Whilst the Davao City nightlife does have a lot of positive points that sell the place, I think that every traveler should be aware of the darker side to this particular destination in the Philippines.
The island of Mindanao in the southern section of the Philippines is regarded as being the most unsafe part of the country...
One big bonus with Filipina ladies is the ease of talking to them since they nearly all speak English. That opens the door to easily meet regular ladies at:
There are international concerns over the safety of traveling in Mindanao and some western governments advise against all but essential travel to certain parts of the island, and against ALL travel to the rest of the island regardless of necessity!
According to current UK travel advice the island of Mindanao is more or less divided into east and west with the west being the most dangerous. Davao City is located in the somewhat less dangerous eastern half of the country but, like I said, the advise given is still against all but essential travel.
Now, none of this means that you're guaranteed to be captured by terrorist insurgents if you do make your way down that way, and the vast majority of tourists travel there with no incidents whatsoever, but if there is no particular reason to choose this destination over the long list of other potential destinations then my advice is don't - there are plenty of other places in the Philippines that are much safer and a lot of fun.
I don't like to give negative reviews of places as it stokes resentment
amongst people who have had positive experiences of those places.
During daylight hours, Davao City has some worthy beaches to visit.
give the Davao City nightlife a fair review of it's good points, but I
thought it best to start with a few words of caution.
Davao City Nightlife; Bars & Girls
If you are flying in from another country you'll be happy to note that Davao has an international airport. That makes arrivals easier as you'll be able to book your entire flight for the same day, albeit with a connecting flight in Manila - but that shouldn't entail much waiting time for the connecting flight.
On arrival, if you want to pitch your tent near to the Davao City nightlife, the place to get to is called Matina Town Square (or MTS as locals call it). For my hotel suggestions, see below.
The Best Bars & Clubs
BEEReaucracy Bar - if you like your craft beers then you have to try this place, it has the widest selection of beer in town. Also, with craft beers being quite trendy these days, it will be busy and full of atmosphere.
Stre3ts Urban Lifestyle Pub - a new entrant onto the Davao City nightlife scene but a welcome one. It caters for singles, couples or families with a well regarded food menu. Not a bad choice to start the night.
Acropolis Super Club - it has been around for a while and it might not be the preferred night club of the younger generation, but if you like a larger more spacious club with older clientele and music, then check it out.
Club Echelon - this has become the most popular dance hall and it gets a mix of locals and tourists. It's not a super-club, being medium sized, but that helps to keep it suitably full. There are girls inside the venue, and outside it, that will be eager to hook up with western guys.
The clubs and bars are a bit dispersed across the city and the nightlife
is entertaining without being overwhelming. If a smaller nightlife
scene appeals, The Davao City nightlife might be just right for you. The Filipina girls here are especially sweet and westerners have more novelty value than in most other cities.
With a population of around 1.6 million and a relatively small foreign tourist industry, most of the nightlife is catered towards a local clientele. That gives the city a more authentic Philippine feel to it, but there still a lot of western style bars/clubs with western music mixed in with the local styles.
Davao City Girls & Dating
The local girls in Davao are amongst the most lovely in Southeast Asia and I have to wonder why this always seems to be the case in places that are relatively untouched by western society... is there something about modern western culture that puts women on a pedestal and turns a significant minority of them into entitled princesses?
Whatever the reason, the girls here are sweet and a pleasure to be around.
Attitudes towards sex reflect the strong Roman Catholic values in the Philippines, so most regular Davao girls are going to want to know that there is a long-term future on the cards with anyone that she shares her bed with. You won't meet these girls in the Davao City nightlife venues very often though, as is often the case in SEA, the girls in bars are usually working-girls.
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If you are serious about finding a serious girlfriend or wife in SEA, you could do a lot worse than looking for it with a lady here. Long-term dating prospects are very good, and it's hard to recommend a better place than Davao for this sort of thing.
Davao City Escorts & Prostitution
If you are interested in Davao City escorts then there are a few listings online in the personal ads sections of local publications. Some of them lack pictures or addresses though, which I find off-putting. Personally I'd stick to the working-girls that you can meet in the flesh before talking about sex.
There is no particular Davao City Red light district, but there are freelance hookers roaming around all of the busy bar areas. Be warned that some of these ladies quote extremely variable asking prices for their services. If you are quoted some sort of astronomical amount then just decline politely and look elsewhere.
Whilst there is a lack of any gogo bar type establishments, any local taxi driver will no doubt be aware of a selection of 'bikini bars' that might be of interest to you. These establishments don't have a reputation for attracting the best looking Davao girls onto their employee lists, but it might be worth checking out if you are visiting the city for a lengthy period of time.
Happy ending massage options are however, numerous. Look for these near to the big hotels and the main nightspots. Taxi drivers will again be a useful source of information for these places.
Best Hotels Near to the Nightlife
I mentioned above that I'd give some recommendations for hotels near to the nest Davao City nightlife venues - these three are all within easy walking distance of Matina Town Square:
Qanaq Hotel - this is the cheapest of the three featured hotels and prices really are rock bottom low. Standard rooms are cheap, but for backpackers sharing a room is almost free!
Casa Munda Bed & Breakfast - only slightly more expensive than Qanaq is this place. The facilities are similar and its personal preference as to which of these two you like best.
Domicilio Lorenzo - this would be my first choice as the cost is still cheap whilst giving a lot more luxury. It's a nice low rise development with a swimming pool and garden view.
Davao City Nightlife; Final Thoughts
The cost of living in Davao is very low and compares favorably with most places in SEA. Costs are not quite so low as they are in Bacolod or Dumaguete but other than that it's a struggle to find anywhere cheaper. The cost of hotels also appears to be very low, especially in the off-season, so short-term trips can be had on a budget as well as longer term living costs.
As I opened this report with my concerns over safety I thought I'd end it that way too. The advice that you'll read online can be subjective on pretty much all matters, but on this issue you really do need some objectivity.
I've read reports stating that Davao City is safer than Manila... not that Manila has a great reputation for safety, but these reports are usually based on personal experiences. That's fine when you've got personal experience of bars and so on, but anyone who has had personal experience of being kidnapped and tortured to death by terrorist insurgents is hardly available to balance out these subjective opinions...
On matters of safety I defer judgement to impartial authorities. I see no reason why the UK government would warn against all but essential travel unless they actually believed such travel to be dangerous, so I'll go with their views on the particular issue of travel safety (and I virtually never defer to the UK government's opinion on anything!).
On drugs and their availability, the Davao City nightlife harbors the same threat as elsewhere in the Philippines, and only a very reckless person would get involved with such things.
This petite little cutie from Manila is 28 years old and 154cm tall (5ft). She tips the scales at just 42kg... and she's typical of the lovely girls that you'll find on: