DAVAO TRAVEL GUIDE / PART 1

TRAVELGUIDE

  1. Introducing Davao
  2. How To Get There
  3. Must-Visit Places in Davao City

INTRODUCING DAVAO

Davao is the gateway to the southern Philippines, a hub of commerce, industry and transportation in the southern Mindanao region. The city is hailed as one of the world’s safest cities and you do not have to fear about going out late at night because it is really safe. Davao is the hometown of current President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte and he has devoted many years to the development in Davao. There are many places of interest that are worth visiting in this city and in this blog entry, I will share about the attractions that we have visited during this four-day Davao trip.

I will also like to give a big shout out to Cebu Pacific Air Team for inviting me and together with the rest of the social media team for this fun-filled adventure to Davao.

HOW TO GET THERE

18056375_10212381589996115_9025240163275708302_o

Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) is the largest airline in the Philippines, offering its low fares and seats on twice weekly flights (Thur/Sun) between Singapore and Davao. For those who are keen to travel to Davao, you can book flights through this link here or their Singapore number  +65-3158- 0808. Flight time from Singapore to Davao is 3 hours 45 minutes.

MUST-VISIT PLACES IN DAVAO CITY

  •  Sleeping Dinosaur

RAP_4417.JPG

The Sleeping Dinosaur is one of the famous landmarks where many travellers will stop over for a photo opportunity. You can get a clear good view of sleeping Dinosaur Island from the viewing point on top of Barangay Badas. Sleeping Dinosaur is one of the most uniquely formed islands in the Philippines and the landscape resembles a dinosaur lying on its belly.

Barangay Dawan, Mati, Mindanao, Philippines

  • Mount Hamiguitan

RAP_4690

Mount Hamiguitan is a mountain located in the province of Davao Oriental, Philippines and has a height of 1,620 metres. The wildlife sanctuary is known for its century-old trees and home to one of the most diverse wildlife populations in the county. It is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mindanao and the sixth World Heritage site in the Philippines.

RAP_4695

Mount Hamiguitan houses the Natural Science Museum, allowing visitors to have an interactive experience of UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also has a research center, cabins for visitors, mountain trails, tree top adventures, hanging bridge, bird watching, butterfly trails, camping grounds and gardens.

RAP_4702

There were binoculars to look through and you can see some of the endangered, endemic and rare species of flora and fauna like the pitcher plant.

  • Subangan Museum

RAP_4455

The Subangan Museum features the rich cultural and natural heritage of the Province of Davao Oriental. As you enter Subangan Museum, you will be greeted by an enormous sperm whale skeleton. The huge sperm whale skeleton is 7th largest in world exhibits and was found in the shores of Davao Oriental.

RAP_4513

There is also a section in Subangan Museum dedicated to Typhoon Pablo, the strongest tropical cyclone to ever hit Mindanao. It was heart wrenching to learn about the fatalities and devastating effect caused to the communities and farmlands by this deadliest storm ever recorded in history. This is the reminder that we are blessed to be born in Singapore as we are the country at the lowest risk of natural disasters. In terms of natural disasters, Singapore is in the fortunate position on the geographical map of being encased by our neighboring southeast asia countries.

Mati, Davao Oriental, Philippines

  • City Hall of Mati

RAP_4670

We also had the great honor to meet with the Provincial Governor of Davao Oriential, Nelson Dayanghirang. When we were told that we are going to have an interactive dialogue session with the Provincial Governor, I was thinking, “Wow! We are going to meet an influential awe-inspiring political figure!”

RAP_4637.JPGDuring the interactive session, the provincial governor shared his thoughts on the region’s development and his future plans to further develop the region. The social media influencers took turn posting the governor questions about the future plan he envisioned for the city. Based on my personal observation during the trip, I felt that Davao is an up-and-coming city having a lot of potential to develop into a popular tourist destination.

However, a main issue I thought is that the aspect of public transportation mode is lacking within the city and there is room for improvement in the efficiency of the transportation system in Davao. It is clear that transport is a personal and political important matter in everyone’s lives for commuting to-and-fro from work and home. Solving and improving the transportation system will require the attention and careful long-term strategic planning by the government.

RAP_4664 (2)

Having the priceless photo taking moment with the Provincial Governor of Davao Oriental, Nelson Dayanghirang! He is such a humble fatherly figure and someone who is willing to listen and interact with people from all walks of life.

