Around the lake by bike
Let’s get pedaling! Add a touch of adventure to your Inle Lake holiday, getting away from the tourist trail with a scenic bike tour.
Going off the beaten track at Inle Lake
To get away from it all, we first hop on a boat and cross Inle Lake to the village of Khaung Daing. While most tourists are happy to stick to the lake’s placid waters, the shores are where the true life of the local people is revealed. Khaung Daing is the perfect starting point. The mid-sized village relies both on the water and the land for their livelihood. As you come ashore, you may see fishermen coming in to the village with the day’s catch while farmers head out with boats laden with produce to be sold on the eastern shores.
Insider’s access to Inle Lake’s daily life
Before pedaling, let’s take a walk through the village for a glimpse of their daily lives. Khaung Daing is noted for its tofu and, depending on the time of year, you may see it in production. You will see traditional houses and learn about the unique village customs practiced in this corner of the Shan State. Continue on foot to the top of a hill for a visit to a pagoda. According to local lore, any wish made at this pagoda will come true. So, do as the locals do and make a wish!
With your legs now warmed up and a wish made, it’s time to start the ride. You will pedal along a quiet road that runs parallel to the western shores of Inle Lake. The sealed road has very little traffic. In fact, you are more likely to pass kids on bikes or wandering cattle than a bus or a truck!
Burmese bespoken village bike tour
Stop along the way at various lakeside villages. Your guide will help translate as you interact with the residents, helping you to better understand their lives and culture. The villages are inhabited by the Inthar, the lake’s indigenous people, and ethnic Shan. You may also see members of the Pa-Oh or Danu ethnic group along the road–especially if it is market day.
Shan state: A perfect photo stop
Although the lake itself is only visible from time to time, there are plenty of other beautiful things to see along the road. Stop as often as you like to capture photos of the crops or to simply enjoy the solitude of the countryside. As you get closer to town you will start to see more signs of modernity. But, you may also be grateful to reach the end of your journey if your bottom is beginning to get sore!
Biking around Nyaung Shwe
Still feeling energetic? You can continue your adventure with a ride through Nyaung Shwe, the largest town near the lake. Your guide will show you hidden laneways and even quieter neighborhoods. If you have a keen interest in Shan history, you may wish to visit the Nyaung Shwe Cultural Museum which has an impressive collection of Shan heritage items (Note: Entrance fee is not included).
Your Inle Lake adventure ends with a transfer to your hotel by boat or by car, giving you a chance to rest your weary legs on the return journey.
- Local encounters 80%
- Nature lovers 90%
- Go off the beaten path 100%
- Exploring the shores of Inle Lake
- Discovering small villages and get a glimpse of authentic Inle life away from the tourist trail
- Pedaling past farms and fields, stopping to chat to the locals or to snap photos of the beautiful scenery.
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