More than 100 wooden coffins stacked at the lichen-lined entrance hall of Lumiang Burial Cave.

© rweisswald/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Lumiang Burial Cave


Lumiang Burial Cave is a 10- to 15-minute walk south of the main village, towards Ambasing, well signposted along the left-hand fork in the road. Steep steps lead down to an enormous, lichen-furred cave where more than 100 coffins are stacked at the entrance; the oldest coffin is believed to be about 500 years old.

Many are carved with images of lizards – symbols of long life and fertility. Across the road from the steps, peer down at another cave featuring more coffins. Animistic Applai elders continue to be entombed in the caves surrounding Sagada – if they can afford it. The gods demand the sacrifice of more than 20 pigs and three times as many chickens for the privilege of being buried in the caves.

If you decide to do the challenging Cave Connection, you'll start in this cave.

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