This will be the second installment of the mini photo blog of a vacationista in a local province. Just sharing my experience; not meant to be a complete traveler’s guide. Hehe. First was in Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan. I’ve already posted a mini blog on my first Asian tour blog which happens to be my most-est favorite Asian destination – the amazing country of Bangkok, Thailand.
So now our second stop in the Philippines is – Davao!
Transportation: <P2000 2way via Cebu Pacific; always remember when traveling domestically, there’s a travel tax of approximately P1000 (or less); when in Davao, cab, cab, cab all the way, baby! Don’t worry, cab fares are cheaper than in Manila. Plus, the area is small and hey, no traffic. Better though to share fares with friends.
Accomodation: We stayed at a friend’s condominium but I’m sure there are uber cheap Bed and Breakfast places there. The first time I went there in college, I stayed with a family friend.
Budget: <P10,000 for everything, 3Days 2Nights
What to do: Though white water rafting is most known in CDO or Cagayan de Oro, Davao now has their own version! You definitely must try this semi ‘extreme’ sport just to give you the right ‘high’ for the weekend. It’s super fun and exciting! When you don’t capsize after a rapid, team captain shouts high five! and you raise your paddles (hence, the photos with our paddles raised). Thank goodness we never capsized. haha. Hassle umakyat sa raft again. If you think you can’t do it and whether or not you’re a good swimmer, don’t sweat. There will be a short training before the actual activity plus you have life vests naman. It’s really something everyone should experience. Definitely worth waking up early in the morning. For more details, check out the website of Davao Wildwater Adventure
Must, must, must do! Spend a day or two at the beautiful and peaceful Chema’s by the Sea Resort at Samal Island. It’s a boat ride away the main island of Davao and it is G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S! Plus, it’s super affordable; I think less than P500 for day use inclusive of entrance fee, use of facilities and boat transfers. There are cabanas and kubos everywhere and you can just chill there with your pina colada. There’s also a part of the area with pine tress giving it a Baguio-y feel. Samal Island actually has other resorts such as Pearl Farm but this is the best by far. The pics will tell it all. Chema’s is so ‘private’ that they don’t have their own website. What we did was we just went there (I think) and they accomodated us! You will not regret going there. Promise.
Must eat: Durian though I am not a fan, try Alfat‘s resto if you’re a Chinese food lover, their local cafes for a change from the usual Starbucks concoction and their fruit stands scattered everywhere. Best halo-halo is from Aling Foping’s located at Matina Town Square, a known gimik place with live bands and grill restos. For a more high-street feel gimik, go to Legaspi Suites for a nice dinner then just by walking a few blocks, you’ll find a lot of bars and other hole-in-the-walls restos where you can chill, dance or just drink. Davao is known for having good bars and restos and a lively night life. You can also go on a city tour on your own – just go around the city, literally – and go on a street food trip. haha!
Awesome finds: yummy green tea latte, land line (as in a phone) within a mini forest at samal island, my friend’s kermit pets, a mini-distillery in legaspi suites, fruit stands like in BKK
Remember: Davao is every second-hand smokers dream island (read: smoking is generally banned, there are designated areas where you can smoke, even if it’s an open area)
**Note: Photos were taken using my friend’s camera as well as my own