Exploring Banaue’s famous rice terraces in a jeepny

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These mountain towns have a character all of their own. Banaue is no exception. The first impression is slab like buildings created using blocks, planking and cement and then covered with corrugated iron to keep out the elements. It doesn’t help that the cloud is low, a polite way to say it is raining, and everything is seen through a gloom.

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Jeepnies are more substantial to deal with the gradients and are enclosed to keep the passengers dry and warm. That does not mean they enjoy any modern mechanics. Most are held together with wire and any concept of an MOT passed them by years, nay decades ago.

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There are thousands more rice terraces around the town which, if unravelled and placed end to end, would stretch halfway around the planet. On a grey morning the bashed up jeepny roars out dollops of grey exhaust and struggles out of town and up and over to the surrounding valleys leaving the grey structures of Banaue behind us in the mist.

Eventually the cloud has swirled away enough to spy in the gloom the patterns of three rice terraces around their respective villages.

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And here are a few of the locals.

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