Lacquerware has a very unique style in Myanmar and dates back to the 13th century. Bagan is the major center for lacquerware (President Barack Obama purchased some here during his visit to Myanmar) however it is found readily throughout the rest of the country at tourist shops and temples. Lacquer in Myanmar is called thitsi referring to the sap of the thitsi tree which is extracted and used for coating and varnishing pieces of furniture, crockery, and decorative pieces made from bamboo and wood. Items are often gilded in gold and depict images of the Buddha. Lacquerware is a staple in the homes of Myanmar for baskets, cups and bowls. It’s fascinating to visit the lacquer workshops in Bagan, where you can witness the process from shaving bamboo to making the lacquer mixture and artists decorating the pieces by hand.