Inle Lake is located in the western Shan State of Myanmar. This lake is inhabited by the Intha people. It is known for the floating villages and the unconventional way of rowing the boat by wrapping their leg around the oar. The lake is 22 km long and 10 km wide. It is nestled between two mountains.
How to get to Inle Lake?
From Kalaw, take a bus and get off at the junction going to Nyang Shew. From the junction, you take a taxi that will bring you to Nyang She. This is where the restaurants, hotels and the jump-off point to Inle Lake.
You need to pay 20 USD as environment fee for Inle Lake.
We booked our Inle lake day tour at our hotel. We woke up early morning to catch the sunrise. The boat driver at the same acts as the tour guide.
Here are the highlights of the Inle lake
We observe the Intha tribe’s traditional way of fishing and the way they steer the boat using their leg. You must have a good balance to this.
We visit the floating villages.
We dropped at the silk weaving. They are still using the old way of weaving. The raw material that they use is the lotus flower.
We visited the ironsmith shop. Here they showed us how to make a knife and a sword. The two men are searing and pounding the iron to make a knife. While the others are pointing us to the souvenir items which is up for grab. I decline to buy because I am afraid it will be confiscated at the airport.
The boatman brought us to a cottage. In this cottage is tobacco making shop. The woman demonstrates to us how to make a tobacco. First, she shows us the leaf, then she rolled the leaf and put the tobacco inside. She pounded it until it is stiff. One of the staff inside the cottage, give me a cigar, I decline because I do not smoke.
We heard thunder roar and lightning flashes. We told our guide, we need to leave earlier to avoid the rain. We do not want to get wet. Most of us are bringing our camera. We jump on the boat and started to sail, I hear the loud roar of the boat engine at the full speed. Halfway, the rain started to fall, the assistant boat driver, gave us umbrellas and raincoat. The calm and serene water is getting tumultuous. It is raining at the same time, has a strong wind. He told us, there is no chance we see the sunset. We told him, we just to go back to our hotel.
A visit to Inle lake will give you a perspective how the tribe lives a simple life. A very far from the modern civilization, but I saw in their faces how happy they are.