Welcome to Mogok, a town located in the Thabeikkyin District of Mandalay Region in Myanmar. Known as the ‘Valley of Rubies’, Mogok is a hidden gem that boasts a rich history, stunning landscapes, and world-famous gemstones. Join us as we uncover the many treasures of Mogok and reveal why this enchanting destination should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
Mogok is believed to have been founded by three lost Shan hunters who discovered rubies at the base of a collapsed mountain in 1217. Today, Mogok is world-renowned for its gemstones, especially ruby and sapphire, but semi-precious stones such as spinel, lapis lazuli, garnet, moonstone, peridot, and chrysoberyl are also found. The gems are found in alluvial marble gravels by means of panning, tunneling, and digging pits by hand. Mogok rubies are the best in terms of quality, with the red stones prized for their purity and hue. 90% of the world’s rubies come from Myanmar, and Thailand buys the majority of Myanmar’s gems.
Mogok is located 200 kilometres (120 mi) north of Mandalay and 148 kilometres (92 mi) northeast of Shwebo. At 1,170 metres (3,840 ft) in elevation, the city has a fairly temperate climate year-round, and is home to Bamar, Shan, Lisu, Palaung, and Karen ethnic groups, as well as Chinese, Indians, and Gurkhas. The city is composed of two towns, Mogok and Kyat Pyin. Mogok is four miles long and two miles wide. It is situated in a valley surrounded by a large number of mountains. Kyatpyin lies about 7 miles (11 km) southwest of Mogok. Tourists that travel to this area need a special authorization and a guide person.
In contrast to the hot to sweltering, semi-arid Dry Zone, Mogok has a borderline humid subtropical (Köppen Cwa)/ subtropical highland climate (Cwb) characterized by a warm dry season with cold mornings from mid-November to mid-April, and a very warm and extremely rainy wet season akin to that of Kachin State, only less extreme in heat discomfort, from mid-April to mid-November. The annual rainfall of around 2,700 millimeters or 106 inches is comparable to that of Yangon and three times that of Mandalay.
Mogok and other villages nearby have been famous since ancient times for its gemstones, and there is little mechanization of the mining. Gems are sold in markets in Mogok; however, foreigners require special permits to visit the town, and it is illegal to purchase/export gems from Myanmar other than from government-licensed dealers.
In 2018, the Mogok commemorated the 800th anniversary of the town’s founding. Despite its rich history and world-famous gemstones, Mogok remains off the beaten path and largely unknown to mainstream tourism. However, for those willing to make the journey, Mogok offers a glimpse into a world of natural beauty, fascinating culture, and unparalleled gemstones. Visit Mogok and experience the magic for yourself!