Ringed by rolling hills and dotted with small fishing villages along its placid shores, Inle Lake is one of Myanmar’s great highlights. Culturally quite distinct from their Shan neighbours, it was the Intha tribe that settled quite literally on the lake building their houses on stilts and using their rather bizarre and totally unique style of leg rowing to travel around the lake.
- Explore the fascinating 5 –day rotating market
- Hike along the shores of Inle Lake
- Glide through the floating gardens
- Marvel at the unique and bizarre leg rowing technique of the Inle fishermen
- Meander through the ancient ruins of Nyaung Ohak
Floating vegetable gardens dot the lake’s surface and there are colourful floating markets that move between the area’s villages on a five-day rota. The lake is also home to a wide variety of cottage industries such as silk and lotus weaving, pottery & lacquer ware, silversmiths and blacksmiths and for those interested in birding, it is possible to see a wide variety of bird species such as herons, egrets and cormorants that inhabit the lake and the surrounding area.
Inevitably, the best way to explore the lake is by boat and being a little over thirteen miles long and seven miles wide, it is generally big enough to get away from the crowds (although it can get a little crowded at the markets) and enjoy a sublimely relaxing experience in a very beautiful location. It is also possible to visit various pretty pagodas, enjoy some great cycling as well as some lovely trekking into the Shan Hills to see more remote tribes and unspoilt villages or even a four day hike across to the village of Kalaw.