Myitmakha News Agency
Yangon, July 21 – a dearth of foreign visitors to Mandalay and Bagan this rainy season has forced lacquer ware sellers to rely solely on a trade with hotels, say Bagan lacquer shopkeepers.
Hotels are now reportedly utilizing lacquer ware products for more than just aesthetic charm, employing them in the serving of food and beverages.
“We’re only processing large-scale orders. Hotels are employing the use of lacquer ware products for more than just decoration these days, using them to serve food to guests. The number of hotels making orders with us has increased as a result,” said Ko Aung Kyaw Htun, owner of the U Ba Nyein lacquer ware store in Bagan.
The majority of hotels placing orders for authentic Bagan lacquer ware are from Myanmar’s major urban centers of Yangon and Mandalay, as well as hotels locally, while most orders are reportedly for lacquer cups, bowls, teapots, lamps and traditional rice bowls.
“It can be seen that many hotels are using lacquer ware for more than just beautifying their lobbies and rooms, actually employing them in the service of food and drink. A hotel in Inle Lake, for example, uses lacquer bowls and cups to serve dinner to guests. It’s a big hit with foreign guests, which the majority of hotels have caught on to,” said Ko Kyaw Soe Lin, a resident of the nation’s capital, Naypyidaw.
The step-by-step process of hand crafting lacquer ware products – using bamboo, wood and wooden dies – can take anywhere between four to six months, with lacquer ware businesses forced to process orders for hotels during this time of a dearth in tourist trade.