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Myanmar is not a poor country ... wait, let me restate that. Myanmar should not be a poor country. Counting only the wealth brought by rubies, jade, sapphire, gold and silver - we're already into billions. And then there's the thriving opium trade.

The center for a lot of the mining is the town of Hpakant in Kachin State in northern Burma deep inside the isolated and inhospitable jungles of the 'Golden Triangle'. Foreigners are forbidden to travel up that way - not that most of us would want to. Tales that escape from the region speak of drug warlords, human trafficking, forced labor camps, heroin abuse, prostitution, gambling, malaria - and other attendant pleasantries.

Far from that madding crowd, this is an outdoor tea parlor in Yangon's central market where local jade traders make deals.