Things to do in Inle Lake
Inle Lake is nestled in the mountains of Shan state and is a place not to be missed during your trip to Myanmar. Inle Lake is one of the top destinations in the country and for good reason; Inle is home to many indigenous people who have made their livelihoods on the lake. In addition, the surrounding scenery is absolutely stunning and will leave one breathless.
Nyaung Shwe is the main village in Inle Lake and is a good place to stay as everything to do is easily accessible from this point. Many local buses from Yangon and Mandalay leave on a regular schedule and the road is in good condition making for an enjoyable journey. Another option is to take the train (or bus) to Kalaw and from here you can join a 2-3 day trek to Inle Lake, passing through villages and jaw-dropping scenery. This is a great option for those who like to be active!
The best way to experience Inle Lake is by boat. Your guide can arrange a day trip that will take you to all the best places to see, including floating villages and various pagodas such as Indein and Phaung Daw Oo Pagodas. This is a great way to see as much as possible and to really get a feel for how the locals have adapted their lives to the lake. During your trip, you will see the ubiquitous fishermen on their boats deftly steering the boat with one leg as they fish. You can also visit the homes of locals who make their livelihoods selling local crafts. These will undoubtedly make unique souvenirs to remember your trip.
Inle Lake is also well-known for having a winery where they make fresh, local wine from the various fruits growing in the region. Red Mountain Estates Vineyards and Winery is located about 3 kilometers from Nyuang Shwe, this is a great spot to relax with a glass of wine and enjoy the view, particularly at sunset.
If you are interested in the local cuisine, it is possible to arrange cooking lessons with one of the many local homes offering cooking lessons that focus on traditional Burmese dishes. Myanmar is well-known for having flavors and dishes that cannot be found elsewhere in Southeast Asia and what better way to experience them than by learning how to cook with them! One of the most famous dishes hailing from Myanmar is Tea Leaf Salad and this will definitely be on the menu for your cooking class!
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