Trip Report: Mike's Dauin Dive Resort, March 2018
Strap in for a family & fun filled adventure!!
If you have read any of my previous trip reports you will know that the wife and I are no longer the "typical diving couple", we now have two small energetic boys (aged 2 & 5) coming along for the ride. For this trip we flew Granny in to tag along for the fun and games.
Due to the kids we have a fairly strict list of requirements for a resort, and after scouring many a trip report/ TripAdvisor review/ resort website etc I landed on Mike's.
It basically ticked all my boxes.
1) would allow us to do one dive in the morning & one in the arvy
2) has AC
3) sheltered place to swim in the sea (for the kids)
4) not too expensive
5) has a beach
6) not too difficult to get to *
7) Good communication
To get to Mike's from Singapore you have to fly via Manila then another hop to Dumaguette on Negros Island, on the return we flew from Duma to Cebu, then Cebu to Sing. We flew with Cebu Pacific, they had the best times for the connecting flights. And even though I was worried about flying budget, I have to give credit where it is due, the flights were all on time and pretty much hassle free.
The boss at Mike's is Corri and she runs a very happy and helpful team. I bugged the heck out of her with my many many emails and she was always prompt, cordial and helpful with her replies. I'm pretty sure that when I told her about my kids being gluten & dairy free, she must have wanted to cancel my booking!!
Mike's is a very pretty little resort. You enter through the gates and greeted by a pocket of paradise. The natural looking buildings, the swaying leafy trees and palms, the sparkling swimming pool (with waterfall), the green grass and then you see the beach and finally the sea.
Mikes Resort by Al, on Flickr']
Mikes Resort by Al, on Flickr[/URL]
The rooms are clean and decently sized, but here lies my only criticisms of the resort, the beds are hard (fairly thin mattresses), and both the fan and AC units are very noisy. This was the case for both of the rooms we had. Oh the only other thing that I thought was missing was a dedicated camera room. The tiny table in the room is not really adequate and I ended up setting up my camera on a towel on the floor.
The food at the restaurant did take a little while BUT it was always very tasty and the portions huge. The kitchen staff did a great job altering their recipes to accommodate our boys diet. We really appreciated that. This optimized their helpful attitude. Nothing was too much trouble.
They even built our boys an amazing swing right on the beach. I nearly got tennis elbow from pushing them so much!! I swear they spent at least 2-3 hours a day on that swing!!
Ok so we came here to go diving. The missus and I are AVID muck divers! We loves dem critters!! We've been to Lembeh (multiple times), and Aniloa and I did not expected Dauin to live up to that level of muckiness, BUT on the whole the critter count was not too bad, and I was actually pleasantly surprised at the quality of the diving. Critters included: many frogfish, including the worlds smallest one!! A fair number of nudis, an assortment of shrimps, TONS of ghost pipefish, specifically ornate and robust, flamboyant cuttlefish, a few seahorses and lots of interesting anemone's with their matching anemone fish. There were zero octopus, which was a tad odd, but apparently they are very seasonal.
Tiny froggy by Al, on Flickr
That is my wife's baby finger in the background!
_DSC0836 by Al, on Flickr
_DSC0933 by Al, on Flickr
_DSC1333 by Al, on Flickr
I got a head cold half way through the trip and this put a huge dampener on the holiday and the diving. So I only got 8 dives in, which was unfortunate.
Mike's has two big, comfortable Bangka's, and they were very flexible in where we wanted to dive. At most there was 4 of us with a guide, but often less. The guides are great spotters.
Typically they do a double tank trip in the morning, but most of the dives are 10-15min from the resort, so they brought us back to the resort after the first dive.
_DSC1510 by Al, on Flickr
We did not do the Apo Island dive trip!! SHOCK HORROR I know. But it was a full day trip and we didn't want to leave gran alone with the boys the whole day! BUT we did take a public boat across to snorkel with the turtles. It was such a great day and both boys got to see the turtles. The eldest had an absolute BLAST swimming right next to a big greenbacked turtle that was basically bigger than he was. The turtles are so used to people they would just flat ignore you.
_DSC1428 by Al, on Flickr
_DSC1448 by Al, on Flickr
The wife was DESPERATE to go see the whalesharks at Oslob, so after chatting with Corri she made a plan for us. She organised a van to take us all the way to Oslob, which entails a 45 mon drive to the ferry port in Duma, then a 20 min ferry trip across to Cebu Island then finally a 30min drive to Oslob.
YES Oslob is a complete zoo! But once you put your head below the water and literally come face to face with a massive whaleshark it is all A-OK and totally worth it. It was mezmerising for me, my wife, my 65 year old mom, and my 5 year old was smiling from ear to ear!! Heck even the 2 year old was shouting "ALE-ARK!!"
The way they spread all the tourists out means that you actually have clear water in front of you and there is no one else in your field of view. I could have spent hours with the majestic creatures.
_DSC1063 by Al, on Flickr
_DSC1048 by Al, on Flickr
In the end we had a great week at Mike's, and I definitely would recommend the resort whole heatedly.
For the rest of the photo's check out: Mikes - sunset by
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