Davao is a city in the Philippines and is considered by many to be the most crime-free area in the country. Tourists are guarded not only by the police, but also by the people around.
Cebuano/Bisaya is the native language used in Davao. English and Tagalog are also widely used and understood by the people.
Davao is possibly the third most important Philippine city after Manila and Cebu. Most domestic airlines fly multiple times per day to Davao from Manila and Cebu. There are also direct flights available on some Philippine cities. Davao is served by the Davao International Airport (more properly named as the Francisco Bangoy International Airport) (IATA Airport Code: DVO), which receives both local and foreign traffic to Davao. With the new terminal completed in 2003, DIA is said to be much better than its counterpart NAIA in Manila. Silk Air, the regional airline of Singapore Airlines, is currently the only international connection directly servicing Davao from Singapore. If you have Davao as your main destination in the Philippines, you might want to consider coming in through Singapore as this might be the most hassle-free way to enter.
Davao is also served by a bustling sea port with significant cargo and passenger traffic. Following is a listing of ferry companies that serve Davao:
WG&A Superferry - twice weekly ferries from Manila to Davao, trip takes more than 2 days in total
Sulpicio Lines - twice weekly ferries from Manila, usually via Cebu
There are buses from different cities, most of which are located within Mindanao, which usually stops at Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT), and is located at Maya, Ecoland, Davao City.
The simplest way to get around is by hopping on a taxi. A typical trip can cost about 70-95 pesos or approximately 2 U.S. dollars. Drivers in Davao do not normally bargain if they notice that you are a tourist, hence the cost of the trip is the same in price as a regular. If you know the name of the building, establishment, area or street you wish you reach, this is still the fastest way to get to your destination. You can also call or send an SMS to the cab company directly to have a cab driver pick you up.
Taxis start their fare at Php 40.00 and will add Php 3.50 per few hundred meters. Please do say "thank you" or "salamat" once you have arrived to your destination.
Alternatively, if you opt for more adventure, then do as the locals and catch a colorful jeepney. Simply ask around for which route to take to avoid getting lost. They are usually available 24 hours and cover most of the nooks and crannies of the city. This is the cheapest option for getting around. The usual cost for a jeepney ride is 8.00 pesos for every 3 kilometer ride, and about a 1 peso increase per kilometer when going beyond the 3 kilometers (for regular passengers).
To pay, pass your fare to the person next to you, all the way to the driver or the conductor, by saying "bayad po". Paying the exact amount is highly recommended. To stop at a certain destination, say "lugar lang", "para", or knock your coins hard on the steel handle.
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.
Buses are also available but these tend to ply exclusively along the north-south route and going out and in the city area.
Mt. Apo. the highest mountain in the Philippines.
Crocodile Park, Riverfront Corporate City, Carlos P. Garcia Highway, Davao City, ☎ 2868883, . The home of the Philippine crocodiles. This park serves as a breeding center and a great tourist attraction. There are crocodile shows and others which shows in some days.
Eden Nature Park, . Located about 50klms from Davao Eden Nature Park is close to the town of Toril. It's located in the mountains so it's cooler than Davao City. It has nice walks, restaurants, horse riding and a Sky-Rider thing and lots more. It's a pretty good day out and well worth the trip from Davao.
Jack's Ridge, Shrine Hills Road, Matina, Davao City, ☎ 2978830, . This was a place where for Japanese Forces during the World War 2. It is now a tourist spot in Davao City, where you can have a scenic view of Davao City (especially during the night). There is a restaurant, a pool, bars, cottages, and a trail up and down the ridge, where you can enjoy your stay.
Philippine Eagle Center, . 8AM-5PM. See the Philippine Eagle; one of the largest eagles in the world and sadly also one of the most endangered. The center is home to about 30 Philippine Eagles, aside from eagles it is also home to other birds and animals as well as raptors in a simulated forest environment.
People's Park, Legazpi Street, Davao City. A public park located along Legazpi Street. A park where people people gather around, enjoy the stroll crossing bridges, seeing man-made waterfalls, beautiful plants, and more. It is more enjoyable during the night.
San Pedro Cathedral, San Pedro Street, Davao City, ☎ 2210191. This cathedral dated around the 19th century, is the city's main cathedral of Davao. It is located across the City Hall.
Shrine of the Holy Infant of Jesus (Santo Nino Shrine), Shrine Hills Road, Matina, ☎ 2972911. A shrine that is up a hill where there are beautiful sceneries in which you can unwind, relax, and reflect. There are mass celebrations once in a while per day. A lot of people visit this place during Sundays.
