Coming to Inle Lake, you will have memorable experiences such as admiring unique image of fishing villagers, and visiting some traditional villages. Especially, you will see the rowing performance on Inle Lake – a unique image that you cannot find at anywhere. They just use only one leg for catching, but they still keep the balance.
Day 1: Discovering Inle Lake and Taking Photos
5h: Arrive in bus station or Heho Airport - gateway to Inle Lake and Kalaw region. You can go by taxi in a group of people from Heho to Nyaung Shwe town with the negotiable price: 6.500 kyat. You'll buy a ticket at the entrance of the town before visiting Inle Lake.
5h30: Find accommodation in Nyaung Shwe town
Nyaung Shwe belongs to Shan state, located in the North of Inle Lake on the bank of Nam Chaung and Mong Li Canal. There have many services such as restaurants, hotels, and other various services that very convenient for visitors.
This town is the home of tribes such as Shan, Intha, Pa-O, Danu, Taung-yo and Kayah.
Foreign visitors often chose hotels near the riverbank and pier (gateway to visit Inle Lake); however their price is quite expensive and you will be bothered by the noise from the motor boat. Also, you can overnight at the area 500m from the pier to save expense. The price is affordable from $20USD/ double room/a night, $25USD/ triple room /a night and served with breakfast.
At the altitude of 800 meters above the sea level, Inle Lake area has the cool climate annually; especially it is very cold in the morning. Therefore, the hotels in Inle are often equipped with ceiling fans, instead of air – conditioner.
7h: Breakfast with featured dishes of Shan.
Several managers at the hotels are very friendly. They arrange room for you to check – in early without surcharge, even they offer free breakfast.
You could choose (water noodles)- a specialty of Shan State or Western dishes such as bread with butter and strawberry jam served with a slice of watermelon and a glass of fruit juice. Drinks are available on the table so that you could use depending on your own taste.
8h: Boating on Inle Lake.
Hiring a boat is the best way for sightseeing beautiful sceneries on the Lake from early morning to late afternoon. You can find this service at hotels at Nyaung Shwe. This activity brings revenue for Nyaung Shwe and Myanmar Government.
Depending on your time travel, you could choose to hire the boat in half or full day. If you hire a motorboat from 9h – 18h, it costs about 15.000 kyat . Tourists could bargain the price. There is maximum of 5 people on a boat; near the seat is an umbrella so that visitors could use to avoid rain and sunshine.
9h: Contemplating beautiful sceneries on the Lake.
The main dock is about 3km from central Lake and tens of wooden boats on the banks of canal.
Sailing on the boat, you will see the unique image of fishing villagers in the Longyi traditional dress. Here there is only man catching with just one leg, but they still keep the balance and direct the boat in the right way. The woman is not like that, they just seat on the boat and sail by hands.
10h30: joining in the morning market at Ywama village.
After an hour passing over tributary, you will start a trip by walking through rice fields and then you will see the images of crowded people going to the market. Follow them you will get to the morning market of Ywama village.
Ywama village is one of the 17 typical villages on the Lake, which is famous for floating stilt houses and wooden power poles.
11h30: Lunch on the lake.
There are many floating restaurants on the lake; therefore you can have a great opportunity to enjoy the tasty dishes in the local style.
13h: Visiting traditional villages of lotus weavers and cigar-making.
Visiting some traditional villages known for weaving with components taken from lotus and cigar-making place, you will be surprised by the family factories using silk harvested from nearby lotus ponds.
Cigar making village sells all kinds of lacquer boxes from rectangular, square to the cylinder for holding cigarette. A small wooden box contains 20 cigarettes wrapped by herbs with the price of 3000 kyats (60.000VND). The main ingredients of the cigarette are brown sugar, honey, banana, and licorice so it features a mild and sweet taste. Tourists could bargain for a better price with a large quantity.
15h: Pay a visit to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda in Tha Lay, and see the performance of jumping cat at Nga Phe Chaung Monastery.
18h: Admiring the sunset on the lake.
At that time, Inle Lake becomes so amazing – a harmonious beauty between human (fishing villagers) and nature, which always enchants photographers.
Day 2: Strolling around Nyaung Shwe town.
7h: Breakfast at the hotel.
9h: Discovering Mingala Market.
Just by a short walk, you can get Mingala Market because of its convenient location near the Mong Li cannel.
Here, you will see the bustling atmosphere of the local market with various commodities such as vegetables, fruits, flowers, meat, and fish. Particularly visitors will be impressed by the unique scales, which have only in Myanmar.
Scales are "created" in an extremely simple way with the equalizer hanging on the rope; on the two sides placed two aluminum discs. A disc is for putting goods, and the remaining disc is for putting some weights. However, each stand uses a different type of weight.
12h: Lunch at the Mai Li restaurant far away 300 meters from the pier.
The restaurant offers various dishes such as small fish with the price of 1.200 kyat and big fish with the double price.
Besides, the restaurant provides other delicious dishes such as beef and potato curry, sweet and sour ribs, mixed vegetables…. Also, you can find several affordable eating houses on the small streets, but their food isn’t less delicious.
18h: get to the station for the departure from Inle to Yangon. After that, you will have the flight to home. End your trip!
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