"DONSOL, HOME OF THE WHALESHARK" Top 5 Page for this destination Donsol by mavl

Donsol Travel Guide: 114 reviews and 403 photos


the spotter standing on the bow cries "butanding!" (that's the local term for whaleshark)

the officer assigned to your boat screams "GO, GO, GO!" and you dive into the water even though your better judgement tells you not to (assuming you have my kind of luck - see story re parrot fish attack on my hp).

you swallow a gallon of saltwater because you're too frantic to get to the spot where the officer thinks you'll cross its path.

you don't see anything more than 5 feet from your nose because the water is murky with micro-organisms (which is why they come here in the first place).

there is a lull and there is nothing in front of you. suddenly, without any warning, the five-foot wide mouth of a whaleshark is three feet from your nose!!! before you can scream, the rest of its bus-sized body swims right past you!!!

finally, you're able to let out the most primal scream your voicebox will ever produce! you'll scream so loud that even though you're underwater, the people on the boat several meters away will still hear you through your snorkel!

even though you know it's docile, it eats plankton, and it's perfectly harmless, your heart will still pound practically out of your chest! it's the size of a bus for goodness' sake!

before you know it, the butanding is gone and you're left in the middle of the bay gasping for breath. you swim back to the boat with the biggest smile your face will ever come up with and you climb on board and scream again.

five minutes later, the spotter cries "butanding" again and you're off to the races, your fears nothing but a distant memory.

you have to try this at least once in your life or you haven't lived at all!!!

proof that i actually did it? check these short videos out:



  • Intro Updated Mar 20, 2009
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (5)

Comments (8)

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    It must be the most amazing experience to be out in the deep blue sea with gigantic whale sharks! Just learned they are vegetarians so nothing to worry about ;)

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2009 at 7:20 PM

    oh yes! You've been to Donsol --- awesome experience - a natural adrenalin rush!!! Thos whalesharks are previous --- I hope I'm not too old already when I get there, Norman :)

  • pres_16's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2009 at 8:50 PM

    super saya, super sigaw butanding...wooohah! :)

  • thedouglas's Profile Photo
    Jun 23, 2007 at 2:03 PM

    Love those big monsters! Have you got your laptop with you?

  • mandybailey's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2007 at 12:28 PM

    That sounds terrifying but completely amazing at the same time! I hope I'd be brave enough to do it, but I'm not sure...

  • Apr 27, 2007 at 1:21 AM

    i would swim there if you paid me ;)

  • i-s-a's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2007 at 8:45 PM


  • hivaoa1's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2007 at 6:12 AM

    oh i am so scared of big fishes hehehe but too bad giuseppe wasn't lucky to see the big whalesharks ciaoooo ;-)

mavl Visits Here Frequently!


“when in rome...”

Online Now


Top 5,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 1 4 7 1
Forum Rank:
0 5 6 2 0

Badges & Stats in Donsol

  • 5 Reviews
  • 8 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 456PageViews

Have you been to Donsol?

  Share Your Travels  

Photos in Donsol

See All Photos (8)

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (3)