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Overview

Head to the hills! Explore Mogok, a charming town nestled in the Shan mountains. Visit mines where Myanmar’s famed rubies are uncovered and see browse for gems at the colourful market.  Trek through soaring landscapes untouched by time and encounter a wonderful blend of ethnic groups in hillside villages.

Trip Highlights

Mogok, Valley of Rubies

Learn why Mogok is called ‘Ruby Land’

Visit gem mines and markets, learning about the fine rubies and other precious stones that have made Mogok famous.

Explore Mogok’s cultural diversity

See a blend of Indian, Chinese and Myanmar cultures in town and trek to villages inhabited by the Lisu people.

Enjoy Myanmar’s natural beauty

Drive from the flatlands of Mandalay high into the Shan Hills and trek along the mountains for spectacular views.

Itinerary

1

Mandalay - Mogok

Mandalay-Mogok (217 km): 6h

This morning the tour starts at 08:00.

Rise early in the morning for a stunning road trip through the Shan Hills to the once-restricted town of Mogok. Exchanging Mandalay’s bustle for quaint roadside villages and verdant tropical rainforest, the journey to Mogok is one which few travellers have made.

After a four-hour journey, stop at a small village for a rest.  All local buses and trucks make the stop here, creating a vibrant rest area where stalls are stacked high with damson fruit, Burmese snacks and dried spices.  Try a bowl of Shan Khauk Swe, a traditional Shan noodle dish.

In the afternoon, reach Mogok’s city-centre.  Known as ‘Ruby Land,’ the town is known for producing the finest rubies in the world -but it is so much more than just precious stones. There is also stunning mountain scenery, a rich and diverse culture and an experience found nowhere else in Southeast Asia. The downtown area is lined with not only the Buddhist monasteries similar to those seen elsewhere in Myanmar, but also monasteries with Indian-influenced architecture, mosques, and even Christian churches.

Visit Paung Daw Oo Pagoda, where the Buddha’s throne is lined with rubies, sapphires and other precious stones donated by wealthy local families. There are also ruby-lined crowns and tiaras on display.  The pagoda affords stunning views of downtown Mogok, providing a nice introduction to the city.

In the late afternoon arrive to the hotel in Mogok.

Dinner at the hotel. (Client’s own account)

2

Mogok valley hike - Ruby Tour

Today the sightseeing begins at 08:00 after breakfast.

After breakfast, lLace up some trekking boots and set off from the hotel for a half-day of hiking in Mogok Valley. Just metres down the trail, reach an overlook with sweeping views of the valley where pointed stupas and small farms are shadowed by the impressive mountain range. 

Along the first part of the hike, come across some peculiar sites. First, visit an abandoned rice wine distillery that has been taken over by a chicken farmer. Next, see an abandoned mansion with its own moat. The trail ends at a small waterfall. 

Return to the main road where a steep road leads to the local Lisu Baptist Church.  The Lisu tribe originates from the Himalayan foothills of the north and are practicing Christian Baptists. From here, continue trekking to Lisu.  Walk through several jungle paths and conclude the trek at a monastery compound which has Indian-inspired architecture.

Returning to the hotel, transfer to Myo Oo Lwin monastery,  a massive fortress-like compound with Hindu-style architecture.

Return to town for lunch at local restaurant (client’s own account)

In the afternoon, begin a fascinating ruby tour. Myanmar produces nearly 90% of the world’s rubies.  Several of the stones on Queen Elizabeth’s ruby tiaras were mined here, along with many of the royal sapphires.

Visit the mines and see the origins of these precious stones. After entering the mines’ small caverns, observe the production process. Afterwards, there’s an opportunity to see and purchase ‘new rubies,’ small red stones in granite that are a million years away from becoming infamous ‘pigeons’ blood’ rubies (one of the world’s rarest and most sought-after jewels). 

Next, visit Mogok’s ruby market, unlike any other markets in Myanmar. There are no stalls, no vendors, nor any shops. Business is conducted at tiny picnic tables where buyers, sellers, and experts examine the stones and negotiate prices over a cup of tea.

After visiting the market, go to a local barbeque restaurant (client’s own account) for dinner.

Overnight in Mogok

3

Mogok – Mandalay

This morning the journey continues at 08:00 after breakfast, depart Mogok and return back to Mandalay.

Important Information

Our services Include:

  • 2 nights accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room with daily breakfast
  • English-speaking local guide
  • All transfers with private vehicles with driver
  • Meals mentioned (B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for the visits mentioned in the program
  • Drinking water while touring

Our services do not Include:

  • International ticket to/from Yangon
  • Meals others than mentioned (B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Visa arrangements for Myanmar
  • Entrance fees for visits not mentioned in the program
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Tips and porters at the hotels
  • Any other items not mentioned
  • Credit card fees (2-3%) or bank transfer fees for non-cash payments

Customize this tour

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