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Davao City

Posted by on Apr 26th, 2009
Filed Under: Davao, Featured

davao city map

Davao has the idyllic charm of a small town, the sophisticated comforts of a modern metropolis, the best of both worlds – a destination that does not only promise leisure, escapades or profitable ventures but most importantly, a warm feeling of being home.

The beautiful city of Davao is surrounded by picture-perfect landscapes. Also known as Dabaw, it is the biggest metropolis in the Philippines in terms of land area. It is also among the country’s most progressive places, yet living there would still afford you the luxury of living in the countryside; thus it is dubbed as the “city of two worlds.”

Davao is in the southern part of Mindanao and is in the same island as Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Bukidnon.

Why Not Go

If you want to experience all night fun in street parties, this might not be the perfect place for you to visit. Although there are a number of nice bars in Davao, night life is not a big thing in this city as people prefer to go to parks and farms instead.

Why Go

Davao Samal Island

Pearl Farm @ Samal Island – A coastal paradise located at the heart of Davao Gulf. A haven to those seeking solace in an unspoiled and natural ambience and to those who are in quest for great adventure and extreme challenges with nature. It’s white and pristine beaches and diverse natural attractions combined with the warmth and hospitality of its people spell out its potential to be a world class ecotourism destination in this part of Southern Mindanao.
Photo by Jokojun

Davao is one of the must-see places in the Philippines because it has so much to offer its visitors. From the island treasure known as Pearl Farm in Samal island to the nature trips in its vast collection of farms, mountains, volcanoes and plantations, Davao makes for one very interesting city. It is also noteworthy to know that up to this day, you will still find a very diverse community here, with ethnic tribes and modern people coexisting harmoniously. Thus, you will often find a wide array of arts and crafts such as hand-woven cloths and ethnic beads being sold in market stands.

Best Time to Visit

Davao Kadayawan Festival

The Kadayawan is a celebration of thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, the bounties of harvest and serenity of living. The festival pays tribute to Davao’s artistic, cultural and historical heritage. Exciting events include the search for the “Hiyas sa Kadayawan”, the festival symbol who represents the tribal communities of Davao City, showcase of Mindanawon fashion and floral arts, river festival, indigenous music exhibition, dance competitions, trade fair, food and music parties, street dancing, and floral float parade..
Date: Every 3rd week of August
Photo by Belarminoed

Summer time is among the best period to head to Davao. It is said to be “typhoon-free” but it cannot escape rainfalls though they are not really as bad as the rest of the regions. It is advisable to visit the city during cold seasons if you prefer the cool breeze over sweaty sightseeing. Moreover, if you would like to experience how Dabawenyos celebrate their festivals, you might want to go there around the 3rd week of August as this is when they have a week-long celebration for the Kadayawan Festival.

Where to Stay

Philippines Hotels and Resorts

Save up to 75% on hotels in Philippines

• Marco Polo
If you are looking for a great place to stay with a Western flair, Marco Polo is your best bet. You may choose from rooms, suites, continental club rooms and continental executive suite, and signature suites. Every room in this hotel is set with broadband internet connection and other features which are most suitable for business travelers. Marco Polo Davao is located in between Claro M. Recto and Manuel Roxas Avenue. Rates start at $89.

• Bagobo hotel
If you are looking for a budget hotel, you can stay at the Bagobo Hotel. This place is situated at Gov. Duarte St. The hotel is strategically located in the main commercial, shopping and entertainment area. It has 35 air-con rooms with 24 hour cable TV and hot or cold shower. The room rates ranges from $18 to $42, depending on the type of accommodation.

Where & What to Eat

• Jack’s ridge
The ground where Jack’s Ridge is now located is previously a division of Japanese headquarters where the soldiers retreat to after the World War II ended. Americans arrived in Davao during May 1, 1945 obliging Japanese to head to Matina Hills where they had a superior lookout of the Davao Gulf since that was where the American vessels were anchored. The main restaurant provides Dabawenyo dishes like grilled tuna, pork and chicken inato, kinilaw, sinigang and more. They are located in Shrine Hills, Matina. You may call them at +6382-297-8830 for reservations.

• Aphat
If you are craving for spare ribs, Aphat is the place for you. Actually you may spend around $32 for buffet and get 7 dishes plus dessert and drinks.

• Dimsum Diner
Davao city is fortunate enough to be full of restaurants that offer Indian, French, Italian, Japanese and Chinese cuisines. Dimsum Diner has probably the best siomai in the city. If you are not familiar with this Chinese food then it is all the more reason for you to try it. They have many branches in the city, but for your convenience, you can try their restaurants in Agdao and Gaisano Mall.


