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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Davao Tourist Spots

Davao Tourist Spots:

Davao is one of Philippine's must-see cities. And from the city itself, there are already a number of old, new, and renovated tourist spots one should visit.

Crocodile Park
Crocodile Park, Davao City
Hours: 8 AM to 7 PM, Daily
Tel: (082) 286 8883 or (082) 286 1054
Entry Fee
: Adult - Php150
Kids (2-12yr.old) - Php75

Adult Php 150.00 or $3.50 | Kids (2-12 years old ) Php 75.00 - See more at:
Adult Php 150.00 or $3.50 | Kids (2-12 years old ) Php 75.00 - See more at:
  • We only took a cab from downtown to the park (cost around Php200 less). There are taxis lined by the Exit as well, we left around 3PM.
  • Before entering the park or getting tickets, there's a village-like stores selling shirts, souvenirs, hats, batiks, etc.. There are food stalls and seats.
  • The Crocodile Park houses more than just crocs. While there are crocs of all sizes in several locations, we also found some ostriches, monkeys, an assortment of birds, tigers, and other interesting animals. 
  • It is fun to feed them crocs. You can buy Php20 worth of dead chicken and dangle it on the crocs. They will surely jump to reach it. But you gotta be fast if you're gonna tease them, coz they're pretty quick snatching the meat.
  • We took a tricycle (around Php80, 2-way) going to the Butterfly Park from the Crocodile Park. You could walk, but it's darn far and hot. 

The butterflies were lovely and never shy away from people much, so you can get some decent photos of them. There are various plants for sale, I think, and different kinds of trees on display.
Jack's Ridge
Jack's Ridge @ Shrine Hills, Matina, Davao City
Tel: 63.82.2978830 to 31
Entry Fee: Free
  • We also took a cab going to Jack's Ridge, just a few meters from Sto. Nino Shrine. We should've came night-time because the lights would be spellbinding, but due to time constraint, we had our lunch here instead.
  • The popular restaurant would be Taklobo, but since it was hot, my mom was cranky, we ate at the air-conditioned Karlo's Gourmet instead.
  • It's nice because it's over-looking the city. We saw that a bird created her nest waaaay up high a tall trunk. Jack's Ridge is often an event venue for parties, celebrations. They have an auditorium/stage area, pool, etc.. Check their package rates on their site - Jack's Rdige.
Sto Nino at the Shrine of the Infant Jesus
Sto Nino at the Shrine of the Infant Jesus  @ Shrine Hills, Matina, Davao City
Entry Fee: Free
  • This is a serene place, with white walkways, white seats, white gates. My eyes were relaxed with the surrounding greenery and slow chanting of nuns praying nearby. 
  • The gardens were landscaped, albeit simply. Several people come to visit to offer prayers and donation for the church.
People's Park
People's Park, Davao City (across Apo View Hotel)
Entry Fee: Free
  • We were surprised to find this part of the park where pigeons flock and actually feed on crumbs people throw on them. They will follow you down wherever you sit if you've got 'em crumbs.
  • The park is experienced better at night, minus the pigeons, but with the majestic lights, emphasizing the giant sculptures of various symbolic people, food, items of Mindanao culture.
  • Still, under the trees, with this perfectly designed cement floor tiles with pop-up colors, it's a bit mesmerizing watching the birds, breathing the cool breeze. Best to come here not hurried.
The Philippine Eagle Center
The Philippine Eagle Center, Malagos, way outside Davao City
Hours: 8 AM to 5 PM
Tel: (082) 224 3021
Entry Fee
: Adult - Php50
Youth (18yr.old below) - Php30
  • We rented a van coming here and to Eden Park Resort. Both are located outside the city, and we wanted to have the safety and convenience of a private hire. Took us about an hour, more or less, driving back to the city.
  • From the parking area, you had to walk about a kilometer or less to get to the ticketing booth. The receiving area is nicely designed, with tall trees towering over an elevated walkway and stairs. There's a comfort room, snacks for sale, and a souvenir shop.
  • Going in, the garden is landscaped, with a concrete pathway. There are few huts with seats for tired guests, and a small play area for kids.
  • The biggest eagles are, unfortunately, way up high. I mean their cages are placed on top of the hill, while people walk at the bottom. We looked up, and fortunately they we peering on our side of the cage. They were huge, like human-sized. I don't know, they probably just look so big from down the hill. They make these strong sounds. It's loud when they do.
  • Kinda sad in a way. We know birds love to fly. And these eagles can't.
  • There are many other eagles on display, with cages on the ground. Different colors, faces, feathers. If you're lucky you might catch one of their trainers letting them out for air, and you can request for a photo with the bird.
Eden Park Resort
Eden Park Resort, Matina, way outside Davao City
Hours: 8 AM to 5 PM
Tel: (82) 299-1020 or (82) 296-0791
Package Rates from Eden Nature Park & Resort Official Site:

We took the Buffet Lunch at Vista Restaurant + Guided Shuttle Tour:
Php520 + Php120 = Php640 per person
I think we were able to get on the 2nd round of Shuttle Tour, 9:45AM. After an hour, we were back in the welcoming area, near the Vista Restaurant. We freshened up, then chose a nice table inside the resto where the buffet tables are being prepared. Lunch started on 11:30AM.
For the tour, we rode a tram jeep, like in Corregidor.
The shuttle tour features various gardens. I'm not a plant person, but the whole park forest is like a whole garden. Some more fascinating than next.
Students from nearby barangay perform cultural dances and music at one of the tour stops.

Datu's House

Mayumi's Wishing Well
The road pretty much looks like this althroughout. No private cars allowed here, nor can fit here. The trams were specially made for the park. The fresh forest smell is disarming.

The Family Village is just across the entrance, parking, restaurant, and next to the Aviary. Guests stroll this way while waiting for lunch.
I waited forever for the peacocks to show their feathers. It was worth the half an hour of cooing, whistling, calling, and talking to the birds.
The Fishing Village. Fees apply to fish, and when you caught one, you gotta pay for it too.
Vista Restaurant buffet lunch
It's well ventilated, I think it was air-conditioned I don't remember. As many the tables are, it gets occupied fast, and late-comers eat outside where there are several dining tables.
Early diners get first pick on tables.
Buffet selections. I try to get one of each.
Lechon. There's a long line for this, and it's separate from the buffet because a cook is facilitating the grilling and plating.
  • Eden Nature Park is a man-made marvel. The price may be a little high just to drive around a manicured forest, but with the buffet on board, it all seem worth it. Even if it's located at the foot of a mountain, if you build it, people will certainly come.
  • The park helps nearby communities with work, so it's good to be able to support them.
  • It is well maintained, with cleaners and attendants all around the vicinity. The comfort room is huge and interesting, one part of the common room is open to the elements.

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