Ha Long Pearls: Fortune from the Heart of Heritage

DNHN - Every story in life is told in many different ways. Ms Nguyen Thuy Huong, Director of Ha Long Pearl JSC, chose to talk about her journey and experiences through Ha Long pearls - the “heritage” pearl.


“Shining” on the heritage land

There are many reasons why we are passionate about manufacturing and business, overcoming hundreds of thousands of difficulties and challenges. For businesswoman Nguyen Thuy Huong, the opportunity to work with the “heritage” pearls came from the desire to make the dream of building a Vietnamese pearl brand come true.

From the Vietnam-Japan Pearl Joint Venture that started in the 1990s until the businesswoman and her husband took over from their Japanese partner in 2009, they have gradually made their dream of building a Vietnamese pearl brand for Ha Long Pearls a reality.

Artisan Le Nam Trung is implanting artificial pearls in Maxima oysters
Artisan Le Nam Trung is implanting artificial pearls in Maxima oysters.

However, all beginnings are difficult. The vagaries of the weather at sea and the “heat” of the market have brought the couple to the brink of bankruptcy. But it was their passion for their work that helped the businesswoman and her husband to borrow money to rebuild from scratch.

Recalling those difficult days, the businesswoman shared: At that time, the facility in Ha Long Bay covered an area of over 30 hectares of sea surface. When my husband and I bought it, it was mainly just rafts and floats on the sea surface. Then, we started to build it up until it became the facility it is today in 2009. With the knowledge we gained from our studies in Japan, we applied it to production at the company.


The year 2012 marked a strategic turning point in the company’s development when it stopped exporting raw pearls and instead changed its strategy, applying science and technology to production. Not only did it artificially reproduce the young oysters, but it also completed the stages of culturing, processing, and trading pearl products, creating the first closed-loop process in Vietnam for pearl farming.

Life will not go the way we want it to and it is always ready to create difficult challenges, sometimes leading to a state of impasse. When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, every business faced difficulties, and Ha Long Pearl Company of businesswoman Nguyen Thuy Huong was no exception.

Recalling that time, the businesswoman said: Indeed, there were times when I wanted to give up, but my passion pulled me back. Looking at the shiny pearls that defied the storms and rain, the love for the oysters and the pearls that carried their vitality within them re-emerged in me, urging me to overcome all difficulties to continue pursuing my dream.

The businesswoman confided: Throughout the pandemic, the company’s production was suspended. To maintain the company’s survival, I had to reduce staff, keeping only the core workforce. My husband and I even had to sell our assets to “feed the troops” in the hope that the pandemic would pass quickly and tourism and production would recover. It was not until August 2023 that the company’s operations truly resumed, and we considered it a new beginning.


Currently, the company has four pearl farming areas in Ha Long Bay. The company’s pearl products have become a 5-star national OCOP product and are a special and unique tourism product of Quang Ninh province, creating an impression and a fondness among domestic and foreign tourists.

The story of the life of the “heritage” pearl

Businesswoman Thuy Huong said: “As a native of Quang Ninh - a province strong in tourism, I always want to contribute to the development of the province’s tourism industry, and I want to create a tourism product that truly leaves a mark on visitors, commensurate with the reputation of the Ha Long heritage. That’s why I created a tour for visitors to experience and learn about the process of making the shiny, multi-coloured pearls at Ha Long Pearl JSC.”

On a journey to explore the breathtaking beauty of Ha Long Bay, the pearl farm belonging to Ha Long Pearl JSC is a must-see destination for visitors. Here, visitors will be immersed in the fresh air and magnificent scenery of nature, witness and experience the elaborate stages of pearl farming, touch each pearl with their own hands, listen to the story of the pearl’s life, and breathe in the breath of nature, thereby feeling the sparkling, vibrant beauty of Ha Long pearls.


It is worth noting that the seawater in the pearl farming area will be clearer and cleaner because each oyster has an endless organic water filter.

To meet the diverse needs of visitors, the company has launched six language versions telling the story of the life of the “heritage” pearl. The number of tourists taking part in the tour has also increased, with the majority being European visitors, accounting for 60%. Customers are very interested in the story that the businesswoman tells about Ha Long pearls and also trust the quality of each pearl.

After all her efforts in running the business and participating in social work, businesswoman Thuy Huong has received many prestigious awards from the central government and Quang Ninh province. In particular, in 2016 and 2017, she was honoured to be one of 18 outstanding businesswomen in the Northern Coastal region by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). She was also one of one hundred female entrepreneurs to receive the title of “Outstanding Vietnamese Businesswoman 2016 - Golden Rose Cup”.

Nam Tri Duc

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