2017 TRAVEL GUIDE | DAVAO, THE KING CITY OF THE SOUTH
Davao City is one of the most progressive cities in the Philippines. Contrary to the notion of the place, The city is basically safe and must be on your travel bucket list this 2017.
WHY KING CITY OF THE SOUTH?
Davao the largest city in Mindanao region and in the Philippines in terms of land area. The place is also one of the several cities in the Philippines that are independent of any province. Not to, mention that the place is home to the Philippine’s President, Rodrigo Duterte, the city is a business, investment, and tourism hub for the entire southern Philippines. The place has good beaches; mountain resorts; close to diving spots and the highest peak in the Philippines, Mount Apo.
THINGS TO DO WHEN VISITING DAVAO
TRY DURIAN. While in Davao, try their famous Durian fruit. You can’t help but associate Davao with the Durian Fruit being the number one producer of this fruit in the country. Tagged as the king of fruits, this hostile spiked brown exterior and the offensive scent is ambrosia of the gods and is famous of the maxim, “smells like hell but taste like heaven”.
Apart from durian fruit, the city boasts of its other fruits produce which are high in demand like Pomelo and Mangosteen. In my recent stay in Davao, I went to Bankerohan Public Market where a variety of fruits are being sold at a shockingly cheap price.
When buying durian from the fruit stand you can ask the vendor to gave you what is already ripe and ask them to open it for you. If you can’t stand the smell of the fruit you can opt to buy candies and other delicacies with durian flavor. I have tried a Durian Roll and Durian Icecream, it has no strong smell but the durian flavor is just perfect.
SHOP.There are several malls located in the city. Notable malls are SM City Davao, Abreeza Mall, Gaisano Mall of Davao, NCCC Mall of Davao, Gaisano South Mall, Victoria Plaza Mall, Robinsons Cybergate, and SM Premier in Lanang along J.P. Laurel Avenue. If you want to take some indigenous products with you, visit Aldevinco Shopping Center.
Aldevinco is a premiere shopping destination in Mindanao where tourists and locals alike go for souvenirs such as Davao native products, various Batik products (bags, dusters, slippers, table cloths, etc.), textiles imported from Indonesia and Malaysia, antique and brass items, and even indigenous musical instruments. It has become a major tourist attraction for its wide variety of ethnic products. The place is currently host over 100 shops, most of which are operated by the second generation descendants of the original tenants. A typical shop is only approximately 10-12 sqm.
VISIT THE CROCODILE FARM.The only crocodile park in the region provides a home to the locally bred crocodiles.On display are also dozens of species of birds and snakes, as well as tigers and great apes. One can take pleasure from viewing, horseback riding around the park, or feeding the young fierce reptiles.
Must Read: Crocodile Farm
TRY DECA WAKEBOARD PARK. Considered to be the biggest wakeboarding park in the Philippines, offering the best venue for the extreme water sports, the wake-boarding, and water-ski. The park also offers a scenic view of Mt. Apo that boosts amusement while riding.
EXPERIENCE RIVER RAFTING IN DAVAO. An hour ride from the downtown area, the starting point is near Tamugan Bridge along the Davao-Bukidnon Highway. With a 13-km stretch of whitewater adventure, the rafting ends near the Lacson-Lamanan Bridge. The trip package can be availed by booking with River One Adventure, 082 305 7624 or with Davao Wildwater Adventure at Crocodile Park.
Must Read: White River Rafting
TRY THE ZIP CITY. Experience the most accessible, most scenic and the friendliest Zipline for the adventurous souls. Located at the Hilltop, Barangay Langub. On site is a resto bar to cater to your cravings.
Must Read: My Zip City Zipline
EXPERIENCE EDEN NATURE PARK. A very popular mountain resort located in Eden, Toril District, some 40 min away from the city center. It is situated 3,000 ft (910 m) above sea level, giving it a cool and moderate climate. It is 95% man-made with pine trees dotting the landscape. It covers 40 hectares of developed land.
VISIT THE PHILIPPINES EAGLE CENTER. Home to the Philippines National Bird, The Philippine Eagle (previously named Monkey-eating Eagle), the largest eagle in the World. It is where they are bred in captivity in order to increase their population and prevent extinction. Located in Malagos, a 45 min drive from the city center. Aside from being a temporary home for the Monkey-eating Eagles, it also hosts some other exotic animals native to Davao’s forest. As of April 2010, 18 eagles are on exhibit. Note that if the Crocodile Farm is visited first, a 4-day waiting period must be observed before visiting the Eagle Center to avoid disease transmission.
STROLL AT THE PEOPLE’S PARK. On December 15, 2007, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte led local officials in opening the P72-M People’s Park (old PTA Ground) in Davao City which features a mini-forest and large sculptures representing indigenous groups in Southern Mindanao.
Must Read: People’s Park in Davao
The city offers a variety of restaurants which offers international and local cuisines. In one of my trips in the city, I was invited to join a food tour, to experience a different kind of gastronomic experience. Please see my review below.
Must Read: Davao Food Tour
KADAYAWAN SA DABAW FESTIVAL
Dadayawan sa Dabaw is the city’s very own festival. The celebration is held every third week of August.
Must Read: Dadayawan sa Dabaw Festival
Giant Slide at Maxima Aqua Fun
Monfort Bat Sanctuary
- Samal Island Travel Guide
- Maxima Aqua Fun
- Monfort Bat Cave
- Things to do in Samal Island | Tourist Attractions
Pearl Farm in Samal Island
WHERE TO STAY IN DAVAO CITY AND SAMAL ISLAND
Davao City offers a wide array of Hotels, Inns, and Pension Houses ready to cater to any guests visiting the place. You can choose between the luxury, middle and budget accommodations. Listed below are the List of Hotels and Resorts in the city as well as the Accommodation Guide should you decide to have a side trip to Samal Island.
HOW TO GET TO DAVAO CITY
The most convenient way to reach Davao City is by plane through Francisco Bangoy International Airport. The airport is also known as Davao International Airport catering to local and foreign flights to Davao.Singapore Airlines with its regional airline Silk Air and Cebu Pacific are currently servicing Davao from Singapore.
There are several directs flights coming from various major cities in the country.
Of course, the most convenient way of getting around the city is by car rentals. Many car rental companies Another alternative ride aside from the jeepneys and taxis, is to rent a car. There are many cars for rent. If you don’t know the routes you can hire drivers by asking the attendant of the rental company. Local companies tend to be cheaper than the national ones.
Another convenient and the fastest way of getting around the city is by Taxi. These taxis are metered and some of them issue receipts to the passengers.
If you are not in a hurry and would want to see more of the city, then you can opt for a colorful jeepney. Simply ask your hotel or anyone you meet in the street for which route to take to avoid getting lost. To pay, just say “bayad po” and simply pass your fare to the person next to you. When reaching your destination, just say “ lugar lang” or knock your coins on the steel handle to get the attention of the driver and say “para”.