Davao Trip Day 1 - Davao Crocodile Park Complex

Cebu Pacific flight 5J - 347 landed at Davao Airport 10 minutes earlier than it's expected time of arrival. Even if I and my friend are new to the place, we never had hard time finding our way retrieving our bags because the airport is never crowded since it's an early morning flight - first flight of that sunny Friday.

From the airport, we rode a taxi to Aveflor Inn (located at 108-3 CM Recto, beside Allied bank and Avon). It's a budget-friendly inn ideal to travelers like us who only needs a place to sleep, take a bath and most especially, a place where we can leave our belongings. Luxury accommodation shouldn't be expected but an air-conditioned room with toilet & bath, cable tv (no remote control though) and bed just right for two persons like us, what is there to complain about? There is also a cafeteria within the building so food is not much of a problem. Additionally, the place is located in downtown area so everything is just within our reach - mall, park, restaurants, school, etc.

I originally wanted to spend the whole day roaming around the city but since my friend stayed up all night (working on a night shift), I agreed to spend half of the day at the inn so that she can get at least a couple hours of sleep. While she is sleeping (or trying to be asleep), I grabbed the opportunity to organize my stuff (When I say organize, I mean empty my bag and leave my things where they should be - hang the clothes, the rest - toiletries, phone and camera charger, candies - all sprawling on the bed.

We leave the inn around lunch time to meet our seminarian friend based in Davao. We agreed to meet at Gaisano Mall (popularly known as G-Mall in Davao) since it is just a few minutes ride from the inn. Based on blog posts and reviews, G-Mall is the biggest mall in Davao and indeed, a wide, 5-storey mall welcomed my eyes as soon as we entered the building. It is even larger than SM City and Robinsons Mall here in Iloilo. I would love to scour every boutique in there but that activity is not included on our schedule and my budget :D... I just settled for a tourist map instead. After eating lunch (courtesy of Father Dan), we head to our next destination - Davao Crocodile Park!
Gaisano Mall Davao
From G-Mall, we rode a taxi to the place (taxi fare is only around Php 80). When we get there, I learned that we will not be visiting one park alone. It is actually called Davao Crocodile Park Complex, a village that resembles an exclusive subdivision but instead of houses, a number of parks can be seen there. Near the entrance of the complex is where the Zorb is located. In there, one can get inside a giant transparent ball and experience how it feels like to tumble, to be tossed and turned as the ball moves through the giant slide. I am not sure how much this ride costs for we never get the chance to drop by due to time constraints and besides it's a bit far from the crocodile farm itself.

Entrance to the Crocodile Farm is worth 150 each. This fee also entitles you free entrance to Tribu K'Mindanawan Village and Butterfly House. Our first stop is at the Crocodile Park. But crocodiles are not the only animals seen there - tiger, ostrich, birds, monkeys, snakes and many others can also be found in the area.

Image 1 - Pangil, the oldest crocodile in the farm.
Image 2 - Dragon sailfin. We never thought that it's real because it's not moving.
Image 3 - Hands of an orangutan. It looks like that of a man's sans manicure
Image 4 - Bear cuscus

After we bid good bye to the animals, we proceeded to Tribu K'Mindanawan Village, just a few steps away from the Crocodile Park. Located beside the river, Trubu K'Mindanawan is a cultural village that showcases the lifestyle of locals. One thing I love here are the different types of houses the tribe members used to have.

Uyaanan (Traditional Mansaka House)
Turogan (House of Datu Maranao Tribe)
Too bad I don't have lots of nice pictures of other types of houses. :(

As soon as we're done exploring the village, we headed to Butterfly House, just a few minutes walk from the Crocodile Park. Unfortunately, I had my difficulty-breathing-when-tired attack so I have no choice but to ask my friends that we rest for a while or else I'll pass out. Lame!

The best days to visit the complex are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays because there are shows during these days. While we’re walking back to Crocodile Park to witness the show, the Waterball Ride area is not crowded anymore and the guys there are encouraging us to try it. It costs Php 50 for 10 minutes. We decided to give it a try since being inside the giant ball looks really exciting. The rule is to try to stand and walk inside the ball but since it is floating in the water, we find it impossible to do it.
Waterball Ride
Crocodile Show: The man is feeding the young crocodiles inside the fenced area.
Crocodile Show. Should he fall, the crocodiles are waiting to eat him.
Fire Dance in front of Tribu K'Mindanawan Village.
Too bad we weren't able to watch the rest of the show because we need to go back to my friend's church to hear the afternoon mass.

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