Gem shopping

Try your luck

Photo of , , Banlung

What we say: 3.5 stars

While the local mines are largely tapped out, the central market and main streets of downtown Banlung host many gem outlets.

While they're probably outnumbered now by mobile phone shops (who does buy all these phones?!), those that remain offer a dazzling array of colourful precious stones from the surrounding hills and, unexpectedly, from far flung places such as Sri Lanka.

You really need to know your stuff to pick up a bargain, but browsing is fun and in the market itself you can watch the gems being fashioned for rings and other jewellery.


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