Longyis and Thanaka in Myanmar

So I’m in Myanmar right now and it is not nearly as advanced as some of the other countries we have been traveling in.  I haven’t seen much clothing shopping at all, let alone any vintage clothing.  I’m not even sure what vintage clothing would look like here.  There is a big market in Yangon, but it’s more of a tourist thing where you go buy souvenirs – I haven’t figured out where locals actually shop.

One fashion trend that is quite popular here is the longyi.  You can read more history about it on Wikipedia Wikipedia link, but longyis are everywhere here.  A longyi is a large piece of fabric knotted together in the front that basically looks like a skirt that normally goes down to the feet.  Both men and women wear them, although you also see jeans, pants, skirts, shorts and dresses as well.  I have noticed that some women wear nice, matching shirts with their longyi, while other women don’t seem to worry about matching at all.

SAM_5334 (1)
There are some guys wearing longyis, but also notice the barricades with barbed wire – I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I ruin clothing and/or injure myself on them.
At Golden Rock you could actually pay to get carried around on a throne kind of thing.  Notice the guys carrying the woman are wearing longyis.
Even the school kids’ uniforms are longyis.


I have to admit when we first arrived I did feel somewhat out of place and it is because I clearly dress different because I don’t have a longyi.  I actually debated about buying one but I ended up choosing not to since I would feel somewhat stupid wearing one and it won’t hide the fact that I don’t look Burmese and am clearly a western tourist.

Another thing that I have noticed that I am not used to is that a lot of people also wear thanaka (a paste made of bark) in different designs on their face.  I have read it is predominantly used as sunscreen, but according to Wikipedia, it has many other purposes as well.  Wikipedia link



Notice the thanaka on the lady’s cheek, but I’m up there in the blue hat!

While I haven’t found any vintage clothing, Myanmar is a beautiful country and we have seen a lot of cool sights so far.  Although I have to admit our timing was a little off and Golden Rock was covered up because it was being renovated – who ever heard of a rock needing to be renovated?

SAM_5244SAM_5229SAM_5118SAM_5018SAM_5386Of course I am never completely drama-free.  I fell down on a sidewalk due to an unseen obstruction and tore my purse strap and broke my umbrella.  Fortunately I was able to purchase a new purse at the tourist market.

SAM_5366SAM_5363 (1)On the three-step leg from Hpa An to Golden Rock I also managed to lose a tennis shoe – I thought they were securely fastened to my backpack but I guess not.


Until next time!






2 thoughts on “Longyis and Thanaka in Myanmar

  1. Honestly, I think it is the obsession with comfortable fashion. Also ethnic/boho styles are really in. I find it all pretty ridiculous, myself, but that’s what trends are pushing


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