Dumaguete

"The city of Gentle People"

Description

Dumaguete-Mountain-view small

Really beautiful city. It has a stunning view on the mountains (That you can drive to) and great sea view by the Rizal Boulevard, resorts that are not expensive with a really nice beaches or pools, hot springs, waterfalls, really majestic bays and much more for you to discover.

It is also a really good location to travel to many beautiful places in the Philippines around Dumaguete Negros Oriental island, it can act as your base point.

It has really nice fruit market and other markets as well as mall and shops so its perfect place to stop by and make day or two-day trips to cities and islands around it, such as Siquijor, Apo Island, Bohol, Panglao Island, Cebu Island that has Moalboal(Whalesharks), Kawasan falls and many other falls as well as Cebu city that you should also visit.

How to get to Dumaguete City ?

*Green – My Experience *Red – I haven’t tried but I researched it for you guys.

By Plane

You can get to the city by 2 Airlines, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, either from Manila or Cebu.

Cost:

    • From Manila – On Average ₱3400(£50/$64) per person, with the check-in luggage from Manila by Cebu Pacific.(Takes about 1:25h)
    • From Cebu – On Average ₱2050(£30/$39) per person, with the check-in luggage from Cebu by Cebu Pacific.(Takes about 0:50h

Tip 1 – Sometimes there is cheaper fare by nearly 50% but its really early flight, 4:50 am.

*Philippine Airlines also flight this route, but i always go with Cebu Pacific as i tend to find Philippine Airline a little bit more expensive and there is often some problem with their server (At least on my side)

By Bus

You can also get to Dumaguete City by Bus from Cebu.(Cebu South Bus Terminal). I think it is the cheapest way to get from Cebu to Dumaguete, you get to see more Philippines and its beauty plus have a nice experience, listen to music, watch movies on phone or just think about life.

Cost:

    • From Cebu – The bus(Ceres Bus) is 270 and ₱70 on the Ferry(That the bus goes onto), Total = ₱340(£5/$6.40) Per person
      • The payment is made inside the bus (Person will walk around with tickets inside the bus)
      • Travel time =  5-6 Hours
      • Runs Every day (The Exact schedule can be found on TheVisayanBlogger)
      • Stops once by the shop where you can buy some snacks and then again on the ferry (Where you can get out of the bus and walk around, stretch a little or just stay in the bus and sleep)
      • Aircon on the bus
      • Sometimes local people get on the bus just to sell snacks (Which is cool because you can buy some good local snacks, some chips or drink without getting out of bus)

Tip 1 – The buses to Dumaguete are located at the Aisle C11. Make sure the bus says “Dumaguete”

By Boat

Mainly from Manila and Cebu, takes really long (24 hours from Manila, about 5 hours from Cebu) and costs about the same as Flight ticket when travelling from Manila, so you guess which one everyone would rather choose but I will want to give it a try one day for experience and go from Manila to Dumaguete by Boat/Ferry.

Cost:

    • From Manila – Not much information as people just tend to travel by Plane because it’s, faster and the same price or sometimes even cheaper. However, if you decide you want to go for such an adventure you can check the schedules on 2goTravel . Costs about ₱2000(£29.40/$38.40) per person
    • From Cebu – By Ocean Jet, It goes through Tagbilaran (Bohol), it costs ₱500 to Tagbilaran and ₱700 Tagbilaran to Dumaguete Total = ₱1200(£17/$23).
      • Departs from Pier 1 at about 8 am and arrives at Dumaguete at about 1:30 pm.

You can find out more about it Cebu to Dumaguete

  • Has toilets and you can walk around anytime
  • Drinks, snacks and simple pre-prepared meals (for an extra cost) being served
  • Has Tv and movies being played throughout the trip

What to see in Dumaguete City?

Places/Sightseeing

  1. Rizal Boulevard
  2. Belfry Tower
  3. Silliman University
  4. Pulangbato Falls Valencia
  5. Red Rock Hot Springs
  6. Casaroro Falls
  7. The Forest Camp
  8. Blinsasayao Twin Lakes
  9. Bahura Resort
  • Rizal Boulevard

Rizal boulevard Dumaguete shoot from the dronePhoto by Janinnesilva.travels

A really nice place where you can walk from 1 end to the other and look at the sea and islands far in the distance, you can relax on benches or sit right on the edge with your legs hanging and just relax. Preferably I would go there towards the end of the day, at 5 pm so it’s not super hot in the sun and you can see the sunset.

