Thursday, June 20, 2019

Salvador: Your 2019 easy-to-reach-destinations from Davao

Jeepney Jinggoy

WHAT Davaoeños really want: the convenience of direct flights. Eliminate connecting flights, travel will be less taxing and reaching the destination earlier means more time to have fun. Or, good connectivity. If there’s no direct flight, a good, convenient connection with the least waiting time in between flights. The lesser time in the airport, the better.

Thank God, the airlines have turned its eyes on Davao and are increasing direct connectivity to key cities in the Philippines and a few international destinations.

Cathay Dragon is the newest airline to join the pool of carriers offering direct flights to international destinations. It flies from Davao to Hong Kong, and Silk Air and Cebu Pacific connects the city to Singapore. Rumors have it that a direct flight to Xiamen and Tokyo from Davao is on the drawing table.

On the local front, the local carriers Philippine Airlines, Air Asia and Cebu Pacific are increasing their direct flights from Davao to key cities in the country.

With that said, travel goals are easily within reach today more than ever.

Where are you off to this year? Here are neighboring nations where your peso can get its worth.

Rediscover Hong Kong. This city is ever changing that’s why excitement never subsides. Look beyond Victoria Harbour or Victoria’s Peak and you’ll discover some of the major areas are undergoing major facelift and redesigning. Old buildings are restored and repurposed, and modern high-rises are replacing the old ones. As expected new restaurants, specialty stores and watering holes open around the vicinities.

One of Hong Kong’s (HK’s) drawing powers is its cuisine. Food can be enjoyed along the streets or Michelin-starred restaurants (there are 227 as of the 2018 list).

Cathay Dragon is the only airline that offers direct flights from Davao to Hong Kong. HK can be your jump off point to the rest of the world via Cathay Pacific Airways (departs 4:50, arrives 8 p.m.)

Jump around Japan. Prance across Japan’s prefectures and discover a new favorite or revisit the city you can never get enough of.

Mine is Tokyo. I feel I haven’t explored everything about the city. It also serves as my jump-off to the other prefectures. The Shinkansen is the best way to go. You may perceive it as costly. To maximize its worth, plan your trip with precision and you will see a lot of places via the bullet train.

No matter the season, there is something exciting in Japan that awaits you—from the foliage to the festival.

Best of all is the cuisine. If you love ramen, then you can feast on it in this nation. The beef is another must-taste.

Philippine Airlines’ fastest route is the Davao - Haneda route (departs 4:05 a.m., arrives 2 p.m.).

Establish a tie with Thailand. Bangkok is likened to New York. It’s vibrant, fashion forward and ever-changing. The offerings of the capital city is diverse -- architecture from modern to ancient; activities from wholesome to risqué; shopping from budget to luxury; cuisine from local to continental -- and beyond the city are pristine beaches, ancient ruins and ornate temples.

With accommodations that will fit any traveler’s budget, staying long is Thailand is a must. A couple of days in Bangkok and a few days in some remote island or the mountains. That’s just adventure Number One. There are dozens of places to see.

By rule, I always have the Phad Thai and Sticky Rice with Mango on my first meal. What’s your favorite Thai food?

Philippine Airlines flies you fastest to Bangkok from Davao (departs 4:05 a.m., arrives in 12:30 p.m.).

Be one with Taiwan. Taipei melds Chinese culture with the vibe of Japan. This is why I always say, “If you love Japan, you will love Taipei” and vice versa. The city is clean, safe and the transportation system is very efficient like Japan, while the festivals, temples and cuisine is Chinese.

Food and accommodations are very affordable so staying longer than a couple nights is recommended to enjoy the cuisine and attractions. Plus, the nightlife is pulsating!

It’s easy to fall in love with this place. Enjoy the best of two worlds... and be third in the equation.

Philippine Airlines offers the quickest way from Davao to Taipei (departs 4:05 a.m., arrives 9:25 a.m.)

Bali bliss. Do more than eat, pray and love in this popular destination. Try shop, surf and spa-hopping as well.

This Indonesian Island is huge and holds a great number of exciting places to explore and activities to immerse in—the beaches, the mountains, ancient temples, villages and its local crafts, yoga Shalas, the warungs’ delicacies, the nightlife, daybreaks and sunsets. There is never a shortage of things to do in this paradise.

Yup, you will get high in Bali and it goes by other terms like stoked, blushed, glow, etc., and it’s quite addictive.

Philippine Airlines flies fastest from Davao to Bali (departs 5:55 p.m., arrives 12:25 a.m. next day)

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