If you have a limited time to travel a new place, what would you do?
I promise myself that I will travel more this year and first on my list is Davao – located in Mindanao and considered one of the safest city in the Philippines and in the world. Davao is a no-smoking city, but don’t fret smoking dudes. There are designated places if you need to. They also have a liquor ban; bars and restaurants are only allowed to sell beers and liquors until 10 pm on Sundays to Thursdays and until 12 midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
My visit to Davao wasn’t planned, but the opportunity arose and I had to grab it. My travel buddy Cy (cyrenedipity.com) and I were both thrilled–it was our first time to visit Mindanao. Our Manila to Davao flight took 1.5 hours and, upon arriving at the airport, our 24 hours stay in Davao began.
Yes! We only had 24 hours to enjoy the beauty and wonder of Davao. If you only had the same amount of time to travel within Davao where would you go? Here are some of the places you can try and visit within the city.
6. Visit Lola Abon’s
Try their Durian Ice Cream (25php/ less than 1USD) and buy “pasalubong” like Durian Candy, Durian Yema, and Durian Tart for only 30php to 40php per pack. I have eaten a durian fruit before and this Durian Ice Cream tastes just like a fresh Durian. Only creamy and milky – which is so good!
5. Lunch at Garden by the Bay Resort and Restaurant
I suggest trying the fresh Grilled Tuna and Seafood Chowder at Garden by the Bay Resort and Restaurant. The place is owned by the Ritz Hotel Garden Oases and is only about 10 to 15 minutes away from the airport.
Grilled Tuna – a moist, fresh and cooked to perfection fish. You know that they use only the freshest fish because this grilled tuna is sweet to taste. Seafood in Mindanao is cheap and you can definitely afford to eat fish, clams, or even lobster every day.
Seafood Chowder – a hearty soup with fresh shrimp, squid and topped with lots of toasted garlic. I almost finished the whole bowl of this awesome goodness soup, no kidding!
4. Buy fresh Pomelo and Durian at Bankerohan Market.
If you will buy durian to bring home to Manila, you have to put it in an ice chest wrapped in plastic. The airline will not allow you to bring the fruit if it is exposed and placed only in your luggage.
3. Visit San Pedro Cathedral
Located at the downtown city, the cathedral was bombed in the 90’s, but fully reconstructed now.
2. Dinner at the famous Jacks’ Ridge Resort and Restaurant
Try their Pomelo Salad and Sweet & Sour Lapu-Lapu. The restaurant is located at Matina Crossing, Davao City.
1. Visit Samal Island
Because we only had 24 hours to stay in Davao, on our second day, that early morning we went to Paradise Island in Samal. Yup! We were able to squeeze in a short beach trip to Samal. You have to pay 15php (one-way) for the boat ride and in 10 minutes from the port, you will be on the island in no time. Beach entrance fee is 200PHP for the whole day trip.
Samal Island is one of the most famous and favorite places to visit by the locals and, us, tourists. Clear water and white powdery sand will welcome you at this paradise.
Cabs are everywhere in Davao City at any time of the day, so going to all the tourist spots in the city is very easy. It’s cheaper too compared to renting a car or van.
Davao is such a beautiful city – clean, traffic-free, safe even in the late nights, plus local food is so fresh and delicious. I can’t wait to go back to Davao and stay a bit longer so I can visit some other tourist spots like the Crocodile and Eagle Farm, Eden Garden, see Mt. Apo, and ride the longest zip line.