Davao City has many malls where almost all of them have cinemas, and all of them have supermarkets.
Due to security concerns, it is routine for security guards to lightly frisk people as they enter shopping malls in Davao, and indeed in most of the Philippines. The guards endeavour to be sensitive and invariably the guard is either female or there are separate lines for male and female entrants.
Centerpoint Plaza, McArthur Highway, Matina Crossing, Davao City, ☎ 2972353.
Chimes Specialty Store, Sales Street, Davao City.
Gaisano Mall of Davao (G-Mall), J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City, ☎ 2216168.
Gaisano South Grand CitiMall, Illustre Street, Davao City, ☎ 2240811.
New City Commercial Center Mall of Davao (NCCC Mall), Ma-a, Davao City, ☎ 2984881, .
SM City Davao, Quimpo Boulevard, Ecoland, Davao City, ☎ 2976403.
Victoria Plaza, J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City, ☎ 2214990.
Abreeza, J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City, ☎ +6382-321-9332, .
Davao is renowned for its durian and pomelo. Eating durian is admittedly an acquired taste but those who do end up liking it will swear that the bad smell is worth it. Pomelo on the other hand is a citrus fruit that most closely resembles a grapefruit, it is quite common in South East Asia. Beware of bringing durian inside airplanes as well as hotels and other establishments. They may have strict regulations on allowing durian inside and some may not allow durian to be brought at all.
Sea Urchin Restaurant, Mamay Road, a few meters from Damosa Gateway. A full range of Chinese cuisine. Cold cuts and soup are excellent. Try also their steamed lapu-lapu and garlic chicken. The best restaurant in the city. Call them at telephone numbers (082) 235-8603, 301-9289.
Ahfat, Victoria Plaza area. The ultimate gastronomic experience. Try the steamed shrimp, spicy spare ribs and crab fuyo.
Yahong There's one in The Venue and another along Torres Street. Try their talaba and diablo chicken wings . Their crispy pata is also a must!
Na Trang (Jekoy's Grill), Jacinto Extension, beside Central Bank. Authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Try their tofu and mushrooms, Vietnamese pancake, wet lumpia and fried spring rolls. Coffee is great here also.
Jack's Ridge, Just across the Santo Nino Shrine. Delicious Filipino cuisine and a breathtaking view of the city.
Cubyertos, Torres Street. Try their signature vegetable-chicken salad.</p>
Dencia's, Ilustre Street. Classic Davao-Chinese cuisine. Best orders are tokwa't baboy, congee, fresh lumpia and pancit canton.
Gardena Fresca, Within Coca-Cola Village in Matina. Their bestseller is adobong tahong.
Talaba Joe's, Rizal Street. Come to this place for the freshest oysters in Davao.
Claude's, Rizal Street. Authentic French cuisine.
De Bonte Koe, Rizal Street. Dutch Cuisine. Try their herring with onions. Never miss the apple pie.
(Apple Pie, questionable, not even Dutch style.)
Boodels, Within Barrio Obrero. Very cheap grilled tuna belly. Tastes great too.
Gerry's Grill, Within G-Mall. The many versions of sisig are great. *food chain found all over the Philippines
Mang Inasal, within G-Mall and SM Mall. Delicious cheap barbecue chicken. *food chain found all over the Philippines
Grand Emerald Seafood Garden, within Victoria Plaza Complex. Good food, Reasonable Price, Nicely Lit Interiors.
Mandarin Tea Garden, With branches at G-Mall, SM Davao, Nccc Mall, Rizal St., Guerrero St., Duterte St., DCLA Complex., and Bajada St. The First and original Dimsum house in davao. Must Try!
Dimsum Diner. Within G-Mall and somewhere near Holy Cross College. Best orders are salted fish fried rice, salt and pepper riblets and siomai.
Dox's of Davao* Rosal Street, Catalunan Pequeño near Yuchico Orchid Gardens. Habachi Iron cookery with a Southern flare. Try The Dox's Dog "on a stick" sarap to the stick!
Tadakuma, Damosa Business Center, Mamay Road, Davao City, ☎ 2348813. serves delicious Japanese dishes at reasonable prices
Tsuru, Legazpi Street, Davao City, ☎ 2210901. serves high quality Japanese dishes. They also have an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet every 15th and 30th of the month. Calling them for reservations is highly recommended.
Harana, F. Torres Street, Davao City, ☎ 2277763. A very famous barbeque restaurant that serves awesome barbeque dishes, steaks, and other Filipino dishes.
Krua Thai, F. Torres Street, Davao City. serves Thai dishes
De Boerderij (The Farm), #6 DBC Bldg-H, McArthur Hway, Matina (Near NCCC Mall), ☎ 082-303-1255, . 11am - 02am.