  • Belfry Tower

Photo by Mike Gonzalez (TheCoffee)

An old tower full of history, it was built in the early 1800s. Worth seeing it and taking pictures of it. You can also light candles right next to it and pray. Prefered time would be also by the end of the day so you can see the sun go down right behind the tower.

  • Silliman University

The University is free to get into and walk around. It is quite big as there are many different buildings, big library, football field and a lot of history behind it ranging from WW2 up to today’s day.

  • Pulangbato Falls Valencia

A wonderful waterfall that you can visit, it’s just outside of the Dumaguete in the Province called “Valencia”.

To get here you can rent a scooter (See below “How to travel around Dumaguete“) and drive following google maps (Takes about 30 min) the ride is full of scenic views. You follow the road and see hills with palms which looks like small beautiful jungle with palms on top of hills, then you will also see Mag-Aso Volcanic Steam Spring on the way where you can stop by for short amount of time to take the picture and look at the steam (Of Course next to the steam and not right inside the steam as its Sulphuric and after long amount of time inhaling it can make you feel sick). Really beautiful and impressive waterfalls to go and take a swim to refresh.

This is where you can take a refreshing swim.

  • Cost – Entrance fee for the falls is P50 and this is the only expense as they don’t charge you for using the tables and chairs.

  • Red Rock Hot Spring

A lovely and peaceful place where you can spend hours relaxing in the hot natural spring pool reflecting on your life. It is right before going to the Pulangbato Falls, but I recommend going to the falls first because they are pretty cold and you wouldn’t want to go from nice warm water to cold one plus I’m pretty sure you will spend more time in the Hot spring, so go Falls first which is just about 5 min up the road from Red Rock Hot Spring and then back down to Springs and relax there.

It has its own parking outside for a couple of scooters and car, it has its own tables, food and toilet. Some people recommend going there early 7-8 am to avoid tourists, but it all depends on what month you are in the Philippines. We were in the “rainy season” (July) which we still had plenty of sun, visited this place at about 2 pm and there were only 3 other people, so it all depends what month you travel as well as during the weekdays should be less crowded.

    • CostP50 per person

  • Casaroro Falls

Photo from DezTreks 

Beautiful waterfall surrounded by beautiful scenery. It is not easy to access as you have to go down by the stairs, apparently, 356 stairs which sometimes have no rail to hold on to and you have to be careful but all this is worth to see it all once you get to the bottom and see the spectacular view and beautiful waterfall. Going up might be a little bit challenging for those that are not in good shape. There are also 4 natural pools where you can relax in.

Tip 1 – It is highly recommended that you take with you water shoes and waterproof bags.

Tip 2– Take with you some drinking water and some snacks if you will get hungry

Tip 3 – It is best to go when it’s sunny, try to avoid going day after it was raining or when there is rain in the forecast as it might be slippery.

Cost -There is an entrance fee by the parking P10.

  • The Forest Camp

Picture by gotMarked

Very cosy, relaxing and refreshing place. It has many different pools ranging from 2-3ft to 6ft. The water is really cold so be warned, I would suggest you go there only when it’s nice and sunny, not like we did when it was rainy and the water was really cold, but we will definitely go again on the sunny days. There is also a restaurant which has pretty good food but sometimes might take a little bit longer. Overall it is a really beautiful and relaxing place that you should definitely visit. Takes about 20 min from central on a scooter

  • Balinsasayao Twin Lakes

Balinsasayo twin lakes DumagueteA beautiful lake surrounded by wonderful mountain background. A good place to escape to nature away from the crowded city. The road to these lakes has really nice scenery and an awesome experience when you ride on your scooter, it might be a little bit challenging as its pretty steep, so be careful. A really nice trip that you can do it in 2-3hours from Dumaguete by scooter(Takes about 50min each way), or you can spend a bit more time relaxing by the cafe with a really nice view of a bay and enjoying the sound of so many different kinds of birds.

    • CostP100 Entrance fee, you can also rent boat or kayak which will cost ranging from P150-P600
    • Unfortunately, you cannot swim in the Lakes as the water from the lakes sources the city and it needs to be as clean as possible. There are also volcanic components that are not really good for you.

  • Bahura Resort

Bahura resort swimming pool surrarounded by palm treesBeautiful place with pools and private beach it is a really quiet and relaxing place especially when you just want to relax your mind and thoughts or think about something and swing on the swing by the beach. The place is quite away from the city centre it takes about 30 min ride on a scooter by the main Negros South Road. They have quite a high internet speed and the food is included in the day stay.

