Serene Inle Lake positions among Myanmar's top five vacation attractions, which guarantees that guests come here in droves. The once-lethargic town of Nyaung Shwe at the north end of the lake has developed into a clamoring traveler center, with handfuls of guesthouses and lodgings, a surfeit of eateries serving flapjacks and pasta, and an agreeably loosened up traveller vibe. On the off chance that Myanmar could be said to have a backpacker scene at everything, it tends to be found here.
On paper Inle Lake is 13.5 miles long and 7 miles wide yet very close it's difficult to tell where the lake finishes and the bogs begin. Looking down over the lake from the Taunggyi road, Inle sits like a puddle on a gigantic floor covering of greenery. Spotted around the lake are the stilt-house villages and floating greenhouses of the Intha clan. You may likewise experience Shan, Pa-O, Taung Yo, Danu, Kayah and Danaw tribal people at the markets that hopscotch around the lake on a five-day cycle.
Boats are the main methods for transport around the lake – travelers will in general investigate on motorized canoes (similar to Thai longtail boats) however most Intha individuals get around utilizing conventional flat-bottomed dinghy propelled by a solitary wooden oar. The Intha technique of leg paddling – where one leg is folded over the oar to drive the sharp edge through the water in a snake-like movement – is one of a kind. The waters cool the encompassing air significantly. A pall of fog hangs over the lake prior to dawn and amid the morning, and nighttime can be shockingly cold.
1. The Lake
Pretty much every visitor to Nyaungshwe takes a boat trip on Inle Lake. Be that as it may, the lake is so vast also, the towns so spread out that Inle never feels excessively swarmed. The special case is the point at which the traditional five-day market rotation comes to Ywama or Inthein; each tour boat and souvenir merchant in the Inle locale heads straight for the market and vacationers bump for space with tribal people attempting to do their week after week shopping.
2. Phaung Daw Oo Paya
A wide channel drives south from Ywama to the village of Tha Ley and Phaung Daw Oo Paya, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State. Revered inside the immense layered pagoda are five old buddha images that have been changed into undefined masses by the sheer volume of gold leaf connected by aficionados. Amid the yearly Phaung Daw Oo festival, the images are marched around the lake in a luxurious freight boat formed like a hintha. Local families regularly bring their children here as a feature of the appointment customs for the sangha (Buddhist brotherhood) – a captivating scene in the event that you happen to be there at the ideal time.
3. Nga Hpe Kyaung (Jumping Cat Monastery)
On the eastern side of the lake, the Nga Hpe Kyaung is renowned for its jumping cats, trained to jump through loops by the monks amid the moderate hours between sacred writing presentations. The monks appear to be upbeat to put on a cat-jumping appear for visiting visitors furthermore, the cats get treats for their efforts, so they appear to be genuinely glad as well. Be that as it may, don’t anticipate a show when the monks are eating or meditating.
A superior motivation to visit the pagoda is to see the accumulation of antiquated buddha images. Constructed four years before Mandalay Palace, the immense wooden meditation hall has statues in the Shan, Tibetan, Bagan and Inwa (Ava) styles showed on luxurious wood furthermore, mosaic platforms.
4. Floating Gardens
North of Nampan are these well-known gardens, where Intha farmers grow flowers, tomatoes, squash and other natural fruit also, vegetables on long wooden trellises upheld
on floating mats of vegetation. In the morning and evening, farmers paddle up what’s more, down between the lines tending their crops. It’s a rural scene made even more photogenic by the watery setting.
5. Inthein Village
West of Ywama, a narrow, foliage-shrouded canal winds through the reeds to the lakeside village of Inthein (Indein). As the channel leaves the reed beds, the wilderness develops denser and denser on either side, before the village shows up all of a sudden among the vegetation. The Apocalypse Now feeling vanishes somewhat when you see the pausing tourist boats and souvenir stalls, however no matter – the pagodas on the ridge are still fantastically air regardless of the groups. The first gathering of demolished stupas is right away behind the village. Known as Nyaung Ohak, the disintegrating stupas are stifled in greenery yet you can in any case observe some luxurious stucco carvings of creatures, deva and chinthe. From Nyaung Ohak, a covered stairway climbs the hill, flanked by slows down selling lacquerware, puppets and different trinkets – quality is high yet so are the costs.
At the top is Shwe Inn Thein Paya, a complex of 1054 climate beaten zedi, generally built in the seventeenth and eighteenth hundreds of years. Some of the zedi lean at insane edges while others have been reconstructed (obligingness of donations from local Buddhists), which may at last be the destiny of the entire complex. From the pagoda, there are incredible views over the lake also, valley. For stunningly better views, there are two progressively demolished stupas on funnel shaped hills only north of the village, came to through a dirt way behind Nyaung Ohak. You could undoubtedly put in a couple of hours investigating the different ruins here. Part of the five-day inshore circuit, the market at Inthein is one of the biggest and liveliest in the zone.
6. Ywama Village
Ywama was the first village to be developed for the travel industry and, accordingly, it has the best number of gift shops and restaurants. It’s as yet a pretty village, with winding channels fixed with tall-teak houses, yet the appeal can be lessened by the hordes of tourist boats and paddling gift sellers. The main attraction at Ywama is the well-known floating market, in spite of the fact that this has likewise been a casualty of its own success. Held once every five days, the showcase is a traffic jam of tourist boats and souvenir hawkers, with a couple of nearby ranchers selling vegetables in among the groups.
7. Nampan Village
South of Ywama, the serene village of Nampan is based on stilts over the water. It’s off the primary vacationer circuit, however the Alodaw Pauk Pagoda is one of the most seasoned shrines on the lake. Built on stilts over the water, the whitewashed stupa reveres a marvelous diamond encrusted, Shan-style buddha. Nampan has a few little cheroot factories what’s more, there are some great restaurants on the edge of the village.
8. In Phaw Khone Village
This clean town of teak stilt houses is acclaimed for its weaving workshops. Buildings over the village vibrate with the bang of transports and the snap rattle of shifting loom frames. The workshops are a prevalent stop on the tourist circuit, and it’s intriguing to see the aptitude of the weavers as they produce ornate, multicolored fabrics on looms made from bamboo poles lashed together with rope.
9. Maing Thauk Village
On the eastern side of the lake, the town of Maing Thauk has a split personality – half the village is determined to dry land, while the other half sits on stilts over the water, connected to the shore by a 450yd wooden bridge. Inland from the village’s main road, a couple crumbling gravestones close to the halfway house mark the area of the colonial-era Fort Steadman. You can keep strolling tough to a quiet forest monastery for great views over the lake. Maing Thauk is available by boat and by road – you can cycle to Maing Thauk in an hour or so along a track driving southeast from Nyaungshwe.
10. Southern End of the Lake
At the southern end of the lake, the village of Thaung Tho holds an essential ancestral market each five days. This market sees far less guests than the one at Inthein. A long walkway leads tough from town to a complex of whitewashed Shan stupas. There are all the more fascinating stops in this part of the lake; the village of Kyauk Taung is committed to pottery making what’s more, is likewise part of the market circuit, while adjacent Kyaing Kan practices in weaving robes utilizing lotus strings. A long canal at the base of Inle Lake winds south through peaceful countryside to a second lake ringed by Shan, Intha and Pa-O villages. It takes around three hours from Shwenyuang to achieve the biggest village, Sankar, once the seat of a Shan hereditary prince. On the contrary side of the lake is Tharkong Pagoda, a gathering of crumbling zedi and stucco sculptures that date back no less than 500 years.