If you want to visit a tourist place in Burma, but still very tied to traditions: the excursion on Inle Lake is for you!
There's nothing to do. The trip to Burma left its mark. I could stay there again immediately. Its landscapes, the smiles of the people and its history have kidnapped me. Another place that has enchanted me is the fascinating Inle Lake. Now I'll explain how to organize the visit.
How to get to Inle Lake
We are in the north-east of Burma, just under 300 km from Mandalay.
To reach it there are a couple of possibilities: in plane for example, which is certainly the fastest way but also the most expensive. You land at the airport of Heho, about forty kilometers from Nyaungshwe (Myanmar), the main place to stay to visit the lake.
At the exit of the airport there will be various taxis waiting for you ready to take you wherever you want.
The other option that is so dear to me is thebus, certainly slower but cheaper. If you choose this option, I recommend that you move at night mainly for two reasons: the first because you will not lose the day (both from Mandaly and from Yangoon it will take about ten hours); the second because you can save the money of the night in the hotel.
As mentioned, most travelers look for accommodation in the nearby area Nyaungshwe (Myanmar), which is the main gateway to Inle Lake.
Here you will find mainly cheap accommodation and premises.
Furthermore, for those wishing to spend some time waiting for the excursion on the lake, there is a classic and typical Asian market.
For those wishing to completely relax, I recommend an excellent one Burmese massage in one of the many spas around the village.
For those on a higher budget there are great resorts right on the lake.
Visit Inle Lake
In order to visit Inle Lake, you must pay a fee at the permit kiosk, right at the entrance to the village of Nyaungshwe.
Various motor boat excursions are organized at Inle Lake: a full day, half day or a romantic sunset outing.
They can be easily organized directly at the hotel or in the various tourist agencies scattered around the city. Otherwise, take a walk on the pier and make an agreement with the many boatmen who are waiting for nothing but tourists eager to discover the wonders of the place.
The excursion which lasts all day starts early in the morning and follows a pre-arranged tour. We visit various villages, with the possibility of also seeing some of the main economic activities of the place, such as tobacco processing, the creation of silver jewelry or the famous pashminas created with lotus flower fiber.
We spend some time shopping in the daily market that every day exhibits in a pre-established village and we also visit some temples, such as that of the jumping cats.
Another very interesting and particular place concerns the floating gardens. Here the local farmers grow flowers, tomatoes and many other types of vegetables and fruit in the water!
The fishermen of Inle Lake
What makes Inle Lake famous are its fishermen, or rather their way of fishing. In fact, the peculiarity is that they do it rowing with only one foot using a long oar.
As you may have understood, it is a magical place that despite having become very touristy is still full of traditions and wants to let those who visit it discover them.