The Coronavirus pandemic has left many of us stuck in our homes with little freedom to roam around and see new (or old) sights. Even introverts who love to be at home may already be daydreaming a great adventure.
Despite us not seeing an end to the pandemic just yet, it’s not too early to plan your post-pandemic travel. If you want to be the first at the airport after all these but aren’t sure where to go, we’re here to convince you that breathtaking Batanes, Philippines should be first on your post-COVID travel bucket list.
Peace and quiet
We know what you’re thinking. You’ve had plenty of peace and quiet at home in quarantine. However, peace and quiet in Batanes is different.
Located in the northernmost part of the Philippines, Batanes is just the place you need if you badly want to travel but are still wary of being in crowds.
Because it is not the most easily accessible place in the Philippine archipelago, there are not too many tourists in this group of islands. You won’t hear the sound of automobiles often either. Instead, you will wake up to the sound of waves, birds chirping, and the faint rustling of leaves.
In Batanes, you’ll feel like the world is your oyster. You’ll get a true breath of fresh air, a far cry from your days of feeling cramped in your room.
According to Kent Teach, fresh air is not only good for your heart and lungs but also your digestive and immune systems. It can increase your productivity and make you happier, making your trip to Batanes a healing one.
A place to disconnect
Life here is calm and slow, so it is the perfect place to disconnect from the world and reconnect with yourself. Here, it is best to start your day early, heading out of your guesthouse for a little adventure.
Islands in Batanes that tourists frequent are peppered with quaint cafes that can give you your caffeine fix. They also serve local Ivatan and Filipino food made with the freshest produce. Surrounded by the sea, you’re also sure to get your fill of scrumptious seafood dishes.
If you’re staying in Basco, you should definitely drop by Hiro’s cafe for their aromatic blue rice and refreshing blue coconut juice. Butterfly pea flowers, which these are infused with, are great for detoxification, which can help with stress and anxiety relief, say experts on detox from Urologist Singapore.
There’s also little to no wifi on the islands, which is perfect for that much-needed social media detox. If you’re worried you’ll be bored out of your wits, fear not because Batanes has an endless list of scenic spots you can enjoy.
Unique scenic spots
Batanes gives a whole new meaning to the words “scenic locations”. The sights the place holds are unlike those you would encounter at your usual vacation spots.
The place boasts verdant rolling hills, clear skies, and a sea painted a beautiful shade of blue. If you’re staying at the capital, Basco, you can take a tricycle or motorbike ride to Marlboro Hills and enjoy the view of cattle peacefully grazing.
In Basco, you will also see the famous winding road traversing lush hills that is aptly dubbed the end of Philippine roads. Make sure to go here before dusk as the road is sure to take you to a truly one-of-a-kind view of the sunset.
There are also plenty of beaches you can have all to yourself in Batanes, each with their own unique features. Morong Beach, for instance, has natural stone formations to provide you shade… which could also double as backgrounds for an enviable Instagram post.
Isolated as it is from the rest of the Philippines, Batanes has a rich and diverse history and culture you can see in its architecture.
Traditional Ivatan homes in Batanes are low and made of stone, made to withstand the frequent heavy rains and strong winds as well as the occasional quakes in the islands.
There are also structures from the Spanish colonisation like lighthouses atop scenic hills. There also exist old American radio centres and Japanese hideouts that can give you glimpses of what happened to Batanes during World War II.
If you’re looking for even more adventure, go to Itbayat, the last municipality in the north of the Philippines. From the capital, Basco, you can get into a boat early in the morning to Itbayat.
The rocky island is made of coral that earthquakes lifted above sea level. Tectonic plate movement and volcanic activity have also gifted the place with an abundance of mountains to trek, caves to explore, and cliffs to climb.
As it’s a remote island, expect to travel rough seas to get there. It’s also common for boat rides to be cancelled going in and out of the municipality due to bad weather, so it’s truly for those looking for an adventure.
When the pandemic ends, remember not to deprive yourself of a break from the world. Shake off your stress so you can face the new world with a brand-new perspective. If you’re not ready for your usual choice of busier vacation spots, places like Batanes are the best for you.
And remember, by going on vacation, you’re also avoiding the physical effects of stress, which can bring about concerns like weight gain and diabetes, according to the experts at Endocrinologist Singapore. That means you can keep both mind and body fit by taking a break sometimes!
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