Close your eyes for a minute and picture yourself in heaven, surrounded by quiet waters: you are in Inle Lake – one of Myanmar most iconic destination where leg rowing fishermen cast their nets at sunrise surrounded by floating gardens in the backdrop where stilt houses are hiding.
Located 885 meters above sea level, Inle Lake is a never-ending surprise. You will cruise around this breath-taking lake and will soon understand why this place is like no other you have seen before – and undoubtedly different from the rest of the country. The lake offers both cultural interests with exciting visits and the beauty of an untouched nature. Moreover, you will get to meet with the villagers of the lake. Silk, cigars, silver or wood carvings are just a few of the many crafts produced around the lake.
Inle Lake: the life in a water world
Early birds and photo amateur will be delighted by this fascinating destination. Nothing equals a sunrise on the lake surrounded by no one else than the fishermen catching fish before the lake gets crowded with boats. The best time to enjoy a tour out on the lake is probably early morning, just after sunrise, when the villages are slowly waking up: children going to school on wooden boats, farmers getting ready for a day in the floating gardens, sellers reaching Nyaung Shwe or the morning market for their daily business.
The Art of fishing
You could actually be sailing all day long as the lake is more than classic visits – it’s a whole atmosphere you get to delve into. The most special part being the narrow alleys of the gardens where your boat has to make its way through the eggplants and tomatoes floating around.
But what you expect the most to see is probably the fishermen, true icon of the lake, paddling with one leg only, keeping their balance on the edge of their boat. No doubt you will run into them on your way to the famous “5-day morning market” where ethnies from all around the lake gather every morning. This nomad market changes location every day to allow all the people from the lake to attend it at least once a week. Later during the day, why not indulge in an authentic local Myanmar culture and share a lunch in a family house on the lake?
Sailing between the floating villages
You continue zigzagging on your long tail boat and make some stops to get a closer look at Inle’s religious heritage including Indein village, an exceptional stupa complex. A field of stupa from all shapes, colors and sizes is surrounding an elevated pagoda. At the back, a thick bamboo forest will offer a good option for a walk under the shade. You will also visit the main pagoda of the lake – the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda – where 5 images of Buddha are preciously kept.
Your trip in Inle Lake will not be like any others as it perfectly blends stunning landscapes, cultural discoveries, friendly encounters with the local ethnics and local flavors, smells. A place to remember!
Su Shwe Yee Aung (Ms.)
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- The floating gardens and fishing villages
- The leg rowing Intha Fishermen
- Five-day rotating and floating market
- The wine tasting at the Inle Lake’s vineyard restaurant
- Attend a silk and lotus weaving workshop
BEST SEASON TO VISIT :
- From October to March
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