Halong Bay is a must-see for people traveling to Vietnam. A trip to this place will reveal the beauty and secrets this country holds. It has breathtaking sceneries and stunning geological creatures. However, over the last few years, an additional attraction came to the fore, which is the Halong pearls.
Many people love pearls, they wear them every day, but have you ever stopped to think of the manufacturing process? A trip to Halong’s pearl farms will educate you of the processes involved in farming, harvesting and making them. You’ll get to understand the intricate process of farmed oysters that pearls grow.
Pearls are the world’s only gemstone extracted from a live animal. Its cultivation comes with certain conditions:
- First is the sea environment. It should be pollution free. A polluted sea environment will lead to some failures
- The sea salt content
- Depth of water
- The different type of oysters
It takes at least five years for an oyster to reach maturity and harvested when cultivated in the right circumstances. For a 10mm and above pearl, it takes up to from seven to ten years. You’ll also find the Tahitian Black pearl cultivated in the farms.
There’s a 40% success rate for a normal pearl with a small percentage of good quality. This rate is the reason they are expensive.
The only pearl farm in Halong Bay is behind Sung Sot Cave or the Surprise Cave as commonly known. The first pearl village in Halong Bay was discovered in 1995 by a Japanese organization. Its operations were later passed down to the Vietnamese after a successful tourism and pearl production tourism.
The farm is presently owned and managed by Halong Pearl Join Stock Company. A visit to the farm will thoroughly educate you from the first step to the last on the meticulous process of growing, harvesting and pearl extraction. They are made using the traditional Vietnamese method backed up by modern Japanese technology.
Also, the tour will teach you on the different types of pearls harvested for example the Tahiti pearls, the South Sea Pearls,and the Akoya Pearls. The only distinction is the time it takes to collect each type and the different prices. The tour is indeed an educational activity even for those that aren’t jewelry fans.
The tour has a step by step demonstration on the harvesting process, know-how, and things you must do when harvesting and producing pearls from scratch.
Approximately 40 people are coming from 40 different provinces from the age of 18 to 40 years. Some live in the mainland while the others stay on the farm at night to take care of the place.
Their lifestyle easily compares to those that live in the floating villages mainly due to their survival on acquiring basic needs from the mainland. Both men and women differently provided with accommodation.
The best time to visit pearl farms in Vietnam is a little tricky as it depends on the individual taking you on tour and their preference. However, if you love the thrilling Asian summer sun, the perfect visit time is from May to September. For subtle but sunny weather with clear blue skies, September to November would be ideal for you. If you like it cold, misty and breezy, then winter is your time from December to February.
A visit to Halong Bay’s pearl farm is a once in a lifetime experience if you are looking to visit Vietnam. You’ll find it educative as you’ll have a first-hand experience on the process it takes to make pearl jewelry. After the tour, you’ll be more likely to purchase one for yourself or your loved one. What better souvenir could you have apart from an attractive pair of earrings and a lovely pearl pendant?