Maybe it is the iconic image of the Intha fishermen with their ballerina-like rowing technique that has caught some of your attention?
A great number of ethnicities with various religions call Inle Lake “home”, and their cultures, ingenious floating gardens and fresh vegetables can be enjoyed with the Shan Mountains rimming this wonderful land of water.
Visit Inn Thein, a long-lost world of pagodas that were lost to human memory as the jungle slowly crept in on them. Visit the vibrant five-day markets and have excellent meals in charming restaurants perching on wooden pillars.
You get to cruise through the floating gardens that supply most of the country with tomatoes and other delicious greens. On your way through this aquatic world, you are sure also to encounter children rowing to and back from school – or to the post office, which naturally also balances on wooden stilts.
There is no doubt that you need at least two nights here. We would say three is optimal if you want to really get a feeling of the life here – and the vastness of the lake.
How to get there?
You can fly or go by car or bus from almost anywhere in the country. The Lake is connected to the rapidly improving infrastructure of Myanmar, so it’s really not a big deal to get here.
If you take the bus from Yangon or Mandalay to the primary town at the lake, Nyaung Shwe, you should expect around 7 to 8 hours.
If you fly here (to Heho Airport) from Yangon, it’s only around an hour while the plane from Mandalay is a mere 25 minutes. Easy peasy.
Where should I stay?
You have the option to either stay in Nyaung Shwe or at a hotel on the lake itself.
Nyaung Shwe is 15 minutes by boat from the lake itself. If you choose to stay here, you will find cheaper accommodation compared to on the lake. You also have a huge amount of restaurants and places of enterntainment to choose between.
If you stay on the lake, there is no need to say you will be surrounded by water all the time and thus get a different experience, being much closer to nature all the time. Here you can enjoy gorgeous sunrises and sunsets and really get away from everything. You also will not need to take the boat from Nyang Shwe in order to reach the lake, although this is not really a big deal if it is your first time here – you are likely to just enjoy being on the boat at all times.
You will, however, also pay more for this experience; for your room and equally for the food and drinks you will consume.
We are experts on Inle, and you are welcome to shoot any questions to us at any time.
Did you know?
… that they speak a completely different language here in Shan State? It has much more to do with Thai than Burmese. The Shan script resembles Burmese, but it’s actually completely different.
The indigenous population of Inle are “Intha” and their strong dialect virtually makes their language stand out almost the same way as Shan.