River breeze and morning sunlight softly touched our skin while a large group of Thai tourists were cruising on the Irrawaddy River. We had left the old Myanmar capital of Mandalay and were bound for three other major cities. The trip centred on Thai art in Myanmar, along with other famous cultural attractions. The art is believed to have been the work of Siamese war prisoners brought to Myanmar after the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, and their descendants.
People in Myanmar, especially the women, love to apply tanaka paste (made from ground bark) to their faces as a cosmetic and sunscreen. Tanaka is available throughout Myanmar in various forms — tree branches, paste, sticks and pressed powder — and has become a popular export product.
The cruise was part of a four-day trip to Myanmar's old capitals _ Mandalay, Amarapura, Innwa (known as Angwa in Thai) and Sagaing (known as Khraeng in Thai) _ and the hillside resort town of Pyin U Lwin.
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