Manila to Legazpi is approximately a 10 hour journey. Possibly the worst and bumpiest ride I’ve ever been on. It gets you from A to B but don’t expect any sort of sleep.
For the last 4 hours of the journey there is a stop to let people off every 30 minutes or so. All the lights are switched on so if you do fall asleep, you will be woke up. This is where an eye mask comes in super handy.
We used a company called ‘Philtranco’. Their buses leave everyday from their terminal at 5.30pm and 7.45pm. Just get a taxi (well in advance as traffic is terrible) to the bus terminal, and but your ticket on arrival. It’s actually a very easy process but unfortunately very hard to learn about on the Internet.
Legazpi on to Donsol is easy. At the bus terminal, just walk through to the other side and there are UV express services that go to different cities, including Donsol for a mere 75 pesos each. The journey takes 1.5-2 hours depending on how fast your driver is. You are dropped into the town and will have to get a tricycle over to the West to where the Tourist Information Centre/Whale Shark sightseeing tour is.
Philippines pedicabs are ridiculously cheap in lots of places. We have never paid more than £1 for any journey.
Donsol left us disappointed i’m afraid. There were no whale sharks to be seen on the day we embarked on our 3 hour sight seeing journey. Or for the few days before that for that matter.
They had been spotted previously at Manta Bowl so you’re more likely to see them if you dive. Manta bowl has White Tip Sharks AND whale sharks?? Mayne they were having a shark party.
The trouble with wild animals are, well, they’re wild, so there is never any guarantee that you’ll see them. It’s such a shame as the only reason we headed to Donsol was for the Whale Sharks. It’s became a tourist hotspot in the last few years because of this but is yet to develop in terms of entertainment. There is literally nothing else to do there other than the sightseeing tour.
There are just 3 resorts to stay by the beach, we stayed in Danclunan (or something like that). Next to the Sightseeing office. Our restaurant stopped serving at 8.30pm and it seems that the whole place is lights out by 9pm. There is no night life, apart from a disco they hold on a Saturday.
If your looking to chill in a hammock and do absolutely nothing then Donsol is the perfect place for you.
And the beach has a lovely sunset!
We had a pleasurable 2 nights there, very relaxed, but I don’t think we could’ve stayed much longer. We recharged our batteries and made use of our portable DVD player. Was the hideous overnight bus drive worth it? I’m yet to decide. I just wish we stopped for a day in Legazpi city to tour the Volcano via ATV! (something I’ve just found out you can do from our new German friends who have experienced this). I have serious FOMO. Make sure you stop by Legazpi for a day if you’re heading to Donsol to check it out.
I’m very behind with my posts, having too much fun! Ha. The good news is today we swam with Whale Sharks in Cebu so expect a post in this soon