With the country starting to open up more for tourists, the wonderful country of Burma is starting to see more and more visitors. In the past, Burma, also known as Myanmar, did not see many people passing across its frontiers. With the changing situation, Inle Lake is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.
It is in Shan State, and the beautiful lake is the second biggest in the country. It is very easy to get to using public transport, with buses running there from Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, and other towns and cities. There are good accommodation options in the surrounding towns.
There are many reasons to make Inle Lake a top place to see on your Burma adventures. Here are just a few things to do at Inle Lake:
Explore Inle Lake by Boat
You can hire your own long boat with driver, or join onto a group to take a ride on the shimmering and enticing waters. Gliding across the water, you will see entire floating communities, with homes and public buildings constructed on stilts over the lake. There are local floating markets, where vendors ply their wares from their boats and from the edges of the lake, and you may like to purchase some local goods.
Floating gardens of vegetables, fruit, and flowers bob with the ripples from the passing boats. If you are lucky, you may see some of the famous leg rowing fishermen. Balancing precariously on the edges of their small fishing boats, they skillfully row and maneuver, searching out the best catch. They really are a sight to be seen.
Visit the Inthar Heritage House
This beautiful and proud wooden building stands over the lake’s waters, show casing the traditional architectural style of Inle Lake buildings. As well as being an interesting building in its own right, it is also home to a large collection of friendly and playful Burmese cats. Seeing these gorgeous creatures in their home country is a delight.
Stop at Nga Hpe Kyaung Jumping Cat Monastery
On stilts over the lake, this wooden temple and monastery houses some interesting Buddhist icons. Some particularly unusual statues are those that have been coated that often in gold leaf that they have lost their original form, and have become a blob like mass of gold.
There are some intricate carvings and nice pictures. The feline residents are especially unique, in that some of the monks taught the cats how to jump through hoops. If the cats perform, you will certainly be amazed!
Dine Al Fresco Over Inle Lake
There are several restaurants on stilts that serve delicious home cooked meals using locally sourced fresh produce. Not only can you refuel, but you can also enjoy the sweeping lake views and watch the gentle pace of life as you simply sit and watch.
Sample Some Local Wine at Red Mountain Vineyard and Winery
A great way to end the day is to stop by this fantastic vineyard and winery and try some of the locally produced wines. There are wine tasting sets, or alternatively, you can order whatever takes your fancy, either by the glass or by the bottle. Sitting at an elevated position overlooking the lake, the views are stunning.
Inle Lake is like no other lake you will have visited, and it is sure to hold a special place in your heart and mind for a long time afterwards.