Mogok and neighbouring Kyatpyin are fast becoming some of our favourite places in Myanmar. The forest-clad rolling hills, cooler climate and lack of tourists make it well worth the winding 5 hour drive from Mandalay. Until recently the area was closed off to foreign visitors and you still require a permit to get there (which Bamboo Travel will take care of for you). Of course the most famous attractions in Mogok, known locally as ‘Rubyland', are precious stones and gems - the city is the heart of one of the world's foremost ruby and gem mining areas and there are hundreds of working mines scattered around the hills. The gems very much define Mogok and Kyatpyin - from the miners themselves, to the wily market vendors, to the skilful artists who make sparkly collages, to the ladies that sit on the roadsides sifting through the discarded piles rocks looking for something precious that has been missed - everybody here seems to have some involvement with gems.
Few realise however, that there is such a lot more possible in a visit Mogok than just the gems and a bit of time trekking in the hills and mingling with the friendly locals is a must.
For more information, take a look at our blog.