As mentioned, nightlife is not big in Davao. Local people prefer dining and picnics. However you can check out The Venue along Jacinto Extension as it is the most frequented party place in the city.

From the article, you mentioned “The Venue” for nightlife. That is old news and “The Venus” and its surrounding compound is dying. The bigger area attracting nightlife is on F. Torres. There are many restaurants, bars, KTV, coffee shops. There are a few popular compounds loaded with locations. An other area is Rizal Street with Rizal Promenade. In Matina there is MTS (Matina Town Square) with lots of places too. – Bruce

My to do List

Samal Island
This mysterious and exotic island boasts of sparkling waters and sugary beaches. To get there, you can take a boat ride from the city wharf; the trip is about 45 minutes. People come here mostly to see or stay at the Pearl Farm. It is one of the most sought-after honeymoon destinations in the country.

Editor addon

PKTan: Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection which is sometimes complicated by hemorrhage or shock. There is no vaccine. Travelers to Samal Island should protect themselves from mosquito bites by applying repellent and keeping themselves covered.

• Crocodile Farm
Located in Diversion Road, Ma-a, this is the place where you can find a lot of crocodiles and other animals such as snakes and monkeys. Watch out for the biggest crocodile in the country, aptly named “Pangil” which means “fang.”

• Philippine Eagle Center
This place is about an hour away from the city, and you can take a bus ride going there. For a small price of about a dollar per person, you get to see the glorious Philippine Eagles. You can also try Falconry which is one of the highlights of this trip.

• Zip lines
There are many zip lines in Davao. There is one where you pay around $8 for the experience at Camp Sabros in Mt. Apo, or you can go to Eden Nature Park, a fantastic mountain resort boasting of a very exciting zip line experience.

Davao Mount Apo

Mount Apo is the highest mountain in the country and overlooks Davao City. Its name means “master” or “grandfather”. Mount Apo is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the Philippines, and the summit is easy to reach.
Photo by James Torres

• Mt. Apo
Of course, if you like mountain climbing, you should not miss out on this stratovolcano which happens to be the tallest mountain in the Philippines.

• Davao Museum
Located at the Insular Village in Lanang, the Davao Museum is where you can find the rich cultural history of the city preserved in one place. You will see ethnographical and archaeological collections gathered from the Mandaya, Bagobo, Manobo, Mansaka, B’laan and Tiboli tribes.

• Lanzones, Mangosteen and Durian
Never leave Davao without tasting these heavenly fruits! It might be important to say though that not everyone will love Durian because of its smell, but if you can, just hold your breath so you can sample this great-tasting fruit.

• Sul Orchids Farm
Davao has several orchid farms and among the most popular is the Sul Orchids Farm located at Luzviminda Village in Ma-a. Here you will find the most beautiful orchids which Davao is actually quite famous for. You can also choose to purchase some, if you like.

• Shopping
The Gaisano Mall or G-Mall is a really big mall, and it is 6 floors high. There you can find anything and everything you want for clothes, accessories, electronics, and food.

Stay Away From

Well, there are not that many crimes in Davao since authorities always ensure the safety of its locals and visitors. It is in fact one of the safest places in the country.
On the other hand, you need to be aware of the fact that Davao is a smoke-free city so smoking in public places can really get you in trouble. And they also prohibit the use of firecrackers even during special holidays such as Christmas and New Year.

Getting There

You can get to Davao by air, land and sea. For air travel, you get the advantage of having a wide choice of entry points because Davao already has an International Airport. You can get there from Singapore (SilkAir), Macau (Viva Macau), Darwin (Air Frontier), Seoul (Asiana) and many more. For domestic air travel, you can catch a flight from Manila, Zamboanga, and Cebu via PAL or Cebu Pacific; there are also smaller planes which can take you to Davao from other cities.
Sea travel would get people to Davao from Cebu and Manila, and a few other major cities in the country. It is usually an overnight trip to get there.

Land travel is especially advisable for travelers who are currently in Mindanao. You can get there from Cagayan, Iligan, Bukidnon, and Zamboanga by bus. You can even get there from Manila by taking the PhilTranco buses, it is going to be a long trip but it’s the scenic route to Davao.