    • Cost -The cost is 500/600 Peso per person which includes (if I remember well anything from their menu up to 300Peso) Enough to buy a good lunch and small drink.

Where to eat in Dumaguete City?

Best Dumaguete Restaurants

  1. Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries
  2. Pasta King Cafe di Roma
  3. Hayahay Treehouse
  4. Roti Boss Curry House
  5. Qyosko Cafe and Espresso Bar
  6. Manang Siony’s Original Tocino
  7. Taghoy Resto
  8. Mang Inasal
  • Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries

Sans rival cakes and pastries Dumaguete

Picture of Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries by OSMIVA

A must visit when you are in Dumaguete. They have many different types of cakes and pastries and a must that you need to try is their famous silvanas. One box of Silvanas contains 10 cookies that cost approximately 200php(£2.90/$3.80) and you need to try them right away once they are cold, nice and crisp because once they get warmer they lose the crunchy feeling. Another cake you should try is Red Velvet however I recommend trying a couple of different cakes that you see on the displays that look most appealing to you and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. A good place to visit for a dessert after eating out.

  • Pasta King Cafe di Roma

Restaurant with authentic Italian food. The prices are a bit on the high end but if you craving Italian food its a place to visit. They have really good pizza as well as different pasta meals and I recommend trying their aubergines in tomato sauce(If I remember well it was about 300PHP(£4.40/$5.70 for it and it was quite big, enough to be for sure as lunch for 1 person or even 2)

  • Hayahay Treehouse

Picture by Jason Wymer

Really nice restaurant that offers Filipino and Japanese cuisine as well as relaxing view deck where you can look at closest islands and sea, really relaxing and the staff is friendly,  in fact, “Hayahay” in local dialect translated to refreshing/breezy. They also offer pizzas and Jamaican cuisine and music bands or artists that play every night for people. The food is delicious and is on the cheaper side. Really recommend this place to visit either during lunch when it’s sunny outside or for a dinner to relax at the end of the day.

  • Roti boss curry house

Nice restaurant with authentic Indian food. If you are craving Indian food this is the place to go to. Full of flavour food, their roti bread is the best I have tried so far. The prices are not that cheap but also not that expensive(For their chicken curry that you can see on the picture we paid 199pesos, and chicken tikka 250pesos). It was really tasty and you get really full from the meals. Would really recommend you trying this place out.

  • Qyosko Cafe And Espresso Bar

Qyosko Cafe And Espresso Bar

Picture by @cherveezter26 

This cafe has really great food and ambience. You can choose from many different meals, their fried tuna was really tasty but I think you can’t go wrong with other foods in there. Make sure to also try their cakes which ranges from 25peso for nice and simple banana bread to 70peso for tasty and sweet carrot cake. Their coffee is also really good if not one of the best in the city. Try their cappuccino for 70peso 

  • Manang Siony’s Original Tocino

Manang Siony’s Original Tocino

Picture by @zeargs

Really cheap and nice place with local tocino, which is bacon in Spanish, typically made from the pork belly. Tasty and cheap, they have also different types of food such as chicken, tuna and other fish as well as chicken liver, heart etc all tasty and cheap. The place opens from 5-11 pm which is a good place for quick, tasty and cheap dinner.

  • Taghoy Resto

Another really great tocino place. The opening times aren’t clear for me but when we visited it opened at 7 pm friendly staff and tasty food.

  • Mang Inasal

Picture @aizquizon

Really popular food place for locals. Barbecued Chicken served with rice, sounds simple but super tasty, I don’t even remember how many times we ate at Mang Inasal probably 15+ times within a month, you cannot get bored of it. With Jollibee we got bored of their chicken after few visits but with Mang Inasal you could just visit it every day and you will always look forward to visiting it again, the chicken is so tasty, fresh and juicy ughh, just writing about it makes me miss it. A must place to visit when you are in the Philippines! Really good place if you want to eat good and save money and time as well because it is served quick. Pecho, a part of the chicken with rice and drink = 111PHP(£1.60/$2.10) and with unlimited rice is 125Php(£1.85/$2.41).

How to travel around Dumaguete City?

  • Trikes/Pedicab

There are over 2500 registered trikes around in the city. It is an easy and cheap way of travelling if you know how to so you don’t get overcharged. The prices usually range from 8PHP to 60PHP(£0.11-£0.87/$0.15-$1.14) but can even get up to 150PHP(£2.20/$2.88), it all depends on the destination and from where you are taking Pedicab.