De Boerderij (The Farm), #6 DBC Bldg-H, McArthur Hway, Matina (100 meters south from Ma-a junction), ☎ 082-303-1255, . 11am - 02am. Cozy international bar with Dutch roots. Burger, steak, pizza & pasta, kroket, bread and other goodies at affordable prices. Mixed clientele. Discreet place to meet and spend some time.(7.03'40.80,125.35'30.46)
There is the local Tanduay Rum, billed around town as "the Number One Rhum".
There are large Seventh Day Adventist populations on Samal and Comotes Island, and in Mindanao generally. Adventists do not drink and any stores they own will typically not sell alcohol.
Kangaroo Coffee Co, Tionko cor. V. Mapa St., ☎ 082-222-2766, 0932-724-2309. Kangaroo is a place dedicated to fresh Mindanao coffee, home-style food, and inspirational literature, in a classical-modern atmosphere. Specialties include Kangabrew(brewed coffee),Durian Mocha Heaven Ice-blended,Mangosteen-Passion Ice-blended,Tsokolatte(native hot chocolate with espresso,KangaYo(fruit & yogurt drinks),Smoked Fish Pasta,Chicken Curry Rice Meal,Creme Brulee,New York Cheesecake,Kanga Nuggets,Kanga Mint Cookies. Cafe hours are 8:30AM-12:00MN M-Th,and 8:30AM-1AM F-Sa.Closed on Sundays.
Some Place Else, Rizal Street (Havana Compound), ☎ (82) 2286304, . A great place to hang out, don't forget to ask for their famous Shisha Fries.
Knight's Cafe (Red Knight Gardens), Guadalupe Village, Lanang, Davao (Near by Casino Filipino), ☎ 234-3408, . 6:30AM to 9:30PM. Knights Cafe offers a choice of local and Western dishes at its pool side bar and restaurant. WiFi and swimming is free if you buy food/drinks. Feast of Fish&Chips to Kinilaw and from traditional English breakfast to Pizza. Good place to meet and get lots of local knowledge. Modest. (7 06 21 53,125 38 15 42)
Ellen's Tuna Queen, South Street Dbp Village, Matina, Davao City (now located at its new home a few meters from the NCCC Mall Matina Highway, From NCCC Mall along Maa road turn left to the first street corner of Dbp Village( South Street )), ☎ 09228147063, 09102261849. M-Sa 10:30AM-9PM. Serves the original pritong paksiw buntot ng tuna formerly at Petron Bajada, sinigang silik ng malasugui, beef calderetta, laing, kinilaw (tuna), lechon kawali and tuna sisig. Grilled steaks (lamb chops, beef prime ribs, burger steak) are also served. Try the latest Tuna Sisig na Pizza and the creamy halo-halo at its best.
Basti's Coffee, Victoria Plaza. Basti's is a cafe in Victoria Plaza, with an entrance outside as well as through the food court. They brew great coffee, and they ask you to pick between 'mild' and 'strong'. They also have pastries including an interesting durian cheesecake. Davao is a no-smoking-in-public-places city so smokers might find it useful to know that there is an enclosed and air-conditioned smoking section in Basti's.
There is no shortage of accommodations in Davao, ranging from the four-star accommodations of the Marco Polo Davao on Claveria, the Royal Mandaya Hotel on Ponciano, the Grand Regal Hotel and Casino Filipino and the Waterfront Insular Hotel on Lanang, and the Apo View Hotel, where Casino Filipino 2 is located, to lodges and inns, all around the city. Serviced residences like the Crown Regency are also rising in popularity, or one can find townhouses or apartments for rent, all for negotiable rates that are very good for those coming into Davao with dollars.
Bluejaz Resort and Waterpark, Brgy. Caliclic, Babak Island, Garden City of Samal, ☎ (082)304-6501, . Bluejaz Resort and Waterpark is in Samal. It offers 20 rooms and 8 beds for backpackers. Their waterpark features the Bluejaz Pirates Adventure waterslides that includes two 300 ft high-speed flumes, and their swimming pools include an infinity pool overlooking the Davao Gulf and children's swimming pools. Their other amenities include a private beach for snorkeling and diving, and tours and cruises.
