If you have a chance to visit Myanmar, Inle Lake must be on your “best places to visit” list. The Inle Lake is located in the heart of the Shan Plateau. It is the second largest natural lake in Myanmar.
Although Inle Lake is significantly smaller than the three famous destinations of Myanmar: Yangon, Bagan and Mandaly, it is still a perfect place for travellers who are looking for a relaxing vacation. When arriving at Inle Lake, you can feel the calm and peaceful atmosphere and enjoy the amazing views. There are a lot of interesting places around this lake such as Alodaw Pauk Pagoda, Inle floating gardens, Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, etc.
First of all, you would love to experience the Inle floating gardens – a unique style of aquaculture, which was invented by the Inthas – the inhabitants of the area. Sitting on the boat, sailing along the garden and listening to the loud sound from engines are the interesting experiences that you won’t ever forget. It is the place where farmers used to raise flowers, fruits and other vegetables. Many visitors come to this floating “island” and impressively praise the quality of the potatoes as it is crazy good. Read more: Travel Myanmar
The second place deserved to visit is Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery – the biggest and oldest monastery in Inle Lake. Once you visit Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, you will be surprised by the jumping cats trained to jump through a hoop like in a circus.
Last but not least, it’s worth paying for a visit to magnificent Alodaw Pauk Pagoda built by the famous king Thiri Dhamma Thawka. Pagoda is a vital part of the culture and the religious belief in Myanmar. The Alodaw Pauk Pagoda is home to the gem-encrusted Shan-style Buddha stupa.
Discover the interesting activities
Talking about activities in Inle Lake, we have to talk about the Phaung Daw U Pagoda’s Festival. It is held annually for 18 days, from September to October. During this important festival, four of Buddha images covered with lots of gold leaves is ferried on a replica of a royal barge throughout Inle Lake. Inle is also the only lake where you can see the extraordinary “leg-rowing fishermen”, who have developed an original and eccentric method of rowing their tail boat with one leg. Traditional boat racing, with twelve leg-rowers in Shan dress in a team on each boat, is a famous event during the festival. The teams of each village compete in numerous races, until the champion is awarded with precious gifts.
Another choice is enjoying the hot spring here. Once you have made up your mind, find yourself a bicycle. It will be much easier to reach the hot springs of Kaung Daing which are located on the northwestern shore of the Inle Lake by bicycle. The hot springs complex is surprisingly classy, with prices to match and fresh air surrounding.
Believe me! Inle Lake is just a small rural area but has everything to fulfill the main needs of a traveler!
The Indochina Voyages team.