Bahay ni Tuding
is the place to go to if you’re traveling on a budget. Sure, there’s nothing spectacular about it. It’s like your old house-turned-boutique hotel, but it afforded me a quaint breakfast I enjoyed a lot.
The hearty meal was composed of toasted bread, jam, fruits and yogurt, and, of course, hot brewed coffee—something I couldn’t live without even when traveling. I was glad it was brewed coffee; not an instant 3-in-1 most budget hotels usually serve.
I had a nice sleep and since I got all the time in the world (well, for 3 days at least), I took the opportunity to wander around the place for a bit.
Except for the room bearing no windows, the hotel is nice overall. For only P1,000 a night, I enjoyed a nice bed, a bathroom with a water heater, hearty breakfast, and accommodating staff. You don’t get that much for a thousand bucks these days.
Oops, sorry for the quick review. Now, let me get down to business.
I allotted two days to go out and about for adventure in one of the cleanest cities I’ve been to so far. I did some research on the best spots to visit and the best places to eat at. My friend even found it hilarious that I got everything planned a few months back. She was laughing at me for being overly prepared for my Davao trip.
But, the thing about traveling is, not everything needs to go as planned. There’s always room for adjustment. I prepared a list of places I wanted to visit, but I ended up rehashing my itinerary.
Now, what follows is a list of the best spots and the best activities, and you don’t necessarily need to plan your trip according to it, but I bet you’ll have the best memories of your Davao trip if you tick everything off.
Never leave Davao City without paying Museyo Dabawenyo a visit. In fact, I suggest that you place this at the top of your itinerary, because this is one way of knowing and understanding Davao’s culture. Entrance is free. A guide will tell you stories about how Davao got its name, about the different tribes and ethnic groups in Davao, and many more. Take note though that you’re not allowed to take photos inside.
D’ Bone Collector Museum
Founded by Darrel Blatchley, D’ Bone Collector Museum houses hundreds (maybe, thousands even) of skeletons of various species. One of the most prized pieces is the skeleton of a saltwater crocodile named “Lolo.” It used to be the largest crocodile until its death in 2013.
NATURE AND MAN-MADE ENVIRONMENT
Truth be told, I didn’t go to Samal Island, because I was alone. I couldn’t imagine how I would enjoy the island on my own, without a (girl) friend to savor the moment with. But, you should go. Well, this serves as a note-to-self.
The Philippine Eagle Center
I felt a sense of fulfillment when I got the chance to gaze at the glorious Philippine Eagle. Aside from the fact that they are beautiful, their species is on the brink of extinction. They are critically endangered, as they can lay only one egg every two years.
There are other bird species and mammals in the center. You can take photos of all the animals you see, but make sure to not disturb them.
This one’s for the adrenaline junkie in you. Covering 40 hectares of land, Eden Nature Park
offers Skycycle, Skyswing, and Zipline that will surely send the adrenaline rushing through your veins.
I tried Skycycle and pedaled my way through a 200-meter steel cable and back, 60 feet high up in the air. That, I’d say, was the highlight of my Davao trip. It was thrilling and nerve-racking at the same time. I almost backed out! But I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t push it. Plus, the fee was non-refundable, so there was no turning back.
You can also go horseback riding around the area, or play like a kid on the obstacle course. The park also boasts of hiking trails, so if you’ve got the stamina, go and savor the fresh air around the area. And you’ve paid a hefty entrance fee, so make the most out of it.
|Challenge accepted! I would never say no to this adventure.
|Okay, so it’s a giant swing. Wait, a GIANT what?
|So, if you just want to be carefree, go to the obstacle course.
|“Kumusta ang hacienda, Dodong?”
|Art lovers will find this a real haven.
Another note-to-self: Try some street food along Roxas Ave.
Davao City is famed for durian. In fact, on almost every street corner, there’s a vendor selling durian which you can eat right then and there.
Jack’s Ridge Restaurant and Café
Known not only for its good food, but also for its view deck, Jack’s Ridge is the perfect place to cap your last night in Davao.
Eat some seafood. Heads up though: minimum order is 300 grams, good for two. If you’re traveling solo like me, perhaps you’ll need to share some with a total stranger. Now, if you’re someone who can’t stand eating alone, then by all means, look for a companion. Trust me, you’ll never want to dine alone at Jack’s Ridge unless you’re someone like me who doesn’t really mind.
Drink pomelo shake, then end it with durian flan.
If the night is still young, hop to Karl Gourmet and Coffee, and sip from a cup of hot coffee with durian bits while watching the city below. The city lights make for a great spectacle while you live the moment and forget about the stress you’ve temporarily left behind.
After you’ve had your fill, head back to your hotel, get a good night’s sleep, and wake up to a beautiful morning served with toasted bread, jam, fruits and yoghurt, and a hot cup of good coffee.
All these and you’re ready to go home!
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