ICA 2005 gem mines tour to Mogok, Burma

The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) will sponsor a gem mines tour in association with its upcoming congress. The tour will follow the 2005 ICA Congress that runs from Feb. 18 to 21 in Bangkok, Thailand.

This year’s tour is an exclusive journey to one of the planet’s most storied gem deposits, Burma’s Mogok Stone Tract—the legendary “Valley of Rubies.”

Access to this part of Burma is restricted, ICA said in a statement. ICA is making arrangements for a select number of permits to visit this area. Participants will also visit historic sights in both Yangon and Mandalay.

ICA’s 2005 Gem Mines Tour will be guided by gem traveler and gemologist Richard Hughes. For the past 25 years, Hughes has traveled extensively in Burma and has authored countless articles, as well as an authoritative book, Ruby & Sapphire.

The cost is $2,475 per person. The tentative program is as follows:

Feb. 24: Flight from Bangkok, Thailand, to Yangon, Myanmar; visit to Shwe Dagon Pagoda and Gem Museum.
Feb. 25: Flight from Yangon to Mandalay; visit Royal Palace
Feb. 26: Drive from Mandalay to Mogok
Feb. 27: Tour Mogok mines and gem markets
Feb. 28: Tour Mogok mines and gem markets
March 1: Drive from Mogok back to Mandalay
March 2: Visit to jade market; flight from Mandalay to Yangon, and transfer back to Bangkok

For more information or registration for the tour, please contact the ICA head office at ica@gemstone.org or pat@gemstone.org. Space is limited and ICA said only hardy travelers need apply.