Mandalay – Mogok – Mandalay
A journey through the valley of Rubies takes you to Mogok, home to 90% of the world’s high grade rubies. Observe all related processes at different mining operations in and around Mogok, discover diverse ethnic groups with their own distinct cultures, costumes and ways of life. This program can be added to any other Classic Tour of Myanmar.
After breakfast, your car will drive up to Mogok (-6hr), the valley of Rubies. Arrive to Mogok and relax at the hotel.
Mogok, located 200 km north of Mandalay and at 1170 meters in elevation, is in a valley surrounded by a large number of mountains and has a cool temperate climate all year round. The city is composed of two towns, Mogok and Kyat Pyin which lies about 11 km south west of Mogok with diverse ethnic groups such as Shan, Myanmar, Lissu, Karen, Kachin, Chinese and Gurkha of Nepalese who make their living by mining and cutting, polishing and marketing gemstones. It is also home to 90% of the world’s high grade rubies.
Overnight in Mogok
After breakfast, morning visit to the Daw Nan Kyi Hill to admire the panoramic view, Kyauk Pyatthat Pagoda on the hill top; it is said that big snakes came to this hill to pay homage to the Buddha images every year and then visit to the Mines to observe the different mining processes. There are Alluvium, open pit, cave and crevice, vertical shaft, and tunnel hard-rock mining. Alluvial mining of the gem-bearing gravel, called byon, and hard-rock mining of rubies and spinel from the marble itself.
After lunch, you will be taken to a cottage-industry of cutting stone to experience the eco-friendly gem cutting.
The cutting machines were not powered by electricity but by foot power. The cutters pedaled back and forth to power the lapidary wheel and polish the stones. And visit to Gem painting home industry where creates the painting with tiny gems which are not suited for jewelry.
In the afternoon, proceed to Htar Pwe (open-air gems market) where the precious Rubies, Sapphires and semi-precious stones are traded on the road side. There are daily open-air gem markets in the morning and in the afternoon at Mogok and Kyat Pyin.
End the day with amazing view of the city at Shu Khin Thar (view point).
Overnight in Mogok
Early in the morning, drive to Bernardmyo @ Ywarthayar village (16 km/~ 1 hr) to meet with diverse ethnic groups who came to trade the local products at five day market (once on every five days from 06:30-08:00). The uphill road to Bernardmyo it is rough and rather steep in some places.
The British conquered Mogok in 1886 then the military settlement was named after Chief commissioner Sir Charles Edward Bernard so as to honor him. Nowadays, the village is named Ywartharyar and Chinese who arrived to Mogok since 13th century as gem merchants and Lisu ethnic are living in this village. The ancient explosive storage can be seen in the village but the British war cemetery located outside the Bernardmyo and contains the dead from the Third Anglo-Myanmar War of 1886-93.
Drive back to Mogok and afternoon visit to ancient Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, the holiest temple in Mogok to amaze the throne which encrusted with priceless gems.
End the day to visit at Chan Thar Gyi Pagoda or Padamya Zedi (Ruby Pagoda) for remarkable view over the town and its central lake.
End of the Tour!