Alanna Lynott goes in search of the world’s most magnificent jewellery, sampling some of the finest hospitality and cuisine along the way.
The Gem Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan is a world-renowned jewellery market. However, those in the know go straight to the Muslim quarter of Pahar Ganj, where the stones are cut and polished.
Stay at: Samode Palace to sample the decadent India of old. www.samode.com
Eat at: Castle Mandawa for a candle lit dinner in the courtyard. www.mandawahotels.com
You can find strands of freshwater pearls at the Pearl Market for as little as $3. Meanwhile, the serious gems hold court on the 4th floor. The 11th Beijing Jewellery Fair is to be held from the 16th-19th July 2010 at the China World Trade Centre. Don’t be overwhelmed by the 400 exhibitions from China and 25 other countries – you’ll secure some amazing deals.
Stay at: Aman at Summer Palace for an utterly blissful experience. www.amanresorts.com
Eat at: Maison Boulud which serves excellent French fare and was Time Out’s Beijing Restaurant of the Year 2010. www.danielnyc.com/maisonboulud
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phnom Penh is a vibrant, bustling city of magic and charm. The wonderful food, sights and sounds, its tragic history and a bright new future combine to make this an inspiring city for travelers and jewellery hunters alike. The Russian Market and the Phsar Thom Thmei have high quality gems for low prices – including sapphires from the Pailin area, which are considered amongst the best in the world.
Stay at: Bougainvillier Boutique Hotel for traditional Asian décor or The Quay for a modern refuge. www.bougainvillierhotel.com
Eat at: Locals, expats and tourists head to The Foreign Correspondents Club for a treat and the best spring rolls in the world! www.fcccambodia.com