RAP_4674

The social media influencers (Daniel & Gina, Sunrise Odyssey), (Keith, TravelInspiration360), me and (Sy, Sylistic.com) having the photogenic smile, posing outside the City Hall of Mati.

City Hall of Mati

  • Pujada Island

Another places-of-interest that is worth a visit is the Pujada Island.

18056495_10212397780080857_6191710416024817413_o

We were transported to Pujada Island via a 40-minute  boat ride away from Blue Bless Resort in Mati City.

DCIM100GOPROG0100151.

The island offers the perfect getaway for those who would like to escape the humdrum of city life without breaking the bank. Every city dwellers will love this carefree escapade to experience an ideal sanctuary of a beach life in Pujada Island.

RAP_4818
Sharing a picture moment with Keith, TravelInspiration360

I have known about Keith and his blog a couple of years ago when he contacted me through Facebook, and I was one of the “travel bloggers” back then he asked for tips about “blogging”. Over these years, his blog has flourished with him and he has a great number of followers on his Instagram and Facebook.

3S8A7988

The weather was perfect for the beach boys and girls to enjoy ourselves and we had an amazing sunshiny day on Pujada Island.

RAP_4852

Who doesn’t love spending great time with fun filled activities in a stunning pristine soft white sands beach, soaking up the sun and vitamin D in Summer?  

New Phototastic Collage.jpgThere are a variety of fun beach activities such as snorkerlling in deep clear blue waters of Pujada Bay, kayaking or making sandcastles to have a good day on this island.

3S8A7993

For beach goers, you will absolutely love a trip to Pujada Island, the beautiful unexploited paradise with memorable beach moment.

Pujada Island, Mati, Philippines

Please stay tuned for the second part of Davao Travel Guide.

Safe travel always for my fellow travellers!

Add me on Instagram @Invinciblerene to get daily updates to my life as a globe trotter 🙂

 

 

TOP 8 MUST-VISIT ATTRACTIONS IN BANDUNG

DSC_4624.JPG

KAWAH PUTIH

kawah putih1.jpg

Kawah Putih is a phenomenal tourist attraction that you have to visit and is one of the most popular places of interest in South Bandung. Kawah Putih is an amazing sulphuric lake and you can smell the odour of sulphur as you make your way down the pathway to the lake which is surrounded by the high walls of the crater. The magnificent scenery of Kawah Putih makes it a favourite place for those who enjoy photography and there are many nice photo taking spots to capture your perfect selfie. The mystical atmosphere of Kawah Putih is one of the best places to refresh your mind and soul while taking deep breath of the fresh cool air.

Address: Jl. Raya Soreang Ciwidey, Sugihmukti, Pasirjambu, Bandung, Jawa Barat 40973, Indonesia

situ patenggang.jpg

SITU PATENGGANG

situ-patenggang-2

Another popular place of interest to visit in South Bandung is Situ Patenggang and is also known as the Lake Patenggang. Beside the fresh air, the journey to Situ Patenggang is a joy to ride with the natural lush green surroundings of the numerous tea plantations and strawberry farms. Arriving in Situ Patenggang, you will be greeted with the exotic and impressive landscape of the lake. There are many beautiful brightly colored boats that can take you around the lake or you can just sit by to enjoy the serenity and natural beauty of this place.

Address: Jalan Raya Patengan (Ciwidey), Bandung, West Java, Indonesia

20170123_145354.jpg

RANCABALI

rancabali2

Rancabali is a large tea plantation estate and your eyes will be treated by an enormous view of a vast tea gardens with its beautiful segment.

Address: Rancabali, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia

20170125_080759_002.jpg

TEBING KERATON

tebing keraton.jpg

At 1200m above sea level, Tebing Keraton is a great place to see best view of the morning sunrise. You will be overwhelmed with the misty looks of the clouds over the mountains while overlooking the beautiful scenery of Bandung. Find a spot, take a moment to relax, breathe and admire the splendid view you are looking at. Enjoy the little moment in life for one day, you will look back and remember these beautiful memories you once had.

