Fodor's Expert Review Bokeo
A visit to the gem mines of the Bokeo area, 30 km (20 miles) east of Ban Lung, can be arranged through your hotel, or any moto driver in Ban Lung can take you there. Some of the mines are increasingly deep, claustrophobic, man-sized potholes, and mining is for semiprecious stones such as zircon. As you drive through the villages in the area, the villagers line up to sell you their finds. Bokeo literally means "gem mine."