God’s Own Creation: Banaue Rice Terraces
Banaues in Phillipines, is the place to be if you want to experience and explore the sheer magnanimity and expanse of human creation without the use of any modern machines. Aptly considered by many to be the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, Banaue Rice Terraces are a marvel. Carved into the Cordillera Mountains in the Philippines by the Ifugao locals at an altitude of 1500 metres, the grandeur of these rice terraces are astounding. What further adds to their beauty is the fact they’ve been created by man, without the use of any modern implements or technology. Covering 10,360 square kilometers of mountainside, the Banaue Rice Terraces are the perfect example of the symbiotic relationship between man and nature and in a sense, reinforces the need to maintain that balance.
Rice terraces have long been central to the survival of the Ifugao peoples. The original structure of Banaue Rice Terraces built by the Ifugao used stone and mud walls as their basic raw materials to carve and construct the terraces. The nearby streams were diverted to keep the fields flooded.
As far as the weather is concerned, visitors ought to note that Banaue Rice Terraces is situated in the mountains to the North of the Philippines. Thus, the weather here is slightly colder in comparison to the tropical climate of the rest of Phillipines. June is harvest time, so the landscape is golden with splendid views of the terraces. The area experiences abundant rains during summer and fall hindering the cloud views of the slopes. Moreover, if you’re planning to travel to Banaue Rice Terraces during the rainy season, keep in mind the fact that Landslides are almost inevitable in the region and can play spoilsport to your trip.
Reaching Banaue Rice Terraces is not a problem at all. Banaue is at a distance of some 348 kilometers from Manila. At a moderate speed, the distance can be covered in eight to ten hours including stops and mountainous terrain. Tourists can opt for one of the daily buses from Manila to reach Banaue Rice Terraces. Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya are some of the provinces which tourists are most likely to encounter on their way to Banaue. There is no dearth of accommodation in the region. As per the budget of every tourist, from inns to lodges to luxury hotels, there is a variety of options available to choose from. The option of staying at larger houses is also available.
Some of the important attractions and activities in and around Banaue Rice Terraces include:
• Mumbaki: This person is usually a traditional Ifugao witch doctor who is renowned for performing spiritual healing rituals. This is a very popular attraction among viistors.
• Batad: A small village en route Banaue, a stop here is mandatory for tourists as due to the lack of any constructions such as buildings etc, it provides the best vantage point to observe the marvel of Banaue Rice Terraces.
• Museum of Cordilleran Sculpture: Is home to a collection of around 1,000 exquisite pieces such as carved wooden Bululs, masks and textiles among others.
• Hiking into the terraces is a popular activity among visitors to the region. The higher you go, the more beautiful and breathtaking the view tends to get. However, hiking best avoided during the rainy season at Banaue.
For an altogether unique vacation with picturesque surroundings, opt for Banaue Rice Terraces in Phillipines!