Address: Lembang, Ciburial, Cimenyan, Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat 40198, Indonesia

lembang.jpeg

LEMBANG

lembang2.jpg

Lembang is a peaceful place in the West Bandung, blessed with pleasant weather and abundant natural wealth. The fresh air and cool climate makes this region as the ideal location of agriculture plantation. There are also many cool cafes in Lembang to visit that make you look great on Instagram. One of the most instagrammable cafes that I went is ‘Lereng Anteng Panoramic Coffee Place’ and the trademark of this cafe is the outdoor area, where you’ll be seated inside a clear tent. You can enjoy the scenic mountain view while sipping your cup of coffee inside the tent.

Address: Lembang, West Bandung Regency, West Java, Indonesia

20170125_105501_002.jpg

FARMHOUSE

farmhouse.jpg

Another popular place of interest to visit in West Bandung is Farmhouse Susu Lembang. Farmhouse Susu Lembang is a family-friendly attraction and will give your children hours of fun. An attraction recommended to see is the Hobbit’s house.

20170125_110439_001.jpg

You may also rent a European ethnic dress which I chose to wear the German traditional dress and walkaround with it. Not forgetting to take photos of myself wearing the traditional dress for memory’s sake.

20170125_111239.jpg

Another attraction within Farmhouses is the petting zoo and I just love how adorable the sheep is.

Address: Jalan Raya Lembang No.108, Gudangkahuripan, Lembang, Kabupaten Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat 40391, Indonesia

20170125_123132_001.jpg

DUSUN BAMBU

dusun bambu.jpg

Dusun Bambu is otherwise known as Bamboo Village, a popular family retreat in West Bandung. This mountain-top resort attracts many visitors, offering a wide array of activities from camping grounds, petting zoo, traditional food/ souvenir shops and many more. When you are hungry, you can either eat at any of the restaurants or the food court.

20170125_125215.jpg

It is lunch time and I am famished! I enjoy a feast of authentic Sundanese cuisine at Burangrang, the biggest cafe at Dusun Bambu, comfortably on a large oval couch with a clear panoramic view of the cafe’s surroundings.

Address: Jalan Kolonel Masturi KM. 11, Kertawangi, Cisarua, Lembang, Kertawangi, Cisarua, Kabupaten Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat 40551, Indonesia

four points .png

FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON BANDUNG

four points 4.jpg

I was gladly invited by Glenn for a 2 nights’ staycation at Four Points by Sheraton Bandung, an upscale 4 stars’ hotel featuring a striking classic-modern European style with monochromatic accent. Strategically located in Dago, the heart of Bandung tourist sites with everything you need is available within walking distance.

premiere-suite

When booking a hotel room for my overseas trip, I will look at the comfortability level of the hotel bed. Having regular and restful sleep is especially important for a frequent traveller like me, I have to feel refreshed and re-energised and be more ready than not to welcome a new day of activities that are planned out. The signature bed of Four Points is customed designed to give you the good quality sleep you have been yearning for.

sky-lounge-outdoor

One of my favourite hangout spot in the hotel is the 12th floor Edelweiss Sky Lounge, with a view overlooking Bandung landscape day and night. I enjoy the cool night breeze over a glass of cocktail Sangria with the sound of contemporary music mix playing at the Sky Lougne.

lobby-reception

Four Points by Sheraton is your perfect choice of comfortable and convenient accomodations in Bandung. This is where you find a good combination of exceptional service and luxury place to stay with an affordable room rate. Make Four Points by Sheraton Bandung your home away from home by booking directly here. You may find more about the hotel at www.fourpointsbandung.com or follow Instagram @fourpointsbandung.

promo.png

I would also like to share this great news with my readers that Four Points by Sheraton Bandung is having a limited time offer for Singaporeans and Malaysians which you need to do is simply clicking fourpoints.ht/2jLTrk6 to book. Kindly note that this special promotion is only valid till 31 March 2017.  

Address: Jalan Ir. H.Juanda, Dago, Bandung, Indonesia, 40115

 

5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Bintan!

Are you planning a romantic getaway and wondering if you should visit Bintan Island in Indonesia? If you are looking for signs as to why Bintan deserves your most sought after escapade, here are the 5 reasons why you should head to an island blessed with beautiful white beaches and year-round tropical weather.

20161231_181356
Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal

REASON ONE: CLOSE VICINITY TO SINGAPORE

Bintan Island is just an hour ferry ride from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and the return tickets can be easily booked here. The close vicinity makes it a popular destination for Singaporeans for a short weekend getaway or an impromptu vacation out of the country.

20161231_194635
On board the last ferry ride on the last day of 2016 and do I look like a Deejay with the headphone around my neck?

