Mati, Davao Oriental

My second trip to Davao this year but this time, we made a stop at Mati, Davao Oriental

Among my friends and I, I am the only who loves to plan. They joke that I should have my own travel company. Nothing makes me happier than researching, allocating the budget, and fixing the schedule which is why they left me in charge to handle our itinerary. Here's what I came up with: 

*Not including airfare + lodging

You'll notice that a big chunk of our money was spent on food. I always try to get the best price but I don't mind splurging on food. It's one of those luxuries that I don't deprive myself of. If you want to save money, there are still a ton of options of places to eat in that won't cost as much. Davao is one of the food capitals in the Philippines. They are known for pomelo, mangoes, and durian. 

Getting There
From Manila, you will need to fly to Davao City. Once you arrive at the airport (Francisco Bangoy International Airport) you have two options. Take a bus (the bus terminal is right beside the airport) or take a van in the Monvoda Terminal. (Around 20 minutes from the airport) We decided to choose the latter because it's a little faster. However, it was a bumpy ride. If you want prefer something more comfortable, I suggest you take the bus.  

Where to Stay
In Mati
I was honestly having a difficult time looking for a place because there were only a few when I researched online. The ones I saw didn't have reviews or photos. I had to ask around and just my luck, it turns out that we have a couple of friends from Mati. They suggested to stay in Dahican Cove. It came out at P4,000 per night. (Good for four) For bookings, contact Estella at (0920) 774 2245.

This is the common area where guests can have their meals and lounge around

Our room

The balcony

Day One 
Our first day was just full of travelling. We went from Manila-Davao City-Mati. That is at total of six hours in transit. (Not yet including the hours of waiting) Once we arrived in Davao city, we went straight to Rekado to have late lunch. We thought it would be best to have a heavy meal before the long drive to Mati.

The interiors of Rekado are modern compared to the other restaurants in Davao

Crispy Tokwa at Tenga- my favorite dish!

Sinigang na Hipon

Beef Tadyang


Day Two
We had an early day ahead of us. By 6 am, we were already on our way to Mindanao Saga Flying Club at the Mati airport. I'm not a big fan of heights but I couldn't miss out on the opportunity to fly in an ultra light plane. There's no where else in the Philippines that you can do this other than in Mati. For 15 minutes, you coast over the Davao gulf and see the incredible view. I thought it would be terrifying but once we were in the air, I surprisingly felt calm. I was just so in awe that I was able to experience this one-of-a-kind adventure. My friends and I got an adrenaline rush from the excitement. Once we got back to the resort, we still had so much energy so we went straight to the beach to surf. 

Ready to ride!

View from the ultra light plane

The pilot and I

The waves were pretty strong for a beginner like me 

Lunch at Seafood Restaurant after surfing

One Piece from Soak Swimwear 

Watched the sun go down 

Dinner at La-Ne's

Day Three
Our last day in Mati. We spent the morning island hopping before our commute back to the city. We decided to leave Mati the night before our flight just to be sure we wouldn't miss our flight the next day. The trip was longer than usual due to the rain and traffic. We were already so impatient and hungry in the van. All I could think about was the delicious food at Claude's. (In my opinion, it's the best restaurant in Davao. I ate there during my last trip to Davao.) As soon as we got to the city, we checked-in our bags at Red Planet Hotel and went straight to the restaurant. Afterwards, we had couple of glasses of wine at Huckleberry's. 

Tip: If you want to rent a boat for island hopping, just ask around from the locals. The first guy we asked was charging us P4,000 but we thought that was too expensive. Our habal-habal driver was able to find someone to take us around for P2,500. 

Day Four
I was in denial that we were leaving already. Four days was too short. There were still so many things we wanted to. Our flight was at 5:30 pm. We slept in until until 11 am then went to the mall to have lunch and kill time before going to the airport.

Lunch at Gingham

Toby's best friend is based in Davao. He and his family joined us for lunch. This is their son, Camden.

Bye, Davao! 

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