Around The Market there are several places (stations) with signs where the pedicabs are going, this is usually 8PHP(£0.11/$0.15) per person as they wait till the pedicab is really full and then starts the journey. 

This cheap price for 8PHP(£0.11/$0.15) is only when the pedicab is full and from those stations, otherwise its usually ranging from 10-60PHP(£0.15-£0.87/$0.19-$1.14)depending on the destination and from where you are.

A useful link about trikes and tricycles – https://dumaguete.com/trikes-tricycle-rates-dumaguete/

  • Where to rent a motor in Dumaguete and how much?

Renting scooter would be the best option in my opinion and if you go to a lot of places/would use trikes often it might even work out cheaper + you have the flexibility of riding anywhere anytime you want.

Of course, you need to be extra careful on the roads, even tho everyone drives within ok speed(i haven’t noticed anyone driving super fast) you need to be careful as there are a lot of people on the road and around, a lot is happening, as on the road in any country = Don’t trust anybody and be alert and you should be safe.

You can’t really check reviews there are many places that are not even on Google and if they are they have zero reviews. However, the place I recommend you to rent your scooter is “V12 Motor Bike Rental”, they are not on Google Maps but we just decided to give it a try since their bikes were always nice and clean outside and it was a good choice. They are professional, quick and helpful and prices are the same as anywhere else. You can rent a scooter for 450peso a day (you can haggle a little and get the price to 400pesos or even 350, i found that 350 pesos were their minimum as it was quite hard to get to 350pesos a day. If you not really into haggle then i think they will easily go to 400 a day. If you rent for a whole week they can do 300pesos a day(or 350). Also, you can ask them to supply you with a helmet for an extra 50 pesos.

The place that I would definitely avoid is “Geldasa motorbike rental” which is right in front of the v12. I wanted to give it a try because I was able to haggle a price for 300 a day by text. I found this place from google street maps, looked legit so i wanted to give a shot for some new place to see, however when we actually got there it was no longer a legit-looking place, they had only a few scooters outside some box and chair… looked really sketchy but we decided to go ahead. First, they gave us scooter that had problems with steering wheel(Some worn out bearing or cables blocking the movement of steering), when I asked for change of bike I received a bit better bike but the brake light was not working… but was rideable so just rode for the next day until our rental period ended. Wouldnt recommend these guys, they say you will get good honda beat but instead receive some beat-up Yamaha. So yeah I would definitely recommend you guys to rent from V12 Motorcycle as they never disappointed us.

Just a side note, they always give you a super empty bike of petrol, it barely can drive 30 meters to the petrol station, but it was the same with any other rental places that we used so I guess they all do this, just go straight to the petrol station.

Best Places to travel to and from Dumaguete

Dumaguete Port, Ocean jet etc.

Dumaguete has its own port, so you can get a boat to places such as Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor or even Manila.

You don’t need to buy tickets online, you can buy them at the ticketing outlet of the company you taking the boat with. For example, Ocean jet website is a bit old/non-functional and you can only book online 2 days before if you want to book next day you can’t so you have to go to the ticketing outlet.

Ocean jet ticketing outlet is located here a few mins walk away from the port.

And looks like this

Picture by Ray Shui

  • Ocean Jet Daily Schedule

  • OceanJet time tableAs of March 2019 (But the schedule doesn’t change every year that much, so it will most likely be the same)

Where to find ATM's in Dumaguete?

There are many local banks in the city, such as BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands) or RCBC (Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation) with ATM’s in them so there shouldn’t be a problem with withdrawing money from your card.

All these banks come with a withdrawal fee of 250Php(for the foreign card) and a limit of 10,000Php per transaction. So i would recommend you take out money in advance to save on the fees. Instead taking out 2500, later again 2500, and then again 2500 or 5000 just take out money in advance like 7000 or 10000pesos this way you will save a lot of money on the fees as they charge 250pesos no matter if its 500 withdraw or 10000 withdraw.

  • Slow Internet = If you are having a problem with slow wifi at your place and need some fast wifi, or you need to upload something big or watch youtube just go to internet cafes.
      • Costs 20pesos an hour which is quite cheap.
      • The one that we always go to is called “zone one internet cafe” it is right in the centre of city, they have new computers and AC.
      • If this one will be full, just look around in this area there is plenty of internet cafes.

  • Everything that you would possibly need to know about Dumaguete, from transport to food and places to stay. — https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Dumaguete

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