Mandalay in northern Burma historically flourished partly because of its location by ruby, gold and jade mines. Its position has allowed the jade industry to flourish as merchants from China, India and Thailand arrived over the centuries. Today, Mandalay’s magical jade market is located downtown, on 86th street, and this tour includes a stroll of the surrounding streets, rich with local atmosphere. The market itself is a wonderful introduction to this precious stone, and you’ll discover the differences between white, yellow and green jade and its different forms from its raw, unpolished state to finished creations. You will see craftsman cut and polish the stone on wet saws and sellers and buyers haggle over price. Help is on hand should you wish to haggle for a piece of jewelry. There will be time to retire to a local teashop, where merchants often gather, for an afternoon break.

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