Inle lake is a perfect place to unwind and enjoy the beautiful nature of Burma after visiting its magnificent Buddhist constructions. This body of water lies in the highland of Myanmar, in Shan state which is a peaceful and quite area. The life of the people here bases completely on the water. They live on the house on stilt, farm on the floating gardens and trade on the floating markets. Inle lake is also famous for traditional handicrafts such as lotus silk weaving, silver production and cheroot making (Burmese cigar). Furthermore, the most well – known symbol of lake Inle is the one leg rowing technique which appears as a symbol of Myanmar in numerous renowned travel magazines. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s check out some Inle Lake travel tips.
How to get to Inle Lake
We headed to Inle Lake after finishing our Bagan tour. We departured at 7pm in Bagan and arrived at Nyaung Shwe at 3am in the next morning. We chose overnight bus to transport between these 2 destinations with the price of 11,000 kyat/person ($8US).They did not have the VIP bus for this route, therefore, the journey was quite uncomfortable. As soon as you get off the bus, there will be a lot of tuk tuk drivers coming to offer you for a ride for just only 1,000 kyat/person. They even help you to find a hotel if don’t have one booked in advance.
There are a lot of hotels and guesthouses in Inle Lake and quite close to each others. The average price goes from $30US/ 2 people and $45US for 3 without wi-fi. After checking some hostels, we decided to stay at Rich hotel. Everything is good except for the lousy internet. They allowed us to check in first without charging anything, friendly staff and complimentary breakfast. If you have time, you should spend one more day in Inle Resort enjoying the tranquil atmosphere and picturesque landscapes here (60 USD/night).
I recommended a restaurant named Golden Moon for the delicious dishes and less greasy than other places. The price was a bit higher but worthy. You can also go to the mini mart to find some canned food to eat at the hotel or wander around and try some tasty skewers on the streets.
Things to See and Do in Inle Lake
Inle Lake is the second largest body of water in Burma which has the surface area of about 44.9 square miles (116km2). The lake is surrounded by the mountain ranges making it a serene and peaceful area. Inle lake tours are mainly done by boat costing 20,000 kyat ($14,5US) for 5 people/ day. When in lake Inle, tourists can not only have chance to observe the phenomenal one leg rowing skills but also visit local communities and experience their traditional works. Moreover, Inle lake is one of the best spots to watch sunrise and sunset in Burma. You should hire a boat with the English – speaking driver so he can be your guide also.
In addition, you should spend the next day exploring the inland attractions of lake Inle with a bike. It can be hired from the hotel for a day with 1,500 kyat ($1US). You can go take a picture at the Inle’s welcome gate or take a glass of grape wine and watch the sunset at the Red Mountain Estate Vineyards & Winery, visit the museum or enjoy a cup of coffee in the French Touch.