By FlipNomad for Yahoo! Travel
Sagada has always been one of my favourite places in the Philippines. The breathtaking views and the cool weather always make it a worthwhile trip even if the journey takes quite some time. My first trip to Sagada started on an overnight bus from Manila to Banaue which took around 9 hours. As soon as I got off the bus, my friends and I immediately hailed a tricycle (local rickshaw) and went to the viewpoint area to marvel at the grandeur of the Banaue Rice Terraces.
The Banaue Rice Terraces is locally regarded as the 8th Wonder of the World due to its jaw-dropping beauty and as soon as I saw it, I couldn't help but feel proud of what our ancestors have created. It is thought to be carved with the use of minimal equipment which means they carved it mainly by hand around 2000 years ago. Some locals are still planting vegetables and rice on the terraces although some portions of it seem to have been neglected. Luckily, the government is now actively protecting this wonder to be able to preserve this cultural heritage of the Ifugaos.
After a couple of hours in Banaue, we then rode a bus to Sagada via Bontoc. The trip took around 3 to 4 hours and the view on the road was really spectacular as we passed by various mountains and small villages.
As soon as we arrived in Sagada, we immediately looked for some affordable accommodation in the town proper and booked a tour to see the hanging coffins, the Lumiang burial cave and the Sumaguing Cave.
The hanging coffins of Sagada would probably be one of the main tourists' draw of this town. This is an ancient burial practice of the locals in Sagada.
The Lumiang burial cave is a half an hour walk from the town and it houses hundreds of coffins that have been there for hundreds of years.
Our next stop was Sumaguing Cave. This cave is believed to have the largest chamber of all connecting caves in Sagada. It's probably one of the most famous places to see in this town due to the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites formation that can be found here. There are also numerous underground streams in Sumaguing which made our hike more interesting.
Another place of interests that we visited was the Kiltepan Tower which gave an awesome view of the mountain ranges. It's a sight to behold that you shouldn't miss when you visit Sagada.
Sagada is truly one of the best places to visit in the Philippines. When you go to Sagada, never leave the town without dropping by the Yoghurt House. This local restaurant provides the most awesome food that will definitely invigorate you after a long day of trekking.