Musings, Travel

How to Roam Davao Like a Pro

<>When visiting a city, it is always a good thing to wander like the locals do.  Ditch the tourist guides just do a little research and with a bucket of smiles you’ll survive.  This I know, when you roam the city streets of Davao.  Known as the land of promise in the southern part of the Philippines, Davao has been quietly enticing tourist to visit its glorious land for years.  So how to go about DIY-ing your Davao tour?  Have your list of Davao tourist spots then hail one of these transportation and start your Davao explore: </

The Jeepney/Jeep

These mode of transportation can only be found in the Philippines.  If you are comfortable sitting next to strangers then you would do fine in this one.  These jeepneys go through the main roads of the city.  Its routes will be shown on the wind screen and on the side of the vehicle.  Basic fare would be around Php 8.00.  it increases with every kilometer it travels.  Riding the jeep would be an adventure whether you sit inside the vehicle, hang at the handles by the entrance or sit on top of the vehicle.

The Jeepney

I’ve tried riding on top of the jeep before.  It was absolutely terrifying and a bit exciting.  What?!  Yes, I am not cut out for bungee jumping sprees.  My idea of excitement is when there is a book sale.  Anyway I digress. Riding on top of the jeepney is not allowed in the city, maybe when you are travelling to the provinces (?).  As well as hanging outside the jeepney is prohibited until caught. *wink*wink*


The Tricycle

The 11-seater Tricycle

Japanese motorcycle manufacturers should be very proud of their product – the motorcycle.  It was invented to carry 2 passengers but in the Philippines it could carry as many as 11 (including the driver).  This is Filipino ingenuity to you.  This mode of transportation is often used to travel in short distances and within the secondary road.  Base fare is also Php 8.00.  You rarely see tricycles along the city main roads.  Most tricycles service residential subdivisions/villages and areas where no jeepneys pass by.  The downside of riding a tricycle is the wait.  It will not leave its station until it is full.  So if you are in a hurry and walking under the heat of the Philippine sun is not an option then you should take the trisikad.


The Tri-sikad

The queue for the trisikad

The word Tri-sikad is a mystery to me.  Maybe because it is a bicycle with a side car making it three wheels thus the “tri” word.  Sikad is easy.  It means kick or you step into the pedal.  I guess that’s how the Trisikad word came to be.  Again, this mode of transportation is just within the secondary roads.  They are stationed on the same spot as that of the tricycle.  The trisikad can only accommodate 2 passengers.  It also has a waiting time but shorter as you only need one to fill the space.  You can always make a deal with the driver to go but you will need to pay for two passengers.


The Motorbike

Last on the list is the motorbike.  Are you aware of how Italians zoom through their city streets on their cool vespas, carting tourists around while belting “That’s Amore”?  Yes?  Well in that case, no, that is not what those Philippine motorbikes looks like.  Uh-uh.  It is just a normal motorbike.  And this time only one passenger is allowed to ride with the driver.  Unless if you are travelling in the provinces then 1 becomes 10 passengers thru the help of a wooden plank.  But!  That’s another story.  The motorbike has more freedom in terms of which road to take.  It could use the main road as well as the secondary inner roads.  It is pretty convenient if you are in a hurry and cheap too.  Just be sure to ask for a helmet.  If caught riding without one will incur some penalties.

So that’s it.  You have four mode of transportations you can use to roam the city without breaking your travel budget.  You can always ask the driver to drop you off closest to where you want to go.  Davaoeῆos are pretty accommodating they can give you directions when you ask.  If worse comes to worst, you can always hail a taxi.  It would be comfortable, no sharing and no waiting time.  Oh and you can also use Uber and Grab.  But then what is travelling without being adventurous, right?  So go ahead, “para” that jeepney.  Explore.  Get lost.  Don’t be a tourist, be a local.