The municipality of Banaue on the island of Luzon is most well known for its famous picturesque rice terraces. Banaue is also home to the Ifugao, an ancient tribe that have been harvesting the fields for over 2,000 years, and you can get here directly from Manila, although it is a 9 hour bus ride. With that in mind, be prepared for a long journey and for the fact that standards of driving in the Philippines can be a little scary to say the least.
Banaue Rice Terraces
A ten minute trike ride outside of Banaue Ethnic Village will bring you to a fantastic vantage point that overlooks the rice fields below. Here you’ll find women in traditional Ifugao dress offering photographs for a small fee and some visitors prefer the rice fields here, as opposed to those of neighboring villages. In truth there is not a huge difference wherever you go, but the Banaue Rice Terraces use mud walls instead of stone.
Nearby Rice Terraces
If you love a tranquil setting, or are just hoping to skip the crowds, they you will want to consider the Batad and Mayoyao Rice Terraces instead. The Banaue Rice Terraces grow more popular every year, bringing with them the crowds as you would expect, so you should head for the less well known rice fields if you want fewer tourists and a better look at simple village life.
Banaue is a great stop if you’re looking for some time in the mountains and don’t mind a strong tourism presence. This area of the Philippines showcases the natural beauty of ancient agriculture and it is still a beautiful sight no matter how crowded it can get. That said, the Banaue Rice Terraces are not your only option, so if the crowds are too much for you then just head straight for Batad or Mayoyao instead.