There are several ways to get to Samal Island from Davao City. The first time I went there we took a banca that brought us directly to Paradise Island resort. I think other resorts also have similar arrangements. But to do a really backpacking trip to Samal Island, taking the RORO adds to the thrill! ;-) Specially, since we decided not to stay in Paradise Island and other pricey resorts. We chose a resort that would be very accessible if we'll tour the other points of interest in the island, and we can only get there through the RORO bus.
i'm not sure if there are other bus lines going to Samal Island, but so far I've only seen buses of Island City Express around.
We were told to go to Magsaysay Park in Davao City where we can take the bus. I haven't seen the park (is there one ba? hehe). But our cab driver brought us exactly where the Island City Express bus parks while waiting for passengers. I think there's no exact schedule. By the time we got there the other bus just left and we were left with no choice but to take the next which is completely empty... but good thing it got filled real quick.
Bus Fares (well, at least until our stop - The Warehouse):
Non-Aircon - Php40.00
Aircon - Php50.00
it took us some 15-20min from the Magsaysay park to the port where the bus will take the RORO boat.
this photo is from the RORO port in Samal Island. You can see how close Davao City is, that's the part where you'll see the boat.
The boat part of the RORO trip is only around 15minutes. On our way back from Samal Island, I decided to go down the bus to take photos but I feel like I need to rush because were almost in Davao right away.
There's a part in the ship where you can sit but it's basically pointless since you need to hurry back to your vehicle right away... Here's where i've tried to take photos around. :-)
I'm amazed by the bus drivers and how they're able to maneuver their vehicles to fit inside the ship... there were around 3-4 buses in aside from the private vehicles.
The RORO trip made us experience a portion of the local life in Samal Island. :) it gave us a mini tour too...
25-26 June 2010