Tung Sau Pearl Farm and the story of making pearls in Halong Bay

Halong Bay, Vietnam, has a total area of 1,553km2 and is home to hundreds of limestone cliffs topped with dense forest. Not only is Halong Bay and its people endowed with natural beauty, but Mother Nature has also blessed them with another priceless resource: pearls. To take advantage of on this, the local community established Tung Sau, a floating pearl farm focused on rearing mussels and manufacturing pearls from them.


In this article, we’ll visit the Tung Sau Pearl Farm and see how people there manage to live and create precious pearls in the midst of the sea.

Where is Tung Sau Pearl Farm


Tung Sau Pearl Farm is locate situated in the middle of Halong Bay. It’s only 24 kilometres from Tuan Chau Marina and right near to Sung Sot Cave & Vung Vieng Village. 

Tung Sau Pearl Farm
Tung Sau pearl farm in Halong Bay


What to see in Tung Sau


Tung Sau Pearl Farm has been owned by Ha Long Pearl Joint Stock corporation since 1995, when it was purchased from a Japanese corporation. Since then, the farm has become a site to cultivate mussels and extract pearls from them.


When you visit Tung Sau, you will get the opportunity to learn about the process of manufacturing pearls while maintaining the environment for long-term business. You might also learn about the various types of pearls and how to distinguish a quality pearl from others. On the pearl farm, there is a museum that shows the history of the area, the process of manufacturing pearls, and a shop where you may buy pearls as souvenirs.

mussels raising area in Tung Sau Pearl farm
Tung Sau Pearl Farm, together with Vung Vieng, is one of the biggest pearl farm in Halong Bay – Source: Internet

Tung Sau Pearl Farm, located within Halong Bay, likewise showcased the breathtaking beauty of the bay. The location is serene, with emerald waterways dotted by lush trees and islets. It also provides a variety of activities such as swimming and kayaking.


So a trip to Tung Sau Pearl Farm will provide you with an experience of both natural beauty and traditional Halong Bay living styles.


Story of making pearls in Tung Sau Pearl Farm


Tung Sau, together with Vung Vieng village, is one of the largest pearl farms in Halong Bay. Every year, the farm produces 200kg of various pearls. Tung Sau raises 5 million seed mussels, 1 million of which are implanted with seed pearls.


There are four types of pearls made in the area: Ma Thi mussels, Thick-sell mussels, Long wing mussels, and Jamson mussels. However, due to geographical conditions, Ma Thi is the most abundant of the four pearls in Tung Sau Pearl Farm.


To begin creating pearls, the farmer will select “mother mussels” from which to transplant a small man-made pearl. To produce high-quality pearls, these mussels must be at least 2 years old and weigh between 30 and 40 grammes. The mussels will then be placed in bamboo cages underwater to be cleaned. The farmer will next delicately open the shells and insert two little man-made pearls into each mussel.

making pearl in halong bay
Making pearls is a time-consuming process. – Source: Internet

The mussels will then continue to grow underwater. Throughout this procedure, the mussels will keep creating their unique substances, which will be attached to the man-made pearls. The completed pearls will form after 1 to 4 years.


After receiving the pearls, they would be transferred to a factory on the land for final cleaning and carving into necklaces or earrings before being sold.


Because pearl production is difficult and time-consuming, the price may be fairly high. The price of a pearl at Tung Sau Pearl Farm is between $100 and $200 USD.


Best time to visit


Like any others areas in Halong Bay, best time to visit Tung Sau is from October to November. The weather is cool with very little rains.

Others period like summers (May to Sep) months should be good too, but prepare to due with the heat as it’s extremely hot.

Read more at: Best time to Visit Halong Bay

Getting there


If you want to visit Tung Sau Pearl Farm on your own, you can purchase a ticket at Tuan Chau Marina for 30,000vnd (1.5USD) per person. Because it’s on the water, you’ll also need to pay for a private canoe or boat, which may cost between $40 and $60 for 4 hours.

Related post: How to get to Halong Bay in 2023

Another convenient option is to book a package cruise. Many overnight cruises in Halong Bay include a stop to Tung Sau Pearl Farm as part of their three-day itinerary. The good news is that these cruises not only transport you to Tung Sau Pearl Farm, but also to other attractions in the area, with all tickets and fees included.


Below are some cruises visit Tung Sau Pearl Farm:




Visiting Tung Sau Pearl Farm during your stay in Halong Bay will be an amazing experience. It’s the ideal location to observe a different side of Halong Bay, which is not only a natural beauty but also a home to a hardworking society. On your way there, you’ll learn about how gorgeous pearls are created and what makes them so expensive. You can also purchase some of this lovely jewellery for a loved one.


Explore the Tung Sau Pearl Farm now with CruiseInHalongBay.com!


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