Batanes is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east, South China Sea to the west, Bashi Channel and Taiwan to the north and the Balintang Channel to the south. It is composed of 11 islands, of which Itbayat, Sabtang and Batan Islands are inhabited while Ditarem, Adekey, Vuhus, Misanga, Dinem, Mavudis and all others are uninhabited.
What Makes Batanes Unique From Other Tourist Destinations?
Letâ€™s find out why Batanes in the Philippines is considered a unique tourist destination.
Batanes is the northernmost province of the Philippines. It is the smallest province in terms of land area and population. You will surely love this place. It is the best place for nature lover and people who love tranquility and serenity. This is where the Pacific Ocean merges with the South China Sea. Batanes is great for summer vacation, fishing, diving and hiking.
What makes Batanes unique?
One of the most notable facts about Batanes is its claim to a zero crime rate. Violent crime is unheard of on the islands and even petty theft is a rare occurrence. Visitors who misplaced or lost personal items are told to visit the local radio station in Batanes so that an island-wide bulletin can be aired. Locals who have found items are also likely to drop them off at the station.
Batanesâ€™ Honesty Coffee Shop, believe it or not, there is no one minding the store. Instead, a clear plastic jar is left on the counter for customers to pay for their snacks and get their own change. It works under the honesty system. Softdrinks, instant coffee, candies, biscuits, noodles, chips and other snacks are available. This is one of the many things that make Batanes a unique place to visit.
Here are some other things that make Batanes unique among other tourist destinations in the world;
Batanes is a special place. Isolated from the rest of the country, it has evolved into a truly unique destination â€“ unlike any other island in the Philippine archipelago. Batanes is absolutely pollution-free. No traffic jams. All you can see are beauty of nature.
Unique architecture of Ivatan houses made of thick lime and stone walls with cogon grass roof has made it a favorite attraction to visitors. They were built this way to endure typhoons that frequently hit the area.
Batanes is made up mostly of hills and mountains. Lush greenery tapers off to give way to stretches of sandy beaches and rocky shorelines.
Batanes is suitable to hardy, outdoor types who enjoy hiking over hills and vales, swimming and discovering a unique local culture, rather than indulging in material pleasures.
The people are different â€“ a brave and skillful race of hardy, inscrutable survivors. They are notable for their honesty, industry and hospitability.
The topography coupled with its constant rainfall and strong winds have created a destination that is truly one-of-a-kind. The weather is different. In fact, the weather is the king.
The boats, the language, the crafts, and the wine (called palek-from sugarcane) â€“ they are all different.
Aside from the festive town fiestas, free and natural beaches, trekking adventures, bird watching in October or fishing in summer, there are a lot of other local attractions worth visiting such as:
The undisturbed and unspoiled Sabtang Island, with its sandy beaches and rugged country trails make it a secret paradise.
Historic Churches in every town which were over 200 years old made of massive mixture of lime and stone.
Radar tukon in Basco rests on the hilltop overlooking a 360 degree view of the cliffs, hills and the seas around the island.
And the Interior road, a trail of unending countryside panoramic views, rock formations and rolling terrain
Other places of interest in Batanes include; House of Dakay (1887) a UNESCO heritage building; Mt. Iraya â€“ A 1008-meter mountain on Batan Island; Mahatao View Deck; Burial Caves â€“ Pre-historic burial caves in the town of Itbayat; Sumhao Wind Power Plant; Nakaboang Beach, Ark & Cave; Songsong Ruins; Beaches â€“ Chadpidan Beach, White Beach; and Payaman â€“ known as â€śMarlboro Countryâ€ť, a pasture overlooking farm fields & the Pacific Ocean.
Batanes is perfect for honeymooners and other couples as the province provides a calm, serene and contemplative respite from the noise and chaos of urban living. It also great destination for serious travelers who are more interested in communing with nature and culture at the same time rather than just taking pretty photos and getting senselessly drunk.
One of the main things that we totally love about Batanes was that aside from extremely pretty scenery, amazing culture, great food and hospitable people, it is still in pretty much pristine condition and has not been ravaged by mass tourism as in a lot of places in the country. Due to its relative isolation and because itâ€™s a little more expensive to get to, Batanes tourism, if administered properly, is poised to create an important niche in the tourism industry. For now, it has generally avoided major and noisy crowds looking to make the requisite jump shots of themselves. We hope that it stays that way for good.
Why Not Go
Excessive noise, rudeness and lack of cultural and environmental concern are frowned upon not only by the Ivatans but travelers like us who are protective of the stunning beauty of these islands. Trust, honesty and community spirit are the operative words here. There are no malls here, no clubs, and no fastfood chains. If you are looking for that then Batanes is not for you, so just leave Batanes alone.
There is almost virtually no nightlife in Batanes although we spied a karaoke machine next to Batanes Seaside Lodge and Restaurant. The best way to enjoy nights in Batanes is to sit back and relax and admire the views of the sea, the starlit skies and the cliffs from oneâ€™s hotel room balcony.
Best Time to Visit
Depending on which weather you are after, Batanes is a good year round destination, save for the stormy months of July â€“ September. The weather is cool, with the coldest months around December to February when the temperatures drop down to as low as 7C-10C. During the summer months from March to June, the seas are calmer, and trips to other islands are easier. When traveling to Batanes however, you must have a very flexible schedule as flights and boat trips can get canceled at the last minute. If you intend to travel and sufficiently cover most of the main destinations just for Sabtang and Batan, a 4 day trip can suffice, if you wish to head out to Itbayat as well, you may as well make sure that you stay there for a week. But trust us, once you get to Batanes, you actually wonâ€™t want to leave.
Batanes is accessible through a 1 hour and 45 minute flight from Manila through Southeast Asian Airlines or SEAIR (http://www.flyseair.com/), the only airline that currently serves the Manila-Basco route through its 32-seater Dornier planes. While flight cancellations can be common due to bad weather.
Accomodations:Â There are a lot of hotels in Basco.Â Call them for reservations.Â You can home-stay in Itbayat and other islands.Â The Ivatans are very generous, honest, and kind.Â Still, you must let a local arrange home-stay accomodations for you.
Transportation in Batanes:Â In Basco, the most convenient way to go around the town proper is through a tricycle.Â You can also rent a van or a jeep (with a guide) if you wantÂ to go around the island.
If you want to visit other islands, there are small motorized boatsÂ (small, considering they are going to cross the strait between the Pacific ocean and South China sea). The trip to Itbayat from Basco takes three hours ofÂ extremely roughÂ ride and the conditions are not very ideal (squatting for three hours takes a toll in the body and spirit).Â Still, itâ€™s a trip worth experiencing.Â Just be ready with some plastic bags for you-know-what.Â =)
Previous Page >>> Saud Beach