Guide to Davao City, PhillippinesFriday, June 10, 2016
Hola hola! I'm back with another travel post (Like finally) Please pardon me for this one-month overdue post on my last trip to Davao, The Philippines as travelogues take an immense amount of time and effort to draft. Just look at the sheer number of photographs in this post!
For those of you that followed myself and the rest of the bloggers who went on the trip, you will know that we flew there with Cebu Pacific Air and the Philippine Department of Tourism - Davao.
It's a trip to really introduce a really underrated city in Philippines, Davao. I've never heard of the place prior to this trip, and I have no idea why, It's a GORGEOUS place with lots of highlands, nature, city life, and fun activities to do. Plus it is also said to be the "Singapore of the Philippines" because of its cleanliness, strict laws, and safety.
Now let me take you through the entire 4 days we spent there!
First up, thanks to Cebu Pacific Air , we got to fly super comfortably. I got the front seats and boy, look at the leg space. It was so spacious I could stretch my legs out fully!
Smile magazine on board that kept me happy and entertained.
The entire flight took us about 4 hours to reach Davao, and we managed to snag a photo with the chirpy crew when all the passengers left the plane.
Totally loving the resort themed uniforms! Being on board with people with such happy vibes definitely set my mood right for the rest of the trip.
They say filipinos are great hosts, and that is totally TRUE.
When the pilots heard that we were the media team from Singapore covering Davao and Cebu Pacific Air, they very kindly asked us if we would be interested to see what the cockpit looked like. Of course we said YES. DUH. Who wouldn't want to sit in a real cockpit right. The plane literally just docked, so it's REAL.
Was super scared and wary not to touch anything in there because there were a million buttons that I cant comprehend hahaha.
The SIN-DAVAO is a brand new route launched by Philippines' largest Airline, Cebu Pacific Air in December last year. We can now enjoy thrice weekly, non-stop flights to and from Singapore to Davao easily!
Fares start as low as SGD182!
Day 1: Eden Nature Park
We headed back to rest for the night and got ready for the first day of adventure.
We were brought around the park, explained the different crops and agricultural practices of the city. Shown cultural treasures like the house in the above picture which the people from the ancient times used to live in.
Then came the highlight of the day - Adventure!
Many of you went crazy over this activity we did there, Sky Cycling. It was sooooo fun!
Imagine being up there in the sky where your view overlooks the entire park, and beyond. If you ask me, was it scary?
I would tell you the truth, that YES it was. Haha but that's because i'm a little scared of heights so my mind was very much focused on not falling off the line, hahahaha.
But the adrenaline rush? WORTH IT.
If you're an adventure junkie, this is a must go!
Another activity you can try is also the ZipLine, the standard flying fox where you zip from one place to another. So fun! And nope this was not scary at all, not even the least bit.
I thoroughly enjoyed the gorgeous view while zipping across the sky.
Then there's this CRAZY one - The Sky Swing
I don't know what possessed me with the courage to try this out (because it wasn't part of the itinerary, but you had to volunteer to go up there). Basically you sit on this harness looking this and get pulled all the way up to about 8 storeys high (i kid you not, I almost peed in my pants just by getting pulled up LOL)
Then at the count of 3, you fall face first towards the ground before getting pulled up "alive" by the harness again. I tell you... I screamed till the cows went home HAHAHA.
But well, it has been my trophy whenever I talk about Davao to my friends because I was so brave :')
Eden Nature Park (Prices per pax)
Guided shuttle tour- PHP 120 (approx. SGD 3.50)
Sky Rider- PHP 150 (approx. SGD 4.50)
Sky Cycle- PHP 200 (approx. SGD 6)
Buffet Lunch- PHP 550 (approx. SGD 16)
We spent the first two nights at Park Inn by Radisson, and I love the colorful, modern concept of the cozy hotel that had a huge SM lanang mall beside it.
Day 2: Samal Island
Got ready for a day of snorkelling with my billabong sandals, Biore UV Sunspray, Mango Sunglases and Rinikini Bikini, which I didn't choose to wear for the day in the end because I needed something with more support, so I opted for a white crochet bikini set from Billabong!
Wearing Bikini Set from Billabong Singapore.
We took an early morning boat ride out to Samal Island, located 2 kilometres away from Davao City where we were on a Giant Clams Snorkeling Tour!
While on board.
We actually spotted wild dolphins in the water but they were too quick for me to whip out my camera to snap a photo of it. There were 3 of them, just jumping out of the water, swimming so carefree-ly.
Ahh, I wish I captured the moment to share with you guys!
Check out the clear blue waters that greeted us at Samal Island.
What I love about Davao is not only what they have to offer, but the fact that it isn't too crowded with tourists. We all know what happens to these beaches and resorts once they start getting commercialised, something which i'm glad Davao isn't, and hope that it will never become.
Snorkel gears up!
Waters were really shallow that day and we got to go so much closer to the clams and even pick up starfishes from the ground!
Don't worry, we only picked them up for awhile, SUPER gently and placed them back safely after the photos, so no star fishes were harmed in the making of the shots below okkkk.
