10 Interesting Facts about Davao That You Will Want To Know

If you’re looking for an interesting and off the beaten path travel destination, this post is for you.

Dahican Beach in Mati, Davao Oriental

So first up, where in the world is Davao Oriental?

Davao is located south of Philippines, and also its largest city. Davao Oriental is located right in the Davao region in Mindanao. Most people will think of the more popular places when they think of Philippines (ie. Boracay, Cebu, Palawan). These places are unquestionably beautiful, but also at the same time overcrowded and commercialised. So let us introduce Davao Oriental to you, the next food/party/beach travel destination to visit in the Philippines!

1. Davao has one of the nicest beaches in Philippines.

Most beach lovers will flock over to Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, etc in a heart beat. But if you’re like us, who’d prefer the less commercialised beaches, you will love Dahikan Beach in Mati City. Aquamarine waters, void of tourists, cheap & fresh coconuts and fun water sport activities like skim boarding and snorkelling!

My amateur attempt at skim boarding, very fun (and challenging)!

Fun fact for the day

Do you know that Dahican beach is also known as the skim boarding capital of Philippines?! Time to get your skim board ready!

Don’t forget to check out the largest whale in Philippines at the Sabangan Museum when you’re in Mati City!

2. Durian is everywhere in Davao and is very very cheap!

Durian lovers? You will love Davao! Durian, the king of fruit, is synonymous with Davao because it’s so widely available everywhere in Davao! Durian is being paired with almost every single food/drink here, not kidding. You have durian candy, durian coffee (it’s super nice!), durian pastries, durian ice cream, durian curry, basically durian everything! Durian is also really cheap here, it costs just S$0.50 for 1 kg!! The rich fertile volcanic soil and tropical climate of Davao make it perfect to grow durians and they have about 20 different species of durian here.

Best time to visit Davao for durian feasting

For hardcore durian fans, head to Davao during Aug-Oct when it’s the perfect season for durians!

Durian halo-halo is absolutely DA BOMB DIGGITY!!

3. The president of Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, lives here in Davao.

No wonder why Davao is often coined as one of the safest city in Philippines, their president resides here! Interestingly though, the security outside his house didn’t seem extravagant. In fact, if you hadn’t known, you probably wouldn’t even realise that you’ve just walked past Duterte’s house! Yes he still does live here! He’ll be in Manila during the weekdays but he’ll return here for the weekend!

Yes no joke, this is really the Philippines’s president’s house!

4. You can actually trek on top of a bonsai forest at Mount Hamiguitan (yes on top)!

This was one of the more interesting discoveries that we had during this trip. How cool is it to be able to trek on top of an entire bonsai forest which covered more than 6,000 hectares! With its immense collection of flora and fauna and unique landscape, it’s no wonder that this place has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! The mountain is only about 1,620m and will require at least 8 hours to reach the summit.

Photo by dfjtees

Unfortunately due to a tight schedule, we only made it to the museum of Mt Hamiguitan 🙁 We will be back!

Getting wowed away by the short presentation of Mt Hamiguitan

5. Davao has one of the best artisan goat cheese ever.

Cheese lovers, just a heads up, do you know that Davao produces one of the best cheese in the country (and maybe even in the world?) Unfortunately you can only get their cheese in Davao itself as they do not export it.

Perfect souvenir for cheese lovers back home!

You can get artisanal handmade cheese from Malagos Food, perfect as souvenirs for your loved ones back home if they happen to be cheese lovers too!

6. Party your night away at the Summer Frolic EDM festival!

This was our first time attending an EDM party in Philippines and we had soooo much fun! Summer Frolic is held once a year in Davao Oriental, Mati City. Think loud music, soap suds, coloured powder/paint, free flow of alcohol, bubbles and international DJs, everything that make a fun party!

Wheeeee! So fun to play with soap and bubbles! 😀

With the party squad!

7. You can enjoy some of the best award winning chocolates here in Davao.

At Malagos Chocolate, they pride themselves with their tree to bar method of making chocolates. They farm and harvest their own cacao beans and produce chocolates that are on par with the best in the world. They won the best drinking chocolates in the world at the 2015 International Chocolate Awards World Drinking Chocolate Competition in Germany.

8. Get your adrenaline fixed by taking the first ever ultralight flight in Davao!

Yup, just you and the pilot on a small wall-less aircraft.  Imagine that! It’s practically a 360 degrees view throughout the entire ride! The entire ride will take only around 15-20minutes with a fee of PHP1,300. But the literally breathtaking view from above is definitely worth the money!

Image credit: Inakisievert

9. Coconut is used for almost everything here.

Majority of Philippines coconut trees can be found in Davao and boy do they produce the freshest coconuts ever! They use coconut for almost everything, ie. delicious coconut flavoured food/desserts/drinks, coconut oil, coconut shampoo/soap/moisturiser, basically coconut everything.

image by Johanna Alexis

10. Do you know that a dinosaur still resides in the Philippines?

Well, at least not a “live” one, but a sleeping dino :p This shot is almost becoming the iconic landmark of Davao Oriental. You can find it along Badas Point in Barangay Dawan in Davao Oriental. Anyone driving along the scenic coast will definitely stop for a photo with the sleeping dinosaur! With the beautiful blue skies, fluffy clouds and azure waters, I don’t see why not! 🙂

Can you make out the shape of the sleeping dino? 😉

So how can we get to Davao from Singapore?

Good news is that Cebu Pacific flies direct to Davao twice a week and it only takes 4 hours to get there! So what are you waiting for! 😀 Book your tickets here!

More about Cebu Pacific

Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) is the largest airline in the Philippines, offering its low fares and seat sales on twice weekly flights between Singapore and Davao. It also flies direct to four other destinations from Singapore, including Manila (32 times weekly), Cebu (seven times weekly), Clark (seven times weekly) as well as Iloilo (up to three times weekly).

CEB also operates an extensive network across the Philippines with its 37 domestic destinations. Operating from six strategically placed hubs: Manila, Cebu, Clark, Kalibo, Iloilo and Davao, CEB is the preferred airline to explore the Philippine archipelago.

You can book flights through here or their Singapore number +65-3158-0808. Don’t forget to check out their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages!