HOTEL RECOMMENDATION BANAUE: Banaue is the central village from where the trips to the famous rice terrasses of Batad start. When we arrived in Banaue we went straight to town to look for a hotel. We ended up in Sole’dads, a very simple but beautiful little home stay. One could tell that it had just opened up half a year ago: It seemed more like staying in a private house than a hotel. This gave us a unique insight into the life of locals which was interesting. Still, we had our privacy on the upper level of the house which bears a beautiful patio from where you can see some terrasses and hear the busy noises of the street. At night you hear the sounds of the zicades and some dogs fighting from time to time. I can warmly recommend the Sole’dads. It was cosy and the owners are very friendly.
TRIP TO BATAD: We did a one day trip to Batad and to the 25 meters Tappiyah waterfall in the valley behind. If I could do it over, I would probably choose to take a 2-days trip and stay one night in Batad. That way one can see the terrasses by sunset and sunrise and stays completely in the middle of everything which must be very impressive. Many backpackers do that trip. On the second day you take a 4 hours hike to some ethnic villages. MY ADVICE: Rent a hiking stick to keep your balance in the terrasses and get up the high steps more easily. Wear solid shoes. If you are afraid of hight or have miserable sense of balance, don’t walk through the terrasses. It could be dangerous. There are regulary people being carried out of the fields on a bar.
GUIDE RECOMMENDATION: If you need a guide to take you to Batad, ask Jesstony Aclibon. You can find him on Facebook. He is easy going and knows a lot to tell.
If you have time to do anything in Banaue, I suggest a short trip by tricycle to Hiwang where you can visit two old Ifugao traditional houses and lots of antique everyday life and ritual items. On the cliff above the houses you get a wonderful sight on Banaue’s rice terrasses.
RESTAURANT RECOMMENDATION: Las Vegas Restaurant serves delicious filipino food (no joke) for a good price. The staff is very friendly. Uyamis Green View Restaurant right across the street gives you a great view on the river and the bridge. I can recommend it for a cool drink. Although the food is more expensive than tasty.