Dumaguete City is attractive to foreign retirees because of the low cost of living and also the slow pace of life. We noticed many of them down the boulevard enjoying a chat with their friends.
It’s a smoke-free city. Also, it is a great place to visit for a food trip because there are lots of great restaurants, especially around their boulevard which is located near the coastline. You won’t have any problems with the transportation because there are many tricycles available to take you from your doorstep to anywhere around the city for a minimum of P7.50/P8.00. To go to farther places, you can take jeepneys or Ceres buses. Taxis are rare.
Last month my cousin Mayeen, my friend Loveli and I visited the small city a for a sun-drenched weekend. We stayed there for a night so we can visit Apo Island to swim with the Pawikans and also for a quick glimpse of the enchanting Balinsasayao Twin Lakes.
Where to Stay on a Budget
My cousin’s friend from Dumaguete recommended Hotel Camilla, which is just a walk away from the public market. Unfortunately, when we went there it’s already fully booked.
We just stayed at Vintage Inn, one of the cheapest hostels in Dumaguete. It is located across their public market. When we asked about their prices, the front desk lady didn’t seem friendly (but not really rude) and said that their rooms are almost full but we guessed not. We said that we will just come back and survey other hostels.
We also inquired at Hotel Essencia that has reasonable prices for a better accommodation. We later found out that the couple we met in Apo Island stayed here. Another good budget hostel I’ve researched is Hostel Will but since we’re tired from walking around in a hot weather, we just decided to walk back to Vintage Inn and booked their Deluxe Twin Room (aircon without windows, with private bathroom) for P1,000 for the 3 of us.
When my brother went to Dumaguete with his friends last week, they stayed at Gabby’s Bed & Breakfast, which looks so much better based on the pictures I saw.
Where to Eat
I can’t really tell much about where to eat in Dumaguete because during our weekend trip, we were mostly out, sightseeing, but here’s where we ate our meals:
Sans Rival. We went there on the last day. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to taste the best in their menu–Sans Rival dessert because it was already sold out around 2pm. That’s how popular and “Without Rival” it is.
Also, nothing beats the delectable sweetness of the favorite pasalubong treat, the Silvanas, which they said taste-like but not-as-great as Sans Rival but I really love it. I ate a box of silvanas/10pcs alone at home for a couple of days-it was sinful, but heavenly.
Another pasalubong is the soft and sweet, Braso de Mercedes. When my brother went the next week in Dumaguete, he brought home a long box of Braso de Mercedes.
We stayed here for an hour or so and tasted divine slices of their other buttery and creamy cakes and paired it with a cup of Dilmah tea.
Robinson’s Mall. We went here after we checked in the backpacker’s inn for lunch and to have a break from the hot weather outside. There’s a food court on the 2nd floor and other restaurants inside. You can also buy your snacks at their grocery. I treated myself a yogurt ice cream from one of the stalls there.
Ching Loong. We first thought of having dinner at Sans Rival, but we noticed Ching Loong just across, so we just decided to have a Chinese cuisine dinner. There are many choices in their menu, but we just ordered their combo meal around P190 and pansit bihon since their food servings are mostly family sized. There were many customers that time and the prices are okay and the food is decent.
There are many restaurants in Dumaguete that offer delicious food but since we only stayed for a night here, I will just try it on my next visit. My cousin, who used to work in Dumaguete before enjoyed Mamia’s Bar & Restaurant.
In the evening at the boulevard, you might want to enjoy a walk and smell the salty air and sit down and eat at the tempura pungko-pungko. Also, I was told that early in the morning, a few vendors serve really good puto and sikwate like what we tried in Zamboangita (Apo Island wharf).
What to Enjoy
Negros Island is blessed with many attractions, especially for the nature enthusiasts. When In Dumaguete, visit other nearby interesting places and the top of the list is Apo Island.
Apo Island. On top of the list is a small volcanic island, just an hour and a half from Dumaguete City by Ceres bus and by boat ride via Zamboangita. We had a blast snorkeling with the marine turtles here! It is one of the top diving destinations in the world, but we just snorkeled since the turtles and coral gardens are just near the shore. If you want to go deeper, their diving package is around P1,200.00/person. I have a separate blog post for our Apo Island snorkeling experience.
Balinsasayao Twin Lakes. We went to Sibulan late afternoon. It was literary enchanting. Check my Twin Lakes Photo Gallery.
Casaroro Falls. Also near Dumaguete, located in Valencia town is a nice waterfall. We didn’t have enough time to visit here.
Bais. Dolphin Watching. Our newly-found friends went here before we met in Apo Island and they also enjoyed Manjuyod Sand Bar early morning. I will visit here someday.
Siquijor. This beautiful island with great beaches is accessible from Cebu via Dumaguete.
Silliman University. It is one of the oldest universities in the country and is located near the boulevard. They have a museum.
There are many other amazing places to visit. See Negros Oriental tourist map below:
You might also like reading: Apo Island with Twin Lakes Itinerary and Notes