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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.

The Marble Village of Sagyin

 

Thirty two miles north of Mandalay on the road to Mogok, if you turn off the highway you come across the village of Sagyin. The village is at the bottom of a mountain of fine white marble. The villagers make their living mining and carving the white marble. The marble is highly prized and exported all over the world. Carvings can vary from small figurines to huge life-sized elephants weighing several tons. Sagyin has to be one of the dustiest places on the planet - the entire village and surrounding area is coated in a thick layer of white dust. If you weren't in the tropics you would almost think it had been snowing!

Sagyin - marble village ...

 

Sagyin ...

 

 

 

 

 

Cattle hearders on the Mandalay - Myitkyinar highway just before turning off to Sagyin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A temple in Sagyin covered in marble dust giving a wintery feel!

Sagyin - marble village ...

 

Ox cart in Sagyin - marble village ...

Carved marble Buddha statue in Sagyin ...

An ox cart loaded with marble.

A finished white marble Buddha statue.

 

Carving Buddha statues from white marble at Sagyin ...

 

 

 

 

 

The early stages of carving Buddha statues. Many of them are exported to China & Taiwan.

 

Rubies and spinels at Sagyin ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Sagyin there are some small deposits of rubies, sapphires and spinels. Some pieces show colour comparable with those found in Mogok (see below).

Rubies and spinels at Sagyin ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Villagers coming out to show parcels of rubies. Most pieces were small.

Villagers showing me rubies at Sagyin ...

 

Villagers at Sagyin ...

 

 

 

 

 

Villagers selling fried prawns in batter on the side of the road.

 

 

 

 

 

A villager carving Buddha statues in the yard of his home. Many of the Buddha statues are carved without finishing the face. This will be completed once the statue is sold and then carved to the buyer's requirements.

Carving Buddha statues aat Sagyin ...

 

Carving elephants from white marble at Sagyin ...

 

 

 

Carved marble elephants. The women in this picture were polishing these carvings by hand using wet & dry sand paper. They told me it would take three months to finish polishing the elephants.

 

Carving angels at Sagyin ...

A villager selling goods in Sagyin ...

Some marble angels for your garden perhaps?

A villager selling goods from her house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More food vendors on the side of the road in Sagyin.

Food vendors in Sagyin ...

 

Early stages of marble carving in Sagyin ...

 

 

 

 

 

The early stages of carving a huge boulder of white marble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Probably the biggest diamond saw I have ever seen. Used for cutting through marble boulders.

Diamond saw for cutting large pieces of marble in Sagyin ...

 

Villager in Sagyin ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

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