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Hanoi Art Tour

A great chance to visit all biggest art galleries in town and to meet with Hanoi well known artists at their homes/ studios such as:
Pham Luc Artist
Mai Hien Artist

Price: 105 usd/ Per person ( group of 2people up)

Hanoi Cooking Class

Meet and learnt to cook Vietnamese Pho (rice noodle), Nem (spring roll) with the most famous Hanoi's chef. Madame Anh Tuyet
Tour Prices : 113 USD/ per person

Private Car Hanoi-Yen Bai-Luc Yen / 2Days/ 2ways
Trip code C-434
Routing Hanoi- Yen Bai- Luc Yen/ 2Days
Price 371 $
Validity 31/12/2018

We are local Hanoi car company and provide private car of 7 seats for an adventure trip to Luc Yen and Yen The (for exploring mines of gemstone or shopping gemstone), Overnight in Yen Bai hotels or rustic guesthouse in yen The, It takes some  3 hours  (max) on the new express high way of Hanoi- Lao Cai.

Travel schedules (should be, but flexible to meet your idea):

Day1: Pick up at hotel in Hanoi and drive for Yen Bai, find or drop at your booked hotel, drive to visit one or two mines where local people are exploring (if you to get their permission/ approval). Overnight Yen Bai (your own hotel room and meals).

Day2: Drive to Luc Yen early gemstone market, free time your own shopping and sightseeing, PM will drive back Hanoi, drop at your hotel or Noi Bai International airport.

Car hire included: driver, private car, gas, road toll, parking fee and driver own expense

Surcharge: if you need an English speaking guide for this trip, guide fee : 45$/ day + guide accommodation (very basic) 30$/ night

+ Hotel in Yen Bai is not included, our driver will assist the client to find the hotel for overnight and client will pay direct for the hotel/ guest house
+ Our driver can speak very little in English, so can not be as a tour guide

Please contact us further information at 

Vietnampathfinder Car Rental Services

We provide Cars and Buses services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to and from all major Vietnam airports such as Noi Bai (in Hanoi), Danang (in Danang),  and Tan Son Nhat (in Hochiminh city) International Airports, .

Our prices remain consistent, there are no hidden costs and our customers rely on guaranteed quality service.

By using our online booking service, you can be assured that our drivers will be there to greet you at the Arrivals or Pick-up address on time. Advanced 24 hours booking reservations are required if you wish to use our online booking service.

To take advantage of our excellence in taxi service and for any special arrangements, we recommend you phone or email us 24 hours before your arrival/departure.

Our Transportation Services include:

+ Airport Transfers :
Hanoi, Hai phong, Dong Hoi, Hue, Danang, Nha Trang, Dalat, Hochiminh, Can Tho, Phu Quoc
+ Seaport Transfers: Hai Phong, Cai lan (Halong), Tien sa (danang), Chan may (Hue), Vung Tau, Saigon
+ Long journeys departing from:  Hanoi, Hue, Hoi an, Nha Trang, Hochiminh, Can Tho, Yen Bai

Day Bookings also available! You can book a car/ Bus for a whole day or for a few hours for which the service will be charged at an hourly basis.

-Airport transfer Inclusion of:
Road, bridge tolls, parking fees of day time( not night time), gasoline, car insurance and professional, licensed driver ( at least 4years of driving experience).

- Airport transfer Exclusion of:
Overnight parking fee (outside the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh).

And all other not mentioned in the routings

Car conditions:
All moderns  with air-conditioning, seat-belts

Type of Car:
Ford , Mecerdes, Honda, Toyota, BMW, Huyndai

Luc Yen Gem Market

Luc yen Gem Market

 Gem Shops at Luc Yen Market

gemstone in Luc Yen, Yen Bai

gemstone for sale by local people  in Luc Yen, Yen Bai

According to the sellers, gems are gathered from the persons who have gone to the mountains … and if having time, craftsmen will arrange the gems to make pendants of rings, necklaces, earrings, etc… Gems are also used as materials for making a gem picture, which are sold in the unit of kilogram or gram.

Each blue, red, purple, yellow, white, black gems have different sizes and shapes and is supervised and considered by the customers who are conversant with gems. The prices are announced depending on the type of gem which can be ten thousands, hundreds of thousand or a million, tens of millions dong. However, the succession of transaction is decided by the bargaining process.

Luc Yen gemstone market

Luc Yen gemstone market.
The market works in just several hours in every morning. Depending on reasons and weather, the market can take place sooner or later, but at about 6.30 am there are sellers in the market.

Luc yen gemstone market


Luc Yen gem market sparkles with life

For over 15 years now, Luc Yen gem market has been an excellent place to buy and sell precious stones, specifically from Luc Yen District’s plentiful gemstone mining areas. The market has been open since 1992, following fast on the heels of An Phu Village’s nearby discovery of gem-quality rubies.

