Swimming with the Giant Clams

Two adventurous Chinese visitors to Samal Bahay Kubo wanted to go diving. We called around and visited a resort offering dive trips, but the cost was much higher than anticipated (when compared to their recent dives elsewhere in SE Asia). So, we provided them with a great value alternative water-themed day.

First stop was Hagimit Falls near Penaplata. Being a Monday morning (rather than the weekend), it was fairly quiet but not empty. We spent an hour enjoying the waterfalls and the beautiful clear water gushing out of the limestone rock upstream.

Next, we drove to Adecor, a small fishing settlement very close to the famous Pearl Farm resort. This was the first time I have traveled so far down this unmade road. Previously, the surface was so bad that I gave up and turned back. Although the road is still unpaved, it is  mostly acceptable (by island standards!).

Adecor Giant Clam location map

The purpose of traveling to Adecor was to see the Giant Clams cultivated there as part of a German/Davao del Norte academic and conservation joint venture. Adecor is also very close to Wishbone Island where I recently snorkeled over the coral.

The barangay of Adecor organises the short boat trip to the study centre and from there you follow a snorkeling guide to swim with the Giant Clams. For me, this is the best tourist attraction I’ve seen in the Davao Gulf area. Very impressive. The guides in the study centre were hugely knowledgeable and answered all my questions. I’ll be making sure all my visitors put this on their itinerary in future.

The boat trip to the study centre

The boat trip to the study centre

Information boards in the study centre describing the species of Giant Clam

Information boards in the study centre describing the species of Giant Clam

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Masks and snorkels can be rented from the study centre

Masks and snorkels can be rented from the study centre

As the following photos will show, the different species of clams come in a surprising variety of colours

As the following photos will show, the different species of clams come in a surprising variety of colours

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There are already over 3000 Giant Clams in the bay as a result of the conservation programme

There are already over 3000 Giant Clams in the bay as a result of the conservation programme

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16 thoughts on “Swimming with the Giant Clams

    • Our Chinese guests photos were much better than mine! Clams have existed around here for millions of years, because we keep digging their fossils out of the ground on our land

    • As a conservation programme, it was made clear to us that none of the clams are eaten. What happens after dark is another matter! But with 3000+ clams, they seem to be taking it very seriously and it’s employing a lot of people in the barangay. It was a great place.

    • We were told that the biggest was 1.2m (almost 4ft) across and weighed around 300kg. We were also told not to touch the clams because 1, it stresses them, and 2, there is a risk of getting a finger trapped.

  1. What sort of cost are we talking about for such great value alternative water-themed day? And do they serve clam chowder?
    Rgds,
    A not too adventurous Chinese

    • The ferryboat from the pier to the study centre costs around P300 shared between 6 or 7 passengers; swimming with the clams is P75 and if you forgot to bring your own snorkel and mask you can rent a set for P100. So per person, the entire show costs just over US$5. Cheaper and more healthy than a BigMac meal. No clams on the menu – “Keep Clam”!

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