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The world renound ruby mines at Mogok, Burma

The sapphire mines at Bang Kacha, Chanthaburi, Thailand.

Gem mining at Pailin, Cambodia.

Sapphire mining at Bo Ploi, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Ruby mining at Bo Rai, Trat, Thailand.

The marble village of Sagyin, Shan State, Burma.

From Mandalay to Mogok

 

 

The historic city of Mandalay is the gateway to Mogok. Mandalay has a certain charm missed by some but admired by those who take the time to visit some of the historic parts of the city.

The 125 mile journey to Mogok will take you through agricultural countryside, teak forests, hill tribe villages, over rusty bridges and twisting mountain roads.

From Mandalay we head north to Mogok. Many parts of the road remain unchanged from the British colonial days including many single track iron bridges (right).

Seventy five miles north of Mandalay we arrive at the Hpawdaw - Thabeikkyin junction. It is at this point where special permission is required for foreigners to continue their journey to Mogok. There is another fifty miles of single track road which winds up through the mountains before we reach Mogok.

Old bridge on the Mandalay - Mogok road ...

 

Ox cart - Mandalay ...

 

 

 

 

 

Ox carts are still used by many people to get around. Not the quickest way to go but good for the environment!

 

 

 

 

 

The immigration check point at the Hpawdaw - Thabeikkyin junction. To travel beyond this point you will need to have your permit rubber stamped here.

The immigration check point at the Hpawdaw - Thabeikkyin junction...

 

A sign at the Hpawdaw - Thabeikkyin junction...

A banyan tree on the side of the road ...

A sign at the Hpawdaw - Thabeikkyin junction.

Banyan trees grow on the side of the road.

 

 

 

 

 

After passing the checkpoint the road climbs up into the mountains and the temperature cools. The views into the valleys are spectacular.

Up in the mountains on the Mogok - Mandalay road ...

 

A trader with his motorbike loaded with goods on his way to Mogok...

 

 

 

 

 

A trader riding his motorbike loaded with goods on his way to Mogok.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On one of the bends in the road a lady has set up her shop selling a variety of citrus fruits.

A lady selling fruit ont eh side of the Mogok - Mandalay road ...

 

Lisu villager ...

Lisu villager...

A Lisu villager in a mountain village.

Another Lisu villager with her son.

 

Lisu villagers ...

 

 

 

Once up in the mountains we pass through bamboo forests and  Lisu villages. There is a thick smell of fermenting bamboos shoots throughout the village.   The villagers use the bamboo to produce just about everything you could possibly imagine.

 

Lisu villager ...

Drying bamboo ...

A Lisu villager shredding strips of bamboo.

Bamboo strips being dried in the sun.

 

 

 

 

 

Halfway between the Hpawdaw - Thabeikkyin junction we reach the village of Shewnyaungbin. This is a traditional resting spot for travellers coming and going between Mogok & Mandalay.

A village shop at  Shewnyaungbin...

 

Enjoying cakes and tea at the café in Shewnyaungbin village ...

 

 

 

 

 

My driver and guide enjoying cakes and tea at the café in the centre of the village.

 

People of Shwenyaungbin village...

People of Shwenyaungbin village...

People of Shwenyaungbin village.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The banyan tree in the centre of Shwenyaungbin village.

The banyan tree in the centre of Shwenyaungbin village...

 

An ageing truck in the centre of Shwenyaungbin village...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quite incredible that they manage to keep these trucks going.

 

 

 

 

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