Journey to the Shan State of Burma, you meet the tranquil and picturesque Inle Lake situated in the west of the state. Despite a rising number of tourists head here, Inle Lake still remains its assuredly authentic and alluring charm.
The lake’s beauty lies in floating villages, colorful gardens, bustling local markets and especially the unique way of life of the Intha people, who have been functioning their communities based entirely on the water.
Take a boat cruise around the lake, passing from one village to another, you encounter rustic wooden homes perched above the water on rickety stilts in villages that sustain generations-old cottage industries, with stops at several handicraft or cottage industry workshops that can either be full-on tourist traps or very interesting to see; add in a lakeside market plus a pagoda or two, floating gardens, where the Intha people grow a variety of vegetables and flowers, and the ruins of In Dein. There is so much to be seen on your way to Inle Lake.
Things to know when coming to Inle Lake
When visiting Inle Lake, here are a few things you should know:
1. Location: Inle Lake is located in the Shan State of Myanmar, in Southeast Asia.
2. Weather: The weather around Inle Lake can vary depending on the time of year. The dry season from November to February generally offers pleasant temperatures, but it can get chilly during the night. The wet season from June to September brings heavy rainfall, so pack accordingly.
3. Transportation: The nearest airport is Heho Airport, which is approximately a 45-minute drive away from Inle Lake. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a pre-arranged transfer to reach the lake.
4. Unique Floating Village: Inle Lake is famous for its unique floating villages, where entire communities live on the water. You can explore these villages by taking a boat tour or hiring a private longtail boat.
5. Intha People: The Intha people are the predominant ethnic group living around Inle Lake. They are known for their traditional fishing techniques, leg-rowing style, and floating gardens.
6. Local Attractions: Apart from the floating villages, you can also visit various pagodas and monasteries around the lake. The Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, and Shwe Indein Pagoda are some notable attractions.
7. Market Day: If possible, plan your visit around the market day in one of the nearby towns. Each day, the market rotates between different towns surrounding the lake. It’s a fascinating experience to see the local communities gather to buy and sell their produce.
8. Handicrafts: Inle Lake is renowned for its traditional handicrafts, particularly lotus silk weaving, silverware, and cheroot (cigar) making. You can visit workshops and showrooms to observe the artisans at work and purchase souvenirs.
9. Natural Beauty: The scenic beauty of Inle Lake is breathtaking. Surrounded by mountains and lush greenery, it offers stunning views, especially during sunrise and sunset.
10. Sustainable Tourism: As a responsible traveler, make sure to support local communities and engage in sustainable tourism practices. Respect the locals, their culture, and traditions. Avoid littering and minimize your impact on the environment.
Remember to always check the latest travel advisories and guidelines before visiting any destination.
Create your custom-made trip to Inle Lake, Myanmar
Travelling to Inle Lake? Chat with a local travel specialist in Inle Lake, who can help organize your trip.