Pearls and pearl farms of Phuket
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 Phuket Pearls

Pearls are a treasure of the Orient and around Phuket, the visitor often sees a hotel, a business or a tour company with the word, Pearl, in its name. But it wasn't until 1964 when the Hiranprueck family started developing a pearl farm, that these beautiful and valuable little gems were produced locally.

"My father started this business around 35 years ago and today we have 80 to 100,000 oysters at our pearl farm on Naga Island," explains Suchart Hiranprueck, currently the Director of Naga Pearl. "There is a lot to learn about producing a high quality of pearl so we have brought technicians from Japan to teach us how to develop a local pearl that will compete on the international market."

Visitors to Phuket are welcome to book a tour to their pearl farm on Naga Island. It's a great way to spend the day. First, there's the pick up at the hotel and a twenty minute boat ride to the island. Guests are shown the pearl farm and introduced to the studio where the pearls are developed and displayed. Then lunch is served and the afternoon is spent relaxing and swimming on Naga Island's beautiful beach.

Pearls are available for sale on the island. "We produce pearls from several different kinds of oysters. Some are suitable for earrings and jewellry but now we are developing the more distinctive akoya Japanese pearl as it has a higher value and we think there is a market," comments Michael Yaweephan, General Manager of Pearl Island Tour Company.

"There have been significant problems with the pearl industry in Japan so there is a good opportunity for us to develop high quality pearls for the international market."

To book a tour to visit Naga Island and learn more about pearl cultivation, contact Pearl Island Tour Company at (66 76) 219 87

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