C5 Dormitel, Roxas Avenue (1 block south of Ateneo de Davao Univ), ☎ +63 82-2286186. A "luxury dormitory"; P 650 for single, P1100 for double; P1300 for suite. Monthly rates: 15000, 25000, 33000 respectively. Cable TV, A/C, wi-fi, laundry area, parking, study area, guest lounges. Hot water in suites. Located in C5 Building along with a cafe, travel agency, beauty salon, laundry shop and other businesses. Email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Crown Regency Residences, J.P. Cabaguio Avenue Agdao, ☎ +63 (82) 225-8188, . All rooms have air conditioning, broadband internet, and cable television.From USD 53.33.
D'Counter Executive Dormitory, 15-B Jose Camus St, ☎ +63 82-226-2045, . P255 for basic single; P335 for single with TV and private bath; P545 with A/C and cable TV; P720 for double with A/C, bath, cable TV; family room for 3 with bath, cable TV, and A/C for P1100.
El Rio Bachelor's Pad, Lot 22&23, Block 16 Kamuning St., El Rio Vista Village Phase 4A, Bacaca, ☎ +63 917-7014411, +63 922-8960724. Monthly Rate P6000 small room, P7000 medium sized room, P7500 large room P600 per day good for 2 persons: includes mini-kitchen, cooking utensils & pans, electric stove, electric kettle, knife, plates, spoons & forks, refrigerator, own washing sink, own shower with heater, Internet, television with cable, individual controlled air-conditioned room, bed & bedding, cabinets, dining table and chairs.
First Pacific Inn Davao, Quirino Ave., ☎ +63-82-305-6183 (fax: +63-82-300-9173), . First Pacific Inn is a freshly, newly built (Opened January 2010) 17 room business Inn, catering to both short and long-term visitors. Quirino Ave is very busy 24hrs a day heavy truck and motorcycle traffic as well as many emergency vehicles. If you want a full night’s sleep look elsewhere. Rooms at front are very noisy and are only ones with dbl beds. The staff is friendly and very helpful. Rooms are clean but spartanly furnished.
Gumamela Caverock Farm Resort, Purok 3 Tolosa, Barangay Matina Biao, Tugbok District, ☎ 082.2841165, 2717837, or mobile phones nos. +639394025585,+639177056418 (email@example.com), . On premises, there is a river/creek, natural short waterfalls, springs, World War II Japanese Imperial Army caves/foxholes (the land where the resort is situated is part of the Tolosa Family Estate which was also occupied by Japanese forces during WWII), rainforests/vegetation, paintings and Bagobo-inspired sculptures, world's tallest concrete hibiscus (gumamela) sculpture made by Rey Mudjahid "Kublai" Millan , man-made and mud-painted Poolside Caverock (artificial caves and rocks) , natural thermo (warm) spa- swimming pool , sports facilities (billiard, table tennis, darts) , restaurant and bar, secured environment, traditional- heritage cottages (modern-native design), hybrid hibiscus (gumamela) plants - centennial series, millennium series and celebrity series from the University of the Philippine Institute of Plant Breeding and other ornamental plants. The resort has 6 elegant traditional- heritage (modern - native concept) and 2 bamboo cottages with private verandas. The breeze in the farm is particularly refreshing. The bathrooms are well-appointed with varied walls and floor designs and a LED shower system with multi-directional nozzles at your body in varying angles. The cottages are crafted with different ceiling and bathroom designs made by local artisans in varying colors and with modern furniture and fixtures. The Pool View Cottages are in front of the spa- swimming pool with its magnificent and well- preserved jungle backdrop.
Humberto’s Hotel, J. Palma Gil cor. P. Gomez Sts., ☎ (082) 2223831 to 34, . Humberto’s Hotel was featured by PAL Mabuhay Magazine on its lifestyle section as a "Charming Botique Hotel". It was also chosen and awarded by the 2003 National Shopper's Choice in May 28, 2004 as no. 1. Small Hotel in Davao City.Best rates on official website start at PHP 2,200.
Hotel Esse Davao, F. Torres St., ☎ (082) 227-37-73 (fax: (082) 295-34-85), . Hotel Esse Davao provides deluxe, executive and premiere rooms with 32-inch LCD TV with cable channels, free wireless internet access and complimentary breakfast. Its facilities and services include a steakhouse, standby generator, in-room massage services and tours.
Lanang Business Inn (LBI), Banawe St. Lanang, ☎ (082) 221-5847, . There is a free breakfast and wifi in the lobby. The rooms are clean with individual bathrooms, AC, TV.P1000.
Marco Polo Davao, C.M. Recto (formerly Claveria) cor. M. Roxas Blvd., ☎ +6382 221 0888 (fax: ''+6382'' 225 0111), . This hotel is part of the Marco Polo chain of hotels.
