Across Myanmar you will see people adorned with Thanakha – a yellow / white body ‘paint’ made from ground tree bark.
It is unique to this part of South East Asia.
Women, men and children alike coat their face, arms and legs with this paste for sun protection, beauty and health benefits.
Locals say it helps cool the skin. With temperature regularly hitting 40 in summer I can see why it is so popular – especially if you don’t have aircon…
This hot Asian summer reminds me of Glasgow … ok ok … well maybe we had one day in June 2019 where it hit 30+
The process in using thanakha dates back 1000’s of years.
Here in Bagan we have the only thanakha museum in the world where you can explore the history of this interesting cultural iconic practice.
Spin off products now include thanakha powder and also a skin whitening cream, Hair removal oil, shampoo and body scrub. All are available in supermarkets. Local businesses are also looking at how to share their product with the world.
Many hotels and restaurants will provide thanakha bark and a grinding stone… usually in the ladies toilets – so you can do a retouch.
Our gorgeous colleague has a thanakha tree in her yard and came to work this week where a floral spray in her hair. She informed me that when the tree flowers you can’t use the bark to make the paste.