Going ashore in Panabo Davao

Panabo

The port of Panabo belongs to the bigger port of Davao and it is situated on the southeastern coast of Mindanao Island and in the north part of the Gulf of Davao. It was opened in the autumn of 2015 and it is located in a very picturesque area, surrounded by coconut and banana plantation.

 

Walking inside the terminal is permitted – the gate is located only 5 minutes away from the pier – but a shuttle bus service is also available on request.

In front of the gate, the only available transportation is the tricycle that can take up to 4 people (I once saw 6 people in a tricycle, but I cannot say how ‘comfortable’ they travelled).

Panabo

Panabo

The small town of Panabo has very few entertainment possibilities, except a few pubs and bars that are open all night long, a small Mall and lots of shops which are situated along the main roads.

There are some beaches in the area as well (Banana Beach), but all are quite remote and difficult to reach. Being completely outside tourists tracks, the town of Panabo does not have organized and clean beaches, except some strips of sand that ‘expand’ during the low tide, uncovering lots of garbage and unwanted materials coming from the Pacific.

There are some open markets in town which will certainly worth a visit if you are interested in local products like fresh fruits (New Market and Old Market) and fish (Panabo Public Market).

Panabo

Panabo

Panabo

Panabo

Panabo

If you have more time available, you can pay a visit to Davao – the bigger city located ~ 40 km SW of Panabo. There you have more possibilities to spend your free time (read more here) and you can also visit the small island of Samal – enjoying a few hours on the beach or just wandering around in open air.

Useful information:

– The Mall of Panabo is opened everyday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

– You can change money in the mall, but you will find exchange offices on the main road as well;

– A ride to the Mall with the tricycle can cost ~30 pesos, but usually the drivers let clients (the foreigners) decide how much to pay. So, you will make them very happy if you pay 40 pesos for the ride (~1$);

– The traffic inside the town can get crowded during late afternoon hours, but the tricycles will always find their ways, slaloming between trucks and cars, using the horn at full power and making your heart pump up more. A ride in a tricycle will offer you the perfect image of the local community – small and modest houses along the streets, gardens full of flowers, people buzzing around on foot or on motorbikes, kids running barefoot on the cement, a church, a school and lots of banana trees growing up everywhere;

Panabo

Panabo

Panabo

– For fresh fish you can visit the Panabo market early in the morning;

– You can visit a banana and coconut plantation (Hijo Plantation) that is located ~ 20 km North of Panabo. A taxi ride will take ~ 30 minutes to get there and it can cost ~ 1000 pesos (go and come back, with ~ one hour waiting).

Panabo

– If you want to go to Davao, you will have to take the tricycle up to the taxi station, located on the main road (highway) and continue the ride by taxi. The traffic on the highway can get very crowded in the afternoon – as lots of trucks are using the same road – and the 40 km ride to Davao can be covered in ~ one hour (500-600 pesos);

– The people living in Panabo are friendly and kind, always ready to help, always smiling and proud to speak with foreigners about their town, about their country. You will make them very happy if you answer back with a smile as well and even happier if you use a few words in their language (‘salamat’ for ‘thank you’).

Recommendation:

– If you are passionate about chocolate and sweets, I recommend ‘Red Ribbon’ cake shop located inside Panabo Mall. ‘Red Ribbon’ is the most popular cake brand in Philippines, with hundreds of shops in all the cities, offering a wide display of cakes and sweets, mostly for take away. One chocolate cake – good for 8-10 people – costs ~ 400 pesos (~10$).

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