In more ways than one, Davao City is reminiscent of Singapore – it is a food (or rather, fruit) paradise, smoking is banned except only in designated areas, liquor is not allowed to be sold after 1 a.m., and the list goes on.
All these regulations are part of President Duterte’s efforts to make his hometown, Davao, a safer place to live in.
Much like Singapore, despite its strict rules and regulations, this quaint city is rich in culture and its fruit varieties.
I sent Linette on this trip to check out the fruit paradise they call Davao. She shows you the best things to do in Davao, what to eat and where to stay.
The best takeaway from my Davao trip is the mangoes, as they had the perfect balance of sweet and sour – just how I like them to be. I also heard from one of the tour guides that 1kg of durians apparently only costs around USD1!
What to do in Davao, Philippines
1. Bantawan of Kadayawan Folk Village
Get a blast from the past at the Bantawan of Kadayawan Folk Village, where life-size showcase of the indigenous houses of 11 tribes of Davao can be found. You may even enter some of the houses to check out the interior and get a glimpse of how these indigenous people used to live their lives.
It is located at Magsaysay Park, a public park where many students go to after school to play a game of volleyball or dance together. Young couples also often visit this park for quiet strolls together, and there are many fruit stands where you can buy local fruits from.
While touring the area, don’t forget to bring some insect repellent along with you and beware of pickpockets!
Magsaysay Park 5 R Magsaysay, Poblacion District, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur, Philippines
2. Cheese and chocolate farm
You’ve heard of wine and cheese tasting, but have you heard of cheese and chocolate tasting?
Of course, the cheese and chocolate are not to be eaten together. Instead, the cheese and chocolate tastings are located very near each other, within the Malagos Farmhouse.
All the cheeses are made in-house by artisan cheesemaker, Olive P. Puentespina, who gets her goat and cow milk from her family farm! Through many years of experimentation, she has finally engineered the “Philippine Style” of making cheese, ranging from fresh goat cheese, goat milk mozzarella, whole milk ricotta, pecorino, and many more.
After tasting the savoury cheeses, you may then hop over to the chocolate tasting section where you can taste rich, dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate lovers will rejoice, as they have three varieties of dark chocolate ranging from 65% to 80% to choose from.
Malagos Farmhouse Bolcan Street, Agdao, Davao City [email protected] +63 82 225 1573
What to eat in Davao, Philippines
The Boodle Fight is a military style of feasting where long tables are prepared and food is placed on top of banana leaves.
With the sheer amount of food laid out in front of us (22 different varieties!), we can tell that the Filipinos take their feasts very seriously.
Before we started The Boodle Fight, we had to wash our hands with jugs of water prepared at the side, as the feast is to be eaten with bare hands. However, the thoughtful staff at RBG restaurant not only provided us with gloves, but also with utensils as many of us Singaporeans have no inkling about how to eat with our hands.
RBG Bar and Grill Park Inn by Radisson Davao J.P. Laurel Ave., 8000 Davao City, Philippines +63 82 272 7600 local 105 [email protected]
Where to stay in Davao, Philippines
Park Inn by Radisson Davao
If you have read my previous article about Clark, Park Inn by Radisson Davao is similar to Park Inn by Radisson Clark, in terms of their energetic branding reflected in their choice of décor and furnishings. Every level also features a different coloured theme!
Park Inn by Radisson Davao is situated at a prime location, next to SM Lanang Premiere Mall. The hotel is 15 minutes away from Davao International Airport and 15 minutes away from the city center.
The hotel is equipped with 204 rooms, spread across three categories – Standard Rooms, Superior Rooms and Junior Suites.
As Junior Suite are corner rooms, families may opt to book both rooms as there is an extra set of doors that cordons off the two corner rooms. They may then open the adjoining room doors and get access to each other’s room conveniently.
I had the privilege of spending one night in one of the standard rooms. As I was travelling solo, I felt that the room size was perfect.
The standard room came with a spacious queen-sized bed, a television, an electronic kettle with complimentary tea and coffee, a mini refrigerator and a safe.
Compared to the room I stayed in in Clark, this bathroom was slightly bigger, but had the same shower amenities.
The bathroom came with a rain shower as well as a handheld shower head.
As many other hotels often provide shower soaps from dubious brands, I’m always hesitant to use them as I’m afraid it would damage my hair or dry out my skin. However, Park Inn by Radisson Davao provided Dove shampoo and body soap – a brand that many of us are familiar with.
It also came with a hairdryer, something that is an absolute necessity for girls like me with long, thick hair that takes forever to dry.
If you are the type of person who cannot miss your daily workout, hotel amenities include a beautiful swimming pool equipped with sun beds in the pool, as well as a poolside bar!
Although the gym is not very big, it is very well-quipped with barbells, treadmill, yoga mats and exercise balls. Moreover, it has male and female locker rooms for you to keep your valuables safe while you work out a sweat.
Park Inn by Radisson Clark also provides a venue for meetings and social events. The hotel has 4 meeting rooms, named after the distinctive local fruits of Davao – Mangosteen, Durian, Pomelo, Cacao and Lanzones.
All four meeting rooms can be combined into one large meeting room to cater to large events.
What makes Park Inn by Radisson Davao even more ideal is that it is connected to the SM Lanang Premiere Mall via a link bridge. Whether rain or shine, you will still be able to satisfy your shopaholic needs. SM Lanang has a wide range of shops ranging from fashion to drugstore, catering to your every need.
Park Inn by Radisson Davao J.P. Laurel Ave., 8000 Davao City, Philippines +63 82 2727600 [email protected]
Special thanks to Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group for making this stay possible! All opinions remain my own.