"Donsol and the Butanding" Donsol by OH_DK

Donsol Travel Guide: 114 reviews and 403 photos

Butanding aka Whale Shark

I was very close to this whale shark and it was soo big.
I went on a trip to Donsol with barbie_sunrise especially to swimm with the whale sharks. We stayed in a great bamboo aircon hotel one night and waked up early in the morning to go whale shark watching. We were 3 French, 2 English, 1 Filipino (Barbie) and me together in a boat.
The Filipinos call this giant fish for Butanding.
If you want to read more about this giant fish of the tropical sea then have a look at this Wikipedia page: Whale sharks
You can find more of my under water whale shark pics in the travelouge.

The evening we arrived (April 12th) we also joined a trip to watch fire flies near a river. When the female guide arrived she told us that we could both go on the back of her motor bike ;) for the 1 km. ride to the boat. I was getting really tired on this evening tour because after traveling all the way from Baguio to Manila (6 hrs), re-organizing my luggage at the hotel the night before, taking a cap to the airport at 4 am there was no time to sleep at all.
We got on a boat down the river and suddenly saw a tree that looked like a Christmas tree with small flashing lights - it was the flies that were flying near the tree. It was beautiful and I tried to take take photos and videos but nothing was visable on the photos - you could only hear all the tropical sounds in the night on the video. At this point it was really hard for me to keep the eyes open and not zzzzzzzzzzz - I only waked up again when going back to the hotel - again 3 on the motorbike.

Bye the way it's not extrordinary to see more than 2 on a motorbike - and it seems to be accepted by the police. One place I saw 5 on one motorbike: husband, wife and 3 children.

Have also a look at Barbie's Donsol page here - it's good.

OH_DK and barbie_sunrise

Taking a breath of air and a photo before diving down to the next Butanding.

Typical Filippino boat

This one is taken the evening we arrived when walking along the beach.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Whale sharks, great beach, nice hotel, lots of coconuts :)
  • Cons:Can't think of any
  • In a nutshell:One of the highlights of my Filipino trip
  • Last visit to Donsol: Jan 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (3)

Comments (14)

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    Swimming with whale sharks, what an adventure!! Would love to do that too! Nice pictures! And a night trip down the river to see the tree with all those flashing lights... Sounds you had a great trip :)

  • Tuna_ank's Profile Photo
    Jul 22, 2010 at 3:22 AM

    Ove, I wish you could have that christhmas tree's photo. :-)) Great experience.

  • missmarianne's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2010 at 2:25 AM


  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    What a great nature trip!

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    May 24, 2009 at 9:29 PM

    Great Donsol adventure with the whale...our friend has done this and has been wanting us to do it....one of these days! Thanks for sharing, Norman :)

  • lahoree's Profile Photo
    May 19, 2009 at 10:14 PM

    Nice whale photos Ove. Which camera brand you have. Our group had a water proof camera but our pictures are not that clear.

  • Dyesebel's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2009 at 12:24 PM

    Wow!U really had great time with Pnoy vters;), great Donsol page,definitely my 1st destination nxt yr;) looking forward to meeting you in Cascais,maybe you can tell me more about Donsol;)

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo
    May 2, 2009 at 7:07 AM

    Wow, what an experience! Thanks for sharing those underwater pictures!

  • Waalewiener's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2009 at 10:18 PM

    Hi Ove this is beautiful I am glad I found this page What a great time did you have Barbie looks like a wonderful lady Ove

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Apr 30, 2009 at 10:59 PM

    Oh wow Ove!! That's awesome!! :o) Hugs xx


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