I have been wanting to visit Bintan again after my last visit to the island where I compete in the Spartan Beast Race. I was enchanted by the exquisite natural beauty of the place and the heartfelt hospitality that I received during my stay. Therefore, I accepted the offer when my Indonesian friend Shandy invited me over to welcome the New Year.

REASON 2: FRIENDLY AND TRUSTWORTHY LOCAL TOUR GUIDE

20161231_222209That’s my friend Shandy beside me and I am so glad that he extended his invitation to welcome me in Bintan for the New Year’s Eve celebration. He is the founder of Travelin, his own travel agency company start-up. Travelin is a short term for Travel Indonesia.

Shandy is a friendly and trustworthy tour guide who knows Bintan really well and just the right man you need to find when you visit this island. I’m absolutely grateful to him for taking care of my itinerary, lodging, meals, tour activities, and so on for the six days I spent in Bintan.

We even made an on-the-spot collaboration to make a carpool karaoke video which we had fun singing while counting down to the year 2017. This unique LED car with Maroon 5’s songs installed on it can only be found in Lagoi Bay Plaza, Bintan Island.

REASON 3: EXCITING AND VIBRANT NIGHTLIFE

20170101_004801
Silk Night Club

Another reason to visit Bintan is its exciting and vibrant night scenes. The newly relaunched Silk Night Club is the best place on the island to party and to get the ultimate party vibes. The dance floor is empty before the stream of crowd arrived at the club late night.20170101_012258The dance was getting insanely crowded with an overflow of partygoers grooving to the music and I was also getting high on alcohol.

20170101_022705

 This is the awesome house band singing and playing the latest clubbing hits at Silk Night Club.

20170101_021753

The girl holding on the mic is one of the lead vocalists in Silk Night Club and she can bring up the party mood in the crowd with her explosive vocal. I also had a chance to sing the latest clubbing hits like “Worth it” by Fifth Harmony live for few minutes to the partygoers.

Silk Night Club

Address: Jalan Indera Segara Site A12, Lagoi, Bintan Island, Riau, Indonesia

Tel: +62 812-7073-602

Opening hours: Opens at 6:00pm till late everyday

REASON 4: EXCEPTIONALLY BEAUTIFUL AND SECLUDED BEACH

20170105_141647
Lost in Paradise

The White Sand Island is one of the best-kept secrets of Bintan Island, merely less than 10 minutes boat ride from Trikora Beach. This island is so secluded and private that Shandy and I were the only visitors in this tiny island.

20170105_142530

Your eyes will be spoiled with an amazing view of the turquoise blue seas and your soul becomes calm that you felt at ease and relaxed. The sand is soft and clean, the sea water is crystal clear and cool. The weather was also wonderful, making it a beautiful day to enjoy at the clean and unspoiled beach.

20170105_144232
Floating in Vitamin Sea, Feeling the coolness of the turquoise blue seas

20170105_122319

You can take all your time to relax and have the hammock to yourself as the beach is so secluded. There are 3 to 4 hammocks and swings in White Sands Island where you can take a break after a swim in the blue seas.

20170105_144105 (2)The White Sand Island is unquestionably one of the places I will visit if I come to Bintan again.

REASON 5: FASCINATING FIREFLIES NIGHT TOUR

Bintan Island is considered one of the best places to see firelies and the fireflies’ night tour is definitely a must-do activitiy during your vacation here. As you journey through the Sebung River, you’d enjoy the enchating sights and serenity around you with plenty of fireflies lighting up in front of your eyes.

fireflies

Seeing the fireflies must be the prettiest sight I have seen on the first day of 2017 and it was an enthralling experience to get close up with these tiny little lighting bugs. Be sure to book this tour with Shandy, Travelin to have a memorable trip!

Amazing Thailand (Day 3, Part 1)

4th December 2016

20161204_081436.jpg
Complimentary breakfast at hotel

20161204_090803.jpg
0800 hrs Depart for Nang Loeng Market Walking Tour

20161204_091522.jpg
Murals depicting the different stages of life

Death and illness are morbid subjects to talk about and I have friends’ parents passed away or like my secondary school friend passed away due to leukaemia two years ago. When I was a flight attendant, I also have to face such situations and no matter what sort of emergency situations arise, we still have to regain our composure and provide immediate assistance. I try not to be a busybody and probe too much unless they choose to share with me, likewise, I do not like others probing into my personal life too. Everyday is a gift to be alive and I am thankful for it.

