Justin had always wanted to swim with whale sharks and there are only a few places in the world where you can do it in the wild. When he first showed me pictures my first response might have been something along the lines of, “No way. Nope. Not getting in the water with those massive things.” But this experience turned into one of the true highlights of the honeymoon!
I also learned that it would be a pretty big schlep for 30 minutes with some whale sharks:
- Fly Siem Reap, Cambodia to Manila, Philippines (3 hours)
- Layover in Manila, Philippines (4 hours)
- Fly Manila, Philippines to Cebu, Philippines (1 hour)
- Taxi from the Cebu airport to the bus station (45 min)
- Local bus from Cebu to Oslob (5 hours) — with no bathroom break, seriously!
- Tuk tuk from random spot on the street where the bus dropped us in the dark and rain to our hotel (20 min)
But now to the real reason for coming here
So what was it really like? My heart was racing as we climbed into 7-person row boats just as the sun was coming up. After a short time, we were told to jump in. Just, jump in? Really? Okay.
So I jumped in and….WHOA….there it was — a massive whale shark about 20 feet long, just feet away from me. I couldn’t believe it. For the next 30 minutes we floated and swam about with these majestic beauties.
It was instantly clear how gentle these animals were and how uninterested they were in us. My previous nervousness disappeared as soon as I submerged into the water. The 30 minutes flew by but was such a thrill.
When planning this trip, we figured that a schlep this long deserved two days with the whale sharks, so we were super excited to have a second morning with them. And as if that weren’t enough, we decided last minute to go out twice on the second day.
Swimming with the whale sharks was obviously a massive thrill for both of us — but this thrill finished around 8:30am, so we had all day to relax and hang at the pool at our little hotel in town and watch stunning sunsets each night.
This was a massive schlep, and I agreed to it because I loved my husband and knew how much he wanted to have this experience. Turns out, it was the coolest thing ever. Thanks, honey, for the great idea. I told you it’d be awesome! 🙂 Epic!