And though the market still operates today, it’s not nearly as busy or noisy as it used to be.

Luc Yen is located about 100km from the small Yen Bai capital in Yen The Town, and is one of only three locations, including Quy Hop and Dac Nong, famous for gemstones in Viet Nam.

To reach Luc Yen, we entered through the mountains on narrow roads, that twisted like snakes. The houses we passed appeared small and covered by the leaves of many palm trees. The atmosphere was very clean and fresh.

Upon hearing that the Luc Yen gem market was only open in the very early morning, between 6.30 and 9.30am, we planned to go there first thing the following day. We spent the night in the town so that the next morning we could easily get to the market.

"There are more than 40 small tables upon which many different kinds of gemstones are shown on Sundays, though during the week there are only about 10 tables," said Pham Thi Hoa, chief of Luc Yen District’s People’s Committee Secretariat.

At the market, you can see sellers show off their products, including rubies, spinel, opal and jadeite, on rows of small tables.

But at the market one can often see buyers and sellers using a torch-like tool, trying to figure out the value of the gemstones.

Nguyen Van Hung, a gemstone trader since the market was formed, said, "A gemstone will have the highest value if it is dark red, otherwise, when it is black. The harder it is, the more it is worth. When a gemstone is examined by a torch, if it has a strong light refraction and has the form of a star which is clear and has no cracks, then its quality is very good. If I buy one or two gemstones like that I will make a lot of money when I resell them."

Pham Thi Bi, a 62-year-old seller who retired in 1990 and dug gemstones for a year and then returned to sell them, said, "I often sell products to people who want to buy them for making jewellery, because my products are already ground. Gemstone traders only often buy crude gemstones.

"I can earn about VND200,000 (US$12) to VND300,000 ($18) per day, though sometimes I come home with nothing."

A group of customers pass from hand to hand blue and red gemstones which have been cut and ground. One buys a gemstone worth VND1 million ($60), and another buys one worth only VND100,000 ($6). But everyone goes home happy.

Nguyen Thi Nhung, a customer, said, "Luc Yen gemstones are famous for their beauty, and they are not overly expensive, so people come here often to buy at least one gemstone as a present. If I buy this gemstone near my home, maybe I will pay double or more."

Somewhere else in the market, Nguyen Van Cuong, a gemstone trader, is bargaining with a seller, "VND500,000 for this, and VND300,000 for that?" The seller doesn’t agree. He and his friends call for another seller. This is the second time Cuong has bargained.

Gem mining areas are scattered over Yen The’s mountains and forests. Many of Luc Yen’s gemstones have very diversified colours. And many of the gems in Luc Yen market are sold to make paintings inlaid with stones. The paintings are copied from originals, including folk and modern pictures. More than ten shops selling gemstone pictures are open around the gem market. The paintings’ colours derive completely from natural gemstones.

Visiting a large shop selling gemstone painting, called Tay Ngoc, we see two craftsmen glueing stones over sketched pictures. It is very difficult work, as they must choose each individual stone to perfectly match part of the picture while remaining suitable to the size and colour of the image.

Tay Ngoc shop was only established in 2006, but already it is nearly the biggest store in the area.

Tay Ngoc shop doesn’t only sell gemstone pictures. It also sells gemstones, white stone blocks with gemstones inside, statues and calendars.

Hoang Thi Hanh Giang, Tay Ngoc’s owner, who used to dig and sell gemstones himself, said, "Luc Yen has developed many of these shops in the recent years. We trade conveniently because we have access to the root source of the materials."

Tay Ngoc shop got its name because of a gemstone that appears to be a hand accepting a gem.

"Craftsmen like us want to pick up every small gem for our jobs. But this is nature’s masterpiece. This gem has star quality, like ruby or sapphire."

As for the paintings, even though they are made of precious stones, their prices can be very affordable. In general, the price, depending on size and design, can vary from VND500,000 to a few million dong. Fortunately, there’s usually a price range for everybody interested in buying this art.

"Gemstone pictures have extremely permanent colour. It isn’t affected by temperature or environment. Even after a long time hanging, you can use the soapy water and a soft brush to wash the picture if it is dirty. The picture will endure."

Luc Yen gem market developed quickly in the early 90s. People from all over the country came to dig up gemstones, and local inhabitants gave up their rice fields in order to get in on the action.

The gemstone mining areas in Luc Yen are not suitable for large-scale exploitation, but they remain suitable for small-scale production. Because of this, some joint-venture companies have withdrawn from Luc Yen, leaving the gemstone mining areas to local inhabitants and smaller companies.

 View clip with Gem Shop at Luc Yen Market

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