The Banaue Rice Terraces of the Philippines have been deemed the 8th wonder of the world. They were carved from the hillside by the tribes people of Ifugao about 2,000-3,000 years ago. The tribes people dug them out with their bare hands and crude implements. Doing so they created steps in the hills where they could plant their rice. The rice terraces are still used to this day.
The terraces are considered to be one of the greatest engineering feats of mankind. If each one were connected end to end, then they would reach halfway across the globe or be 10 times as long as the Great Wall of China. It was not until 1995 that the Banaue Rice Terraces were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The rice terraces are like stepping stones stretching towards the sky. Some of them reach almost 5,000 feet in altitude and cover about 4,000 square miles of land. They are now beginning to show signs of erosion, and some of the terraces need maintenance. Many of the Ifugaos’ newer generations are migrating to nearby cities in search of better opportunities work opportunities as a result.
Even though it is about eight or nine hours from Manila traveling by car, the Banaue rice terraces are known to be one of the most spectacular places to see in the Philippines. They have transformed the Cordillera mountains’ barren stone into ledges that are fit to grow rice.
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