"Taklobo" Giant Clams Tour (Prices per pax)
Entrance Fee - PHP 100 (approx. SGD 3)
Rental of snorkel gear- PHP 100
Rental of rash guard- PHP 100
Boat rental (for 1-12 guests)- PHP 500
The Giant Clams tour is also a must-go for those that enjoy soaking in the deep blue seas. There's something so calming about the clear waters and the undisturbed wildlife in Davao that makes me want to show the world.
What's the day without some adrenaline rushed-adventures right?
It was Maxima Aqua Fun next!
Maxima Aqua Fun is a water themed park located in Samal Island where we did the super fun mega slide where we got thrown out into the sea via a water slide!
Credits: Samal Guide
Here's me moments before I got thrown into the sea, haha! I did not come back up looking this put-together for sure.
Maxima Aquafun (Prices per pax)
Day tour (adult) - PHP 300 (approx. SGD9)
*includes lifebelt, tram ride, unlimited use of waterslide, water blob, jumping board and canopy walk on weekends
This was our gorgeous hotel room for the rest of the days before we checked out, Seda Abreeza Hotel, Davao
Total room goals, seriously
The room was so spacious, service was top notch and really centrally located with a huge Abreeza mall next to us. A real big thank you to Seda Abreeza Hotel for housing us, and for being so generous and gifting us with a room to ourselves each.
We ended the night with a really sumptuous dinner with Mr Roberto Alabado and his team from the Philippine Department of Tourism - Davao with all their delicious local delights.
I'm not exactly a food blogger so the photos I took that night turned out quite unsatisfactory so for food recommendations, you can head over to my good friend's blog, explodingbelly.
After dinner, we were taken for a PUB CRAWL. YES, this was another surprise because I never expected Davao to have such a happening night life.
The highlight of the night was when we were taken to Huckleberry Southern Kitchen and Bar that served sooo many different kinds of Rum. We tried what felt like 20 different flavours in shot glasses and it was really interesting to see how they incorporated the local fruits like mango, soursop and even CHILLI into their rums.
Day 3: White Water Rafting
We set off really early in the morning because white water rafting required us to be taken to the highlands to prep ourselves before the actual rafting session begins!
We were taken by the Davao Wildwater Adventure team, and here's my outfit. I chose to wear long pants because I didnt want to get any tanner, but thank God it started to rain as we were in the middle of rafting!
This was my first time trying out an extreme sport like White Water Rafting and I gotta say that I have totally no regrets. This was THE highlight of my entire Davao experience and I'm so glad I pushed myself and went for it despite having so many questions and doubts in my head.
It really involved lots of team work and it might sound crazy but I enjoyed the rocky parts the most? Being all topsy-turvy in the raft and screaming your lungs out in the midst of it... is something we don't actually get to do very often.
So yes if you're interested to give white water rafting a try, contact those guys!
The guides were all super fun and professional that took care of our every needs really well :>
Pardon the shag face, all my foundation had worn off and we were tired LOL. But here are my 2 good friends that I made on the trip, Bunbun Juli and Clara (explodingbelly).
Davao Wildwater Adventure (Prices per pax)
Package rate of PHP 1700/ pax (min of 5 per group) (approx. SGD50)
Includes transportation (From Crocodile Park to Rafting Area and back), lunch and refreshments, use of paddle and boat as well as Raft Guide
On the way back we stopped by a crocodile farm and the guide recommended we try the crocodile ice cream. The name of it sounds so gross right???! Crocodile ice cream. But apparently they take the crocodile eggs and make them into ice cream. Someone said they grind real croc meat in it as well, but idk how true that is.
The ice cream is surprisingly REALLY creamy and smooth. Crocodile eggs do make really good ice cream heh! The only downside is that it's quite expensive, it's around SGD$4 for a cone that melted really quickly in the hot weather :(
Dinner was at a really fancy restaurant, the White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge hosted by Mt Roberto and the super lady behind the restaurant. Everyone were such good hosts it was such an eye opening experience to see how they treat their guests with so much attention and warmth.
The spread was insane and food just kept on coming. Stay tuned to a VLOG coming up where I'll be sharing more as well.
Our last meal!
Thank you Nuffnang Singapore, Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Department of Tourism for letting us experience Davao in such an awesome way. I can't thank you guys enough for all the effort that had been put into making this trip such a successful one.
And to you guys, YOU GUYS NEED to visit Davao now! Instead of the usual beach resorts we singaporeans always flock to, we can now have one more place added to the list!
Davao is really safe and clean, and in fact, is known to be the 4th safest city in the world with lots of strict laws. A really peaceful place that is suitable for the adventurous ones that are into sports like hiking, trekking, diving, snorkelling, water rafting etc. Couples that are looking for a romantic spot and beaches, or even families that would like to go on a fun family trip.
Davao City is the place I would definitely recommend!
Hope this was helpful and I definitely hope I did some justice to the city by sharing with you guys!
Check out my DAVAO Vlog here:
Oh yes, before I forget, a big THANK YOU to our 2 photographers that were so dedicated throughout the whole trip, making sure they captured the truest and most enjoyable moments.
They are both photographers and videographers based in Philippines, but they do travel so if you're in town or looking for a good photographer/videographer, check Christian and BJ out at @chriztiandeleon & @kitchenph08
Fares start as low as SGD182 with Cebu Pacific Air
STAND A CHANCE TO WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS TO DAVAO
Details are on my Instagram page (@mongabong) so head over to find out how you can win!