One of the first things you notice when arriving in Myanmar is the yellowish paste that mainly the women wear on their faces. It has been a distinctive part of their culture for over 2000 years. The cream is called Thanaka and it's made from ground bark mixed with a little water. It is sold in small logs like you see in the picture but nowadays also available in powder or creams. There are many different 'designs' for men, children and women. I've enjoyed nicely shaped leaves on the cheeks or a simple wipe on the cheeks, bridge and chin like the lady is doing on me in the picture. The purpose of it? It is nicely cooling on the skin, protects agains sunburn and the skin feels nicely soft when washing it off. Like a face mask!