A serene and natural resplendent place to visit, Inle Lake gives a glimpse of a different side of Burmese life. The Intha people live close to or on the water in stilt villages, and whilst some are devoutly Buddhist, others still hold to older beliefs. Trek through traditional settlements around the shore or take a boat trip to see the unique leg rowing technique and innovative floating gardens.
There is no better way to see and explore Inle Lake than voyaging out across the waters yourself. Travelling in a small motor-powered boat you can wend in and out of the canals that connect the numerous small villages on the lake shore to the lake itself. Out in the centre of the lake you will see the leg rowing fisherman, who make use of the lake’s shallow waters to pull themselves along with a pole stuck into the lake bottom and their leg – it’s an intriguing, and hard to explain, technique. For a more intimate experience, travel amongst the stilt houses and floating gardens of the lake villages by traditional rowed canoe, waving to local people as you go. A stop at Phoung Daw Oo Pagoda is also a must – this tiered pagoda on the lakeside shelters five ancient Buddha images which are now covered in gold leaf offered by the devout men of the area.
Inthein is a lakeside village overlooked by a veritable forest of stupas, all overgrown with bushes and flowers, thought to date from the 11th and 12th centuries. If you pass through these old structures, which exude a sense of peace and quiet, and ascend the hill to the whitewashed pagoda at the summit you’ll get excellent views back over the lake.
With a unique location over the waters of Inle Lake, the Shwe Inn Tha offers classically furnished accommodation in traditional teak cottages with thatched roofs. Your private balcony gives unparalleled views over the lake whilst the pool and spa centre are the perfect place to relax after a day exploring the lake.
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The world’s largest and most populous continent, Asia is a vibrant and rambunctious fusion of ethnicities, cultures and customs; an incomparably rich and turbulent history showcased by mindboggling feats of architecture and engineering; a geography that encompasses towering peaks, unfathomable gorges and paradisiacal beaches; and a biodiversity that is so abundant that you’ll be reaching for your wildlife guide.