The Valley of Rubies

More secret than Mecca, more difficult to access than Lhasa, there is in the heart of the Burmese jungle a little known city called Mogok. Lost in a maze of wild hills beyond Mandalay, the surrounding valley is home to the world’s largest deposits of rubies : the rarest gemstone, the most expensive, the most bewitching. For centuries, many of the gems adorning the jewels of the world’s royal families came from this secluded area of Burma, which attracted a unique mix of people. To this day, they still trade and mine for gemstones with little change from the ways of the colonial times.