Bus Name




Bachelor Bus Lines 24 hours daily (via DAVAO to PANABO)

Deluxe – Php 43.00
Aircon – Php 52.00

Tel. no.
244 – 0637
Weena Bus Line D eluxe: 1:30 am
Aircon: 4:30 am

Deluxe – Php 294.00
Aircon – Php 339.00

Tel. no.
249 -0033/
249 -0034
Holiday Bus Deluxe:
1st trip – 3:00 am
2nd trip- 12:00 md

1st trip – 4:00am
2nd trip – 6:00 pm


Deluxe – Php 100.00
Aircon – Php 140.00

Tel. no.
222 – 3375
Davao Metro Shuttle Deluxe:
1st trip – 4:30 am
2nd trip- 10:45 pm

1st trip – 6:00am
2nd trip – 10:40 pm


Deluxe – Php 43.00
Aircon – Php 47.00

Tel. no.
296 -0870
299- 2961
Yellow Bus Lines Deluxe: 4:00am
Aircon: 1:30 am

Deluxe – Php 100.00
Aircon – Php 165.00

Tel. no.
297 – 6873
Philtranco Deluxe: 3:00 am
Aircon: 5:00 am


Deluxe – Php 1,800.00++
Aircon – Php 2,200.00++

Tel. no.

Airline Name




Air Philippines Domestic:
Manila to Davao
1st flight :7:30 a.m
2nd flight:2:00 p.m
Davao to Manila
1st flight:9:40 a.m
2nd Flight :7:15p.m
Manila to Davao:
Php 5,733
Davao to Manila:
Tel nos
Cebu Pacific Domestic:
Manila to Davao
1st flight: 7:20 a.m.
2nd flight: 12:30 nn.
3rd flight: 2:40 p.m.
4th flight: 6:10 p.m.
5th flight: 9:40 p.m.
Davao to Manila
1st flight: 5:05 a.m.
2nd flight: 10:15 a.m.
3rd flight: 12:25 nn.
4th flight: 3:55 p.m.
5th flight: 7:25 p.m.

1st flight: 5:50 a.m.

1st flight: 5:50 a.m.

1st flight: 7:25 a.m.
2nd flight: 12:30 n.
3rd flight: 2:40 p.m.
4th flight: 6:10 p.m.
5th flight: 9:45 p.m.

Manila to Davao
Lowest Rate:
Php 2395
Davao to Manila
Lowest Rate
Php 2412

Php 10226++

Php 11,200++

Php 9239++

Ticketing Office:

Scheduling office:


SilkAir International:
1st flight: 11:35 a.m.
2nd flight: 3:15 p.m.
Round Trip:
Business Class:
Php 41,000++
Economy Class:
Php 19,000++
Tel nos.


Philippine Airlines Domestic:
1st flight
2nd flight
1st flight
2nd flight
Tel nos.

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Roz Visarra has always been fond of travelling. As a young girl, she would travel with her parents in the Visayas and Mindanao because their relatives are from all these areas. She currently resides in Cebu, the Queen City of the South and looks forward to her next travel. Learn more about me [+]

Tourism Philippines thrives on the knowledge of the community. Got a tip, photo or even a guide on a place you been to in Philippines? We will love to hear from you!

20 Responses to “Davao City”

  1. Little Boy says:

    Davao is the most productive and progressive because of its natural resources,and yet davao is wellknown as “STATE OF DURIAN”….aside from that!!Davao is clean and organized city..updated in every provinces and barangays….rich of wonderful resorts,clean and whitesand beaches,known hotels and religious people.PROUD TO BE DABAWENYO’S..Mayor duterte ASTIG Ka talaga you bring up davao as a “CITY OF DISCIPLINE”…

  2. Ricardo says:

    found tourism paradise philippines from google, great site, and very detailed information. This Davao Travel guide will come in handy soon!

  3. Bruce says:

    From the article, you mentioned “The Venue” for nightlife. That is old news and “The Venus” and its surrounding compound is dying.
    The bigger area attracting nightlife is on F. Torres. There are many restaurants, bars, KTV, coffee shops. There are a few popular compounds loaded with locations. An other area is Rizal Street with Rizal Promenade.
    In Matina there is MTS (Matina Town Square) with lots of places too.

    • Tomas says:

      Hi, I now live in Manila on Burgos st. in Makati. Is there any places like that in Davao? Where there are a lot of foreingers,sidewalk cafes, bars and it is active till late in the night. Is it safe to live there I feel very safe in Makati City. Some one told me it is much more reasonable than Manila is that True? Thank you for your help

      • Ryan says:

        Uhm, Burgos in Makati? That’s like the red light district of the city… I am not privy nor I encourage everyone to patronise such areas. Sorry mate.

    • dai says:

      true true!! nightlife in davao has changed so much and it can be one of the “it” places to go to if you are a party-lover… glitz-and-glamour has flourished incredibly to the high-spirited davaoenios… plus! is the guaranteed security which davao is truly known for.