My Hotel, San Pedro St, Davao City (beside BDO - San Pedro Branch), ☎ +63 82 300 4040; +63 82 222 2021;, . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12nn. It offers free Wi-Fi access in every room, free Sun-to-Sun cell phone call, free calls to the US and Canada, hot and cold shower, individually nditioned room, television with cable, telephone, and security cameras. email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPHP 999.
MyPlace Dormitel, Veloso St., Bo. Obrero (at the back of Victoria Plaza), ☎ (082) 2217518. Standard Room - P800, Superior Room - P1,000, Suite Room - P1,500, Extra Bed - P300. Room has 2 beds, a/c, hot and cold shower, free wifi, 24/7 security, add P100 for TV.
Oroderm Beauty Hotel, Magallanes (St) (just off Quirino past Metro Hotel), ☎ +63 82-221-2700, . Single room P1200; double rooms start at P1500 and go up to P3200 for the presidential suite. Breakfast included.
Ponce Suites, Road 4 (at corner of Road 3) in Dona Vicenta Village, Bajada (from JP Laurel Street at Victoria Plaza, turn at Chow King and take the first right, then your first left and go to the end), ☎ 082-227-9070, . Wifi is available. They also have great food with a good rooftop open terrace you can enjoy your meal or coffee at, and an impressive art collection.
Red Knight Gardens (Suites), 8th Street Guadalupe Village Lanang, ☎ +63 234-34-08, . Has a pool, gardens, bar & restaurant owned and managed by Brit. Rooms are fully furnished. All rates are fully inclusive of water, electric, gas, T.V, local phone calls, hot & cold shower, daily maid services
Sampaguita (the new one), Quirino Avenue (at My Mayon St), ☎ +63 82-305-8680 (email@example.com). Nice for the price. Basic single for P300, double 400, triple 500, family 650. Add about 200 for A/C. Add another 50 to 200 for hot water. Add another 100 to 300 for coffee table and sofa. Other phone +63 82 302-7645.650 p.
Sampaguita (the old one), Mt Mayon St (turn off Quirino right at the new Sampaguita and go a block up), ☎ +63 82-227-2958. Clean, decent, budget. Basic single for P175 (shared lavatory). For P275, private lavatory and cable TV. Single with A/C for P450, another 50 for hot water. Add 100 for a double and another 100 for a triple.
St. Camillus Dormitel, 3rd Floor, SPMC Cooperative Building, Southern Philippines Medical Center (aka Davao Medical Center) Compound, Bajada, ☎ (082)3019997/ 09179049032/(0917)8230514, . checkin: anytime; checkout: anytime. Best value accommodation in Davao City. Airconditioned rooms, quiet location, short walk to all modes of public transport, owners and staff are helpful and very friendly. The dormitel occupies the whole third flood of the building (you can ask permission to go up the rooftop for a breathe of fresh air). Each no-frills room have four double-decker beds, with common tables and a (very) small cabinet for your more important stuff. Toilets/shower-stalls are clean and well lighted. Separate facilities for men and women. The ground floor of the building is occupied by various establishments: laundry shop, food center, vendors and a popular Chinese fast food chain. The second floor is occupied by an internet cafe and spa/parlor. Tip: call for reservations well ahead of time as they opften fill-up pretty quickly with various traveller groups.180/day. (7.097599,125.619818)
Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao, Lanang, ☎ +63-82-233-2881 (fax: +63-82-233-2801), . On the side of the Davao Gulf, with landscaped gardens; view from corridors. Enjoy free 'tuba' (coconut wine) given to hotel guests.
Samal Bahay Kubo, Barangay Katagman, Purok 5, Peñaplata District, Island Garden City of Samal, ☎ +63 912 806-6372, . checkin: anytime; checkout: anytime. If you want real peace and quiet, go here. No videokes, guaranteed. You could set up a tent, if you like or get a room in a Bahay Kubo (hut). The owner's wife is a mean cook, specializing in Thai and Indian dishes. You could always arrange for local dishes, if that's what you like. There is no in-suite toilet, but the "outhouse" is very clean and has running water. The site is several minutes away on foot from two tourist spots: Moncado's Camp 23 and Balay ni Moncado (Moncado's Whitehouse). You can arrange for a pickup at the Peñaplata Warehouse Club bus stop then take City Island Express Bus from Davao City to Samal Island. Or, you can arrange a pickup from Davao City or elsewhere, all depends on how much adventure you'd like to experience. From the Kubo's balcony you have a wonderful view of the sea and Talikud Island. Security and entertainment is provided by the resort's animals: geese, goats, chickens and two dogs. There's a public beach 10 minutes away on foot.200 PHP/night. (7.076448,125.687242)