Davao as a Family Destination
Last July of this year, we (with my husband and my 3-yr-old daughter) have gone to a family vacation for 4 days. We were able to purchase a promo fare from Cebu Pacific several months prior to the date of travel. Today, I would like to share you what our itinerary was and the cost of the activities we had then.
We arrived in Davao at lunch time (12.05pm), so we decided to check in first at our chosen accommodation which was Bahay Ni Tuding Inn, where the staff are super friendly and since our reserved room was available, they allowed us for an early checked-in. Since we were still tired to roam around and look for the restaurants I have previously researched, we decided to have lunch in a fast food restaurant, which is walking distance to our inn. It was a good choice to choose an accommodation which is at the center of the city (near the city hall) since most of the best dining places are only few minutes away. After having lunch, we rested and had our afternoon nap (yes, we are fans of afternoon naps). We woke up, it’s night time already and it’s time to have dinner. Did I not say that this was a vacation? So we did a lot of resting and eating too! Lol. At dinner, marked our first food adventure in the city. We had our dinner at Zabs Buffet which was probably 15 minutes walking distance from our hotel. The buffet meal person was only P349 (our daughter was free of charge). The food was really good, and many variety. It was really good value for money. You can find my tripadvisor review here.
We had our breakfast at the hotel. The free breakfast was only continental breakfast and that means no rice. Oh-oh! So we had to order extra meals just to keep us energized for the day ahead. What I love about Bahay Ni Tuding is their home-made yogurt. It was very tasty and creamy.
On the second day, we decided to have our city tour. We rented a van, since bringing a 2-year old kid is not going to be fun commuting because the attractions in Davao are very distant from each other. Our driver was strongly recommended to us by a friend of mine and we were very satisfied. The fee ranges from 3500 to 5000, depending on the attractions you wish to see. Here is the number to contact for the Davao van rental 09178434702.
Our first stop was Eden Nature Park. Eden Nature Park is owned by the Ayala family, according to the guide, this Ayala family is not in any way connected to the famous Ayala clan of Metro Manila. My family enjoyed the tour around the property of this attraction. The guides were really good, friendly and effective. I loved the place because it was nature over load! Loved the cool air and the aesthetically designed farms and gardens. Their weakness was the food, small serving and tastes no good. The entrance fee to the property includes the meal, you have a choice between choosing a buffet or plated. Buffet option was P550 and plated was P220 (my kid was free). To read more, see my tripadvisor review here.
The second stop was at Malagos Garden, we were unable to do a tour around since it was raining. So we decided to have our lunch here instead. Our food cost was P275 per plate. Here is my tripadvisor review.
We then proceeded to the Philippine Eagle Center, where we paid P50 each for the entrance fee. Read my tripadvisor review here.
The last stop for the day was the Crocodile Park Davao. Though the name says crocodile, this attraction is not all about crocodiles. It’s actually a mini zoo. The main attractions of course are the crocs, and there are tons of ’em! There’s even a replica of Lolong, the largest seawater crocodile that was captured. The place is very ideal for kids for animal familiarization, however the place was surrounded by loud music which I think may disturb the animals inside the park. There’s also a portion where in they feed the tigers for exhibition (for an extra fee), and they tease the chicken meat way above the cage so the tiger climbs this big trunk to get the meat. The strength of the tiger is amazing yes, but I know there’s some issue in there in terms of animal welfare. The entrance fee in the park is P200 for adults and P100 for kids.
Our last stop for the day is our early dinner at Backyard Burgers. Good spot for some meaty burger experience. Their signature burger cost P280, which was shared by me and my husband since the serving is really more than for one person. You may find my tripadvisor review here.
The thing about Davao is that the attractions are really far from each other. This is why 3-5 attractions will really consume most of your whole day already.
Our third day was my favorite and it’s all allotted for a day tour to Talikud Island. During my research prior to my trip, I have been reading a lot about Samal Island, and I was kind’a concerned that that may mean lots of people going to the island. So I did some more reading and came across this less famous but more beautiful island in Davao. Talikud Island is located in Davao del Norte (Davao City is located in Davao del Sur) which is 1 1/2 hours ferry ride from Sta.Ana Wharf. We went to Isla Reta Resort for a day tour, with an entrance fee of P75 for adults and P35 for children (4-10 yrs old), that means my 3 year old was free. Make sure to check the ferry schedule and other resort’s fees below:
The island has white powdery sand, just like that of Station 1 in Boracay only this one is more peaceful. The island provides a lot of pictorial opportunities especially if you’re like me who is a bit shy in taking pictures of myself in public. The sea water is calm since it’s surrounded with other nearby islands, perfect for swimming.
The food in island was also memorable because of this grilled fish we had. We forgot the name of the fish but it’s something I have not tasted before, they said it’s the same family as of the tuna fish but this one is meatier and juicier. Omighosh, it actually tastes like pork! I drool right now just thinking about it.
The downside of this trip is that since the ferry trips were limited, our stay was cut short and had to ride the boat back to catch the last trip. The last trip was 3pm, so we had to leave the island at around 2.30pm to give us enough time to walk towards the port.
Back in the city, after freshening up, we had our dinner at Tiny Kitchen Creations Restaurant. This I must say, is another treasure of Davao. The interiors of the restaurant looks very similar to the Tollhouse restaurant of Angeles City. The best seller was Paella Valenciana, and we ordered that, lasagna, chocolate mouse (for dessert) and the lemon cucumber juice for our drinks. The paella cost P485 but it was enough for the 3 of us. It was really tasty and fresh seafood ingredients! (Again, drooling!)
Since we had a late afternoon flight, we had the morning for rest and pasalubong shopping. We went to the market called Bangkerohan since we wanted to buy the most affordable fruits, and we were told that this is the place to be. Aside from buying lots of pomelo and durian/mangosteen candies, I also did not want to miss the chance of eating the famous King of all Fruits, Durian. Though, the smell was not a joke, it actually tasted good! The texture was a bit slimy but had gentle taste.
One thing that I love about Davao is that a lot of their street foods are sliced fruits, with an option to dip in their local vinegar, fruits like papaya, green mangoes, pineapples, etc. Such a healthy option, gearing away from the usual fried street foods.
What I don’t get about the city though is the abundance of people selling sim cards (yes, the ones we use for our cell phones) along the streets. If you usually, hear people in Manila selling you chips or cigs, here they sell sims! Like a lot! For those who can explain, please comment at the bottom this article, and solve this mystery for me. Thanks in advanced.
That concludes our entire family trip in Davao. What they say about Davao being safe, is definitely true. We have walked the streets of Davao at night without any fear. This is exactly the reason why Davao is perfect for family vacation. Happy traveling! #chimes
For more information on the items above, check their respective contacts:
www.bahaynituding.com – 09473613544
crocodilepark.ph – (082) 286 8883
edennaturepark.com.ph – (082) 301 0301
www.zabsbuffet.com – (082) 221 4643
Jazz Duterte (Van Rental) – 09178434702
www.facebook.com/IslaReta.Beach – 09282141487