On our Halong Bay cruise we made a side trip to a Cultivated Pearl Farm, where we viewed the whole procedure from its icky surgical start to the glowing pearl at the end.
Hanging from the buoys are nets containing the pearl oysters.
The welcoming committee at the Halong Bay Cultivated Pearl Farm.
The nets containing young pearl oysters are brought into the ‘operation’ area.
Preparing the oysters to grow pearls in Halong Bay with antiseptic and some rather scary dental tools.
Cultured pearl implements, including the round coral beads that form the core of the pearl (bottom right).
Selecting an oyster in which to insert a round coral bead.
Ouch! Poor old oysters – I feel your pain…
Two or three years later, a perfect pearl is formed. Not all oysters produce pearls; the inside of the shell has to have a pearl-like coating like this one.
Leaving the cultivated pearl farm in beautiful Halong Bay.
There was a small shop on the pier but the prices were out of my range – still it got me thinking about making some sort of pearl necklace to remember this amazing trip.