Thanakha – Secret for beautifying skin of Myanmar

If traveling to Myanmar, even once, you definitely see the images of the girls with the white lines as mud or paint on their faces in Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw…. Even if you have never been to Myanmar, you can easily catch the special faces like that when searching for the information about this country of golden pagodas. Maybe at that time, you will wonder yourself: what is that? Or how does it work?

As far as we know, similar to other Southeast Asian countries, Myanmar has hot climate around the year. Thus, their skin becomes dark brown. However, their skin are always strong, smooth and has far less spots. What is the secret to help Myanmar women beautify their skin without using much cosmetics? It is thanks to Thanakha powder – a unique cosmetic powder of Myanmar. The white lines on Burmese girls’ faces in the pictures or on the streets you see are from the Thanakha powder

Origin of Thanakha powder

Thanakha powder has been used from 14th century by Myanmar people. It was created from Thanankha wood in Myanmar. This wood is considered as typical feature of Myanmar and planted in many places nationwide.

When making Thanakha powder, they will cut the wood into pieces and whet with a rock absorbing water. The white powder will be used to put on the face


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Myanmar people use this powder for cheeks and noses. Besides, Thanakha is put on neck and ears. Almost parts of skin exposing to the sunlight will be covered with this powder. Additionally, they can use the powder to draw diverse and eye catchy patterns on children’ faces

Value of Thanakha powder

Thanakha has been used for over 2000 years by Burmese people. Its powder was used every day and known as an effective and economical cosmetic product. It can cool the face skin and remove the skin blemishes such as freckles, blackheads, acnes and rashes. Moreover, Thanakha is believed to increase Collagen Elastin production to protect skin from being anti-aging and dry. Natural Thanakha contains no chemicals and oil mixture that are used in traditional cosmetic products so it causes no allergy and side effects. Additionally, the powder is favored by its comfortable aroma as the santal wood aroma


Thanakha’s meaning to Myanmar people

Not only does Thanakha be a cosmetic product but also it has important meaning to Myanmar people. To Myanmar, applying Thanakha powder on their faces will help them to avoid evils and bad lucks. It is said that the powder will bring lucks to those who use it

Applying Thanakha powder on the face is both skin beauty secret and distinctive cultural tradition of Burmese people. If traveling to Myanmar, you should try applying a little Thanakha powder on your faces to feel the cooling sense.

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Inle Lake

Being far war away from the burning weather in the Ancient Capital Bagan, Nyangshwe Town (locates in Shan, Myanmar) welcome visitors with the cool and fresh air. Stays on the height of 800 meter above sea level, the temperature in Nyanshwe is balanced by Inle Lake (the second largest fresh water in Myanmar with the surface area of 250 km2). It is the most suitable place for a holiday to Burma. The best time to visit Inle Lake is from September to October. It is a period of many traditional festivals and during the time, the water in the lake is full so visitors can easily travel around by boat.


Fisherman throw cage to trap fish.

The only transport for visitors in Inle Lake is electric boat. The boat has a tapered shape with the look of bamboo leave with a sharp end. Sitting on the boat, visitors can notice the white waves made by the duck-legs, and they and cause large ripples on the crystal lake. Enjoying the wild life, watching normal activities of local people and being surprised by the romantic landscape are the best way for visitors to spend holidays to Burma. It cost around 15-20 USD per day for a boat (it can bring 4-5 persons).

The boat is designed to travel with both low and high speed, and they can easily wriggle around narrow and shallow canals, go through viscous mud appears in dry season and pass though thickets of reeds to bring visitor to small floating villages. Intha people that live on resources of Inle Lake have the skill of rowing in blood. They can easily control the movement of their boats by leg. They stand at the end of the boat and with one hand holding their boats, their legs skillfully drive the paddles. The other hand, they use to trawling. The most common tools used by fisherman in Inle Lake are large cages to fish trapping. Because of the fact that seaweed in Inle Lake flourishes and grows densely, they cannot use big trawls. However, in some floating houses, visitors can encounter wide trawls keeping hundred fish. Normal fresh water fish in Inle Lake have the weight around 2-3 kg.


Floating villages locate on the water surface.

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Besides fishing, local people on Inle Lake have unique technique for growing hydroponic tomatoes. On the water surface, local people build bamboo pillar to make rig and collect seaweed to make a special “soil” for tomato growing. Step by the step, they make the floating garden the largest tomato supporter in Myanmar.

On Inle Lake, there is a large cigarette factory. In the factory, there are only women working on preliminary, marinated and packaged processing stages. The cigarette is made of some herb with tobacco leaves, some are mixed with cinnamon, and other has banana taste. Smoking on Inle Lake would be an unforgettable experience for your holiday to Burma.

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