  4. JAckie says:

    I can say Im so proud to be a Dabawenya, I have live in US for over 2 yrs and next month will surely come back to my Homeland Davao City. I will surely visit all the places mention above and newest addition is The People’s Park. I will surely enjoy my stay in Davao as always together with my friends and family. Darn Im sure Im gonna spend a lot of money for this one month Trip!! Thanks for telling everyone in the world that we have such a nice City..and Im so proud of it!!

  5. Bruce says:

    To update you about the Venue. It is now closed and the call center next door is taking over the building. Now most night life is on Rizal or F Torres streets.

  6. One of the advantages of living in Davao City is its being typhoon free. We experience rains but that’s that. I can’t remember us experiencing a typhoon here. This is probably the reason why many Filipinos from different parts of the Philippines are considering to settle here in the Durian City. In addition to that, there’s a growing number of land developers here, giving our fellow kababayans and foreigners alike more options to choose from.


  7. Boni C says:

    I’ve been away from my birthplace, Talikud Island, and my family residence, Matina-Davao City, since December 14, 1986. Within this almost 23 years of hibernation in North America (USA & Canada), I’ve been thinking, “How does my place of origin look nowadays? Are there lots of new good places to see and enjoy?” Since I’ll be retiring in less than 2 years, I have started my search in the internet on the improvements and developments of my place as I plan to come back and settle there again during my retirement years.

    Per my readings of some postings in this site, I can tell that indeed there are a number of new and beautiful places to roam around and frolic their natural beauties and wonders. With all the nice information about my Davao City and IGACOS, the urge to come home has gone up to the ceiling! I’m preparing for this first ever return trip there.

    Thank you, people, for all your inputs. You made my day!

    Boni C

    • Bruce says:


      I am an American and in 6 days will be my 2nd anniversary living in Davao. I am sure you will be shocked with the changes. Many new buildings and over crowded conditions. As many move to Manila for opportunities, I think the same is for people of Mindanao coming to Davao City.
      With the Mayor making this a safe city, many foreigners move here too. Then as mentioned by Sonia, it is also Typhoon free.
      On my site I try to write about the city, life here and cultural differences for both sides to better understand each other.
      I hope you will visit and comment to me what you think.
      Best of luck on your return and reclamation.

      • Artemio Esparas says:

        Hey Bruce,

        How are you doing? Are there any ex-pats living in Davao. Do they have a club or meetings? Please let me know as I am thinking of retiring to Davao next year. Cheers

  8. James Torres says:

    thanks for giving credit to my photo :)


    davao such a wonderful place ever..

  10. poknut says:

    “It is in fact one of the safest places in the country”… can you put it on the top of the list? or most safe CITY(the population and the geographical site) if you permit me. in addition, 911 kick’n ass!!! a drunk ballot vendor was accidentally hit by PUB… a few mins past a medical team wearing gloves and mask arrived and assisted him. you don’t believe me? Just as what I’ve thought before… That is one of the reasons i keep on coming back to spend my vacation….

  11. George says:

    I am from the USA and have visited Davao several times.
    I enjoy it, Samal Island and the surrounding attractions.

    I am always told the Davao is the SAFE City on Mindanao.
    But recently I have had several Filipino friends there get robbed of their mobile phones and other valuables on the Jeepney. In one instance, the robber even pulled a gun on my friends. They all said the Jeepney driver did nothing.

    I think the Mayor of Davao should being doing more to assure that Locals and Visitor feel safe using the Jeepneys at late night. We all do not take the AirCon Taxi.

  12. dan says:

    hi all!

    I was born in davao but half of my life was raise in manila, I have seen the big improvement of my homeland ( DAVAO CITY ) from the time we moved to manila with family. Now Davao city has lots of new arise buildings anywhere in the city proper. More bars and beautiful has been developed but the best thing I really like in Davao was the honest behaviour of the people specially the Taxi driver. Comparing to Cebu and Manila their taxi driver was really urge to cheat the meter for the fare charges but in the Davao they really not asking for any additional charge and even 50 cents they will geve it back to you. You can also call taxi by phone or txt to pick you up in your location without any additional charges. They are humble, honest and God fearing people.

  13. Robert says:

    Hello all,

    I was born and grew up in Davao. Now I am in Manila living here for the past 5 years.
    I still go to Davao very often to visit my family.
    As other natives of Davao, I really love this place. I infact promote it to my friends and officemates and everytime they came back here in Manila from Davao they all have the same responses “Robert, you are right! It is such a wonderful place and need to go back there.”

    The cabbies (taxi drivers) in Davao are generally honest. You will not feel paranoid that the taxi you get in might outsmart you by charging you more or deny you. They even give you change even if it is 1, 2 , 5 peso coins.

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