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Clark - Banaue

View South East Asia Grand Tour 2023 on Grete Howard's travel map.


After a great sleep, I struggle to wake up with the alarm this morning.


I make myself some tasty whole-seed toast with peanut butter this morning, while David enjoys two portions of Chocopops followed by a full fry-up.


Despite the amount of decent sleep I had last night, I still fall asleep as soon as I sit down on the ‘throne’ in the ‘Royal Carriage’ (our name for the extremely comfortable seats in the luxurious vehicle we have at our disposal).


Philippine Caribou Centre


Part of the Department of Agriculture, the centre conducts research into the use of caribou (a type of water buffalo) in the Philippines. It is also a processing plant where they sell dairy products to the public. The ice cream is made fresh every day and is very popular, so Rey wanted to get here early to make sure they hadn’t sold out.


David prefers the chocolate and hazelnut flavour

My favourite is the vanilla, so it works out just right

Fresh caribou milk

Dalton Pass (AKA Balete Pass)

This long and narrow zigzag road with hairpin curves and steep gradients leading up from the lowlands, is named after General James Dalton II who was killed on this location on 16 May 1945 by a Japanese sniper.


At the summit is a memorial to the 17,000 soldiers (Japanese, American and Filipino) who were killed here, at the end of the second world war. It is, however, closed for restoration, so we continue on our way.

Donut stop

Another one of Rey’s favourite stops, partly to utilise the facilities, and partly to indulge in delicious doughnuts. Rey doesn’t believe in buying just one or two of these snacks, he will purchase a whole box to share between the four of us.

They look prettier than they taste

Rey also buys us some more tissues for the car, and the name amuses me, as Mrs G is one of David’s pet monikers for me.


Mrs Baker’s Restaurant

Yet again Rey uses his local knowledge and numerous contacts to find us a great place for lunch, this time in a town called Bayombo, and orders a selection of local specialities for us to try.

Spicy prawns in coconut milk with peanuts and garlic

Seafood Noodles with Mushrooms

Kari Kari - beef, ox tripe and banana blossom curry with a lovely creamy peanut sauce

Banana Blossom served as a side vegetable - very pleasant

Grilled vegetables

Chips with banana ketchup, a very popular condiment in the Philippines. It goes back to a time after the war when tomatoes were hard to come by, so people had to diversify when making ketchup

Spicy relish

Coconut sherbert for dessert


Banaue Hotel

Looking tired and worn, the hotel is reminiscent of a 1970s ski lodge. We are, however, very impressed by the warm welcome.



Having names on a board to welcome guests to the hotel, is a practice we have only previously seen in India. I think it is such a special thing to do, and it really makes you feel like VIPs.

The large open reception area is full of conference delegates, milling around and gathering in an open hall with a stage at one end.

Our room is right at the end of a long corridor, we have a double and single bed, a small balcony, but no comfy chairs, just a dining chair and a pouffe. There is no Wi-Fi in the room, nor any A/C, making it stifling hot; and we can hear everything that is going on next door - every word spoken, every movement of furniture, every flushing of the toilet.

After a short while there is a knock on the door, delivering hot lemongrass welcome drinks. Just no. I settle for a rum and coke instead.



Not feeling hungry after the large lunch, ice cream in the morning, and doughnuts in the afternoon, I just order a carrot cake for dinner.


David chooses a beef hotpot.


That concludes another great day on our Grand South East Asia Tour, which was organised by Undiscovered Destinations


Posted by Grete Howard 06:36 Archived in Philippines Tagged philippines vip clark wwii ice_cream banaue donuts doughnuts south_east_asia water_buffalo caribou undiscovered_destinations grand_south_east_asia_tour philippine_caribou_centre caribou_ice_cream buffalo_ice_cream buffalo_milk dalton_pass balete_pass battle_of_balete mrs_bakers_restaurant banana_blossom banaue_hotel

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those doughnuts look amazing ... so the taste wasn't all that!?

by Ils1976

They were nice, but not as amazing as they looked. ♥

by Grete Howard

by Ils1976

Apart from your hotel room this looks like another good day and it's clear Rey is a very attentive guide :)

by ToonSarah

Thanks, Sarah, it was a great day, and Rey was one of the best guides we've ever had!

by Grete Howard

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