Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Davao City and Overview

Davao City Philippines: A City on The Verge

Davao City is a noted as the largest city is all of southern Asia. Not only is it set in a progressive path forward, it is without a doubt a city on the verge of becoming a modern metropolis. In saying this I also know the path to progression is often a road less traveled here. This island is steeped in history breaking those traditions is often against instilled values of many here.

The Island of Mindanao is a piece of the massive archipelago which the Philippines are part of. In all over 7,200 islands make up this country with Mindanao being the 2nd largest of them.  The large island here is surrounded by four seas including Sulu Sea to the West, the Philippine Sea to the east, the Celebes Sea to the south and the Mindanao Sea to the north. The island has many geographical areas including plateaus, swampy plains, mountains and volcanic peaks. Of the tallest mountain Davao City is home to the tallest in all of the Philippines named “Mt. Apo”. This region is a hiker’s dream and with the lakes and high altitude one can at a nice 11,194 feet (3,412 meters). The translation of the word “Apo” means “ancestor” and is a flat topped mountain with 3 peaks and a massive 1650 foot crater which is home to a beautiful mirrored lake. A typical climb to the top and back takes 2 days and is well worth the trip. In December 2009 Mount Apo was submitted into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This and the National Park in and around Apo are a site to see and enjoy including just over 156,000 acres to roam.

If mountain climbing is not your thing then the beauty of the Garden City Island of Samal is just a short ride away. Taking a ferry to the island is quick and trouble free. Once there many places are close by to eat, venture and just hang out at the beachside resorts that line the rims and highlands of this vacation hot spot. For those wanting a peaceful falls setting try Hagimit on for size. Resorts such as the world famous Pearl Farm and Paradise Resort are just a few of the samples of how good the life is on this isle. Even a day with a scooter rental from Davao can yield a venture all its own. With a little bit of exploring one can find their way around the island and the city to enjoy the day and nightlife as well.

Transportation here is by taxi or jeepney. Though the jeepneys are an adventure on their own, without the knowledge of the city one could be caught in a turnstile of riding for hours on end. With the low cost of taxi rides it is the best and safest bet to get to your destination quickly. Even long trips to surrounding areas like Digos, Panabo and even Kidapawan can be accessed through taxis. If taking trips multiple times one should look into renting a van and driver for the day. These often are self sufficient and big, roomy and very comfortable. If visiting multiple sites like the Philippine Eagle Park, Crocodile Park and other adventure places one will want to rent a van as a cost saving venture.

Nightlife here and restaurants are great. Try the Rizal Street Habanna Compound for both and seek the many restaurants which dot the city everywhere. Not only is the local dishes great but those not willing to adventure into a different cultural food will gladly find European, American  and other traditional restaurants here. Try the great city overview restaurant and night entertainment place called Jack’s Ridge. This all time favorite is a must go to and the view over the city is nothing short of stunning.  Other must see places include Seagull Resorts both in the mountain and by the sea.

For the shopper in all of us Davao is now home to 7 malls with great shopping also in Chinatown a shopper’s paradise for bargains galore. If entertainment is what you want then places like MTS (Matina Town Square), Victoriana’s and Metro are good choices for live bands and great music. Coffee shops and quite places line the city on every turn. If wanting to take a night stroll head on down to People’s Park where the unique statues make great photo ops for those looking to take home a memory or two. Many nightlife clubs are bars are abound in the city and its surrounding area, one will have to choose their way as the choices are endless.

The “melting pot” of Mindanao is Davao City for sure. With this city supporting the lives of many it has created a bustling region which compares to no other here. Come see the new and improved but also lose yourself in the time honored traditions of the multiple tribes and people who live here. The borders of Davao Del Sur and its many natural wonders will keep even the pickiest of vacationers alive with adventure.

Sponsored by Jeff Harvie,Australian Registered Migration Agent (MARN 0959797) with Down Under Visa, which specialises in Australian partner visas.