Thanaka sellers doing roaring trade in tourism peak season in NyaungU

Homegrown pilgrims throng the temples in Bagan Ancient Cultural Zone (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in NyaungU Township, Mandalay Region and tourism-dependent business such as Shinmataung Thanaka sees brisk sale during the high season.
Thanaka, a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark, is commonly known as a natural cosmetic in Myanmar. It is a distinct feature of the Myanmar people’s culture.
“Temples in the Bagan cultural heritage zone are crowded with devotees in the tourism peak season. More than 20,000 pilgrims daily flock to the zone on public holidays and during the festival periods. The local Shinmataung Thanaka businesses are thriving depending on the visitors. The sellers make outright purchases of Thanaka farm and the prices of Thanaka are K500-K2,000 per piece depending on the quality. The 3.5-4 feet long Thanaka piece is worth K7,500-8,000. The affordable price attracts buyers. Some pilgrims purchase them as souvenirs. I distribute my business card to the customers as I sell them in the zone with Hijet cars. This way, they can contact me if they want to buy more. The high number of pilgrims makes tourism-dependent businesses flourish. The souvenir shops, restaurants, hawkers, temporary hand tattoo artists, street vendors and other businesses are doing a roaring trade,” said a Thanaka seller from Bagan.
Tourists and local pilgrims are interested to observe the temples, stupas and mural paintings. Those pilgrimages helped revive small businesses such as horse-riding businesses, motorcycle and electric bike rental businesses, hotels, motels, guesthouses and souvenir businesses. — Ye Win Naing (NyaungU)/EM

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