Never like to visit tombs or cemetery as it sends a chill down my spine.

0800 hrs Depart for Nang Loeng Market Walking Tour

15380316_10210985425252869_4974130971777038548_n

This is one of the oldest surviving bakery serving traditional Thai dessert. Can you believe that the shop owner is 88 years old and has been in this trade since her youth?

We were treated to the freshly made yummy Thai dessert and I like the yam paste.

These are all the delicious Thai dessert made by the shop owner.

20161204_095156

Cannot help but wonder how will I look when I am old. I think I can only slow down the aging process by using the correct and proper skincare products.

20161204_093703.jpg

They look like two best friends sharing close-knit relationship.

The Bang Loeng Market Walking tour also includes food tasting of the local delicacies.

1100 hrs Lunch at local restaurant (part of Nang Loeng Market Walking Tour)


Nom.. Nom.. Nom.. I do not have any dietary restrictions so I can enjoy all the amazing feast.

15326521_10211037276549119_1978530859673610850_n

1200 hrs Transfer to TrueLove @ Neverland

 We then visited the only husky café at Bangkok, TrueLove @ Neverland. TrueLove @ Neverland is a heaven for all dog lovers and especially the huskies lovers.

Meet MOMO (the white dog on the right picture), she is my favourite dog in the café! MOMO steals the limelight from time to time even though the huskies are the stars.

Interacting with the huskies does put a smile on one’s face because they are simply too adorable! These huskies feed on ice and carrots as their daily staple. The fur of Siberian husky is soft, nice to touch and these dogs are so cute to cuddle with.

WAH.. WAH.. WAH! The café owner is good looking! Anyway, he is trying to attract the dog’s attention to look at the camera. I want to find a boyfriend but the first and foremost criteria is the hair cannot look like balding. Secondly, facial complexion has to be good with no pimples. Thirdly, cannot be too touchy. Still waiting patiently for the right one to appear in my life…

 Feeding time for the huskies!

Cakes and drinks are available too!

– End of Day 3, Part 1 –

Amazing Thailand (Day 2, Part 3)

1730 hrs Dinner at NETA Fish & Meat (Buffet)

We have our dinner at NETA Fish & Meat and this is the first and only Japanese style buffet restaurant in Ratchada area that serves over hundred of delicious dishes. For as low as 499 Baht, diners can enjoy variety of dishes in 90 minutes.

Address: The Street Ratchada. Bangkok Thailand

Phone: +66 2 121 1992

Website: https://www.facebook.com/netafishandmeat/

Oh… I love to eat salmon and salmon contains high levels of healthy omega-3 fats. Salmon is my favourite fish and I like to eat it raw or seared, which slightly intensifies the flavour of the fish. The fortunate thing is that no matter how much I eat, I do not put on much weight and my BMI is within healthy range.

1830 hrs Transfer to Rot Fai Market Ratchada

15355694_10210978628322950_8574677377618405873_n

We visited Rot Fat Market Ratchada, a hipster market which originated at a disused railway yard in Bang Sue. Rot Fai Market Ratchada is located near the city at Thailand Cultural Centre MRT Station, which is significantly closer to the city and much easier to access than the bigger Talad Rot Fai Srinakarin.

You can also chill and enjoy a drink at one of the cool pubs, or simply go shopping at the many local stalls. Too little time, too much to shop at this hipster market! There is everything that one expects to find at Rot Fai Market Ratchada.

2000 hrs Transfer to Divana Nurture Spa

15542362_10211107080734180_4570112406515163410_n

15380716_10211107082214217_4866640117613556576_n-1

Massage is what I always look forward during an overseas trip! Divana Nurture Spa  is a luxury spa concept and service here is top-notch! We experience the Phikat Bua Prakob Remedy Wellness Spa Program, easing the soreness of body through the application of Authentic Thai massage remedy. It is a total indulgence, you feel so pampered and relaxed in a bind treatment along with the healthy benefits of the “Phikat Bua Prakob”, a legendary herbal compress that adds up to the bona fides of therapeutic treat. Divana Nurture is certainly a place for the wealthy “tai tai” who has the money to splurge and indulge in the much needed relaxing massage.

– End of Day 2, Part 3 –