You know how travelers love to procrastinate? Yeah, that bad habit of packing things when it’s just a few hours away your scheduled trip? That’s what we did when we were bound for Singapore (SG), pack things for a month-long trip in under two hours.
While looking for spots to visit in Malaysia that are not in Kuala Lumpur yet not so distant from the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), I stumbled upon Malacca or Melaka in Malay in some of my friends’ blog posts. Since it is listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and I am aiming to visit as many as I could, I was very eager to see and experience the third smallest state of the Malaysian Peninsula.
When we first set foot in Batanes, we really had no idea of what we would do in the province. And since we only have eight days to accomplish everything we could, we needed to come up with some sort of itinerary. We asked around and gathered some leaflets and flyers from travel agencies near our lodge which would serve as our reference. Because Batanes’ weather is so unpredictable, Rowjie and I thought that it’d be best to get done and over with Itbayat before anything else. We thought it’d better to be stuck in Basco while waiting for our flight back to Manila than be in Itbayat which is three hours away by boat from the capital.
Since Rowjie and I had plenty of time to see, visit, or do whatever that we could while we were in Phuket, we decided to just go to Big Buddha, Wat Chalong, Phuket Weekend Market, and Old Town. We first went to Big Buddha.
How to get to Itbayat From the capital Basco, you can either ride a boat or a plane to Itbayat. Below are the details:
Basco, the gateway to the northernmost province of the Philippines, is also the capital of Batanes. Located in Batan Island, Basco is politically divided into six barangays—Ihubok II (Kayvaluganan), Ihubok I (Kaychanarianan), San Antonio, San Joaquin, Chanarian, Kayhuvokan—making it the largest municipality in the island in terms of population and land area.
Mahatao is definitely one of the most famous municipalities in Batan Island because of its several popular tourist attractions. It also is the town next to Basco when you’re going to the southern part of the island via the National Road. Mahatao is divided into four barangays: Hanib, Kaumbakan, Panatayan, and Uvoy. It is the smallest town in Batan in terms of land area but has the second largest population next to Basco.
When Rowjie and I arrived in Batanes, we had no definite itinerary and basically had no idea on what we could do around the province. We were staying there for eight days and I didn’t do enough research because we wanted to just go wherever our feet take us. Or maybe I was just too lazy. Anyway, the only thing we knew was it’s cold. And true enough, it was indeed freezing. Brrr. Winter in Batanes!
Half day tour in Itbayat, said someone. WUT? As in WUT in high pitch! After the death-defying three-hour boat ride from Basco, after becoming a human pachinko ball, after you vomited all throughout the trip, you’re leaving again tomorrow? You must be kidding. Traveling from Basco to Itbayat isn’t a joke. If you need two days to see the major spots in Batan, what more with Itbayat being the largest among the three islands of Batanes. There is so much to see in this amazing town! A whole day tour isn’t enough let alone five hours. So please, don’t cut your Itbayat stay short.