancake. I'm really going to miss having those cheesy pancakes every day. If I had discovered how delicious they were on our first day in Batad, that's probably all I would have eaten. And I should be clear, the cheese in the Philippines is not special. I think it's just processed cheese. At least, that's all we've seen around. It's not bad though, and it definitely does the trick. But ... read more
Resting in Banaue
Admiring the View
Super Vividly Delicious

Asia » Philippines » Banaue October 18th 2013

Banaue is a town on the Cordillera mountain range in the north of the island of Luzon, in the Philippines. It is mainly visited for its stunning rice terraces, which are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Viewpoint. On the road to Bontoc, there is a lot of viewpoints with beautiful panoramas on the rice terraces. Walking from Banaue up to to main view point will take 1 to 2 hours, depending how often you stop to enjoy the superb view. Try to go as far as possible from Banaue: the higher you will go, the more beautiful it will be! Count P100 by tricycle from Banaue. From there it's possible to go down by foot to Banaue through the rice terraces (2-3 hours) but the way is quite difficult and you may need a guide for ... read more

Asia » Philippines » Banaue June 1st 2013

Banaue, Sagada & Baguio Banaue We get a taxi from the Hostel to the bus station (the bus station is difficult to get to for travellers) at Sampaloc to catch the Ohayami Trans bus overnight to Banaue in Ifugao Province – North Luzon. The bus leaves at 10 pm direct to Banaue. It’s not plush but has reclining seats and Air Con. The bus isn’t full and has both locals and tourists on board. We’ve been warned that the Air Con gets colder at night - so come prepared! We stop twice en route for toilet breaks etc. At one place it’s P5 to use the loo – expensive or what. After winding our way through the hills, and with blue skies above the mist, we arrive in Banaue at about 7am to be ... read more
Cyrus our local guide - Batad
Best place in town - Sagada
The view from the ridge - Batad

Asia » Philippines » Banaue May 27th 2013

Established in the 16th century, Vigan is considered the finest surviving example of a Spanish colonial town in Asia, with a unique European atmosphere… said the narrative. The logic: The Philippines was colonized by Spaniards centuries ago, these buildings are old, and Spain is in Europe. A ‘European atmosphere’ we weren’t to find, though there is no doubting Vigan is a quirky anomaly that doesn’t conform to an easily definable Asian cliché. Dig a little deeper and you'll discover that the town’s original Chinese name "Bee Gan" became Vigan due to the Spanish penchant for mixing their B's and V's. Many of those old colonial buildings were constructed in an apparent Chinese/Mexican architectural mezcla by elite Chinese Creole families who adopted Hispanic family names, and live on to this day. Tourists vi... read more

Asia » Philippines » Banaue May 7th 2013

So after almost a year of being back home I felt it was time to take a mini trip back to Asia, only with a new travel buddy this time- Michelle! Our journey begins with a two day stop in Hong King, Michelle's family home. Soon as we arrive I am struck by the ridiculous humidity, it wasnt even sunny- just hot and humid! We make it to our hostel and I get a surprise...Michelle did warn me the rooms were small, she wasnt kidding. I've uploaded a pic of the room that was clearly designed only for ants to live in its so small. Each day we did the polite shuffle past each other, with one person pressed against the wall and the other crouching on the bed. Aside from the lack of space, the ... read more
the Skyline
The rich and famous
Chinese Dessert

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