Inle Lake

The Inle Lake Day Tour.

Inle Lake is a popular Myanmar holiday destination since colonial times and discovered for that purpose by the British who built the first railway and had a great train traveling  from Mandalay to Pin Oo Lwin (Maymyo) to escape the summer heat in central Myanmar.

The Inle lake can be easily reached from Yangon and Mandalay by a flight to Heho and about 30 km road travel to Naungshwe on the northern tip of the Inle Lake.
Yangon to Inle Lake    Inle Lake day tour with leg rower

Inle lake monastery of the jumping cats

How to get to Inle Lake    Inle Lake things to do    Yangon to Inle lake

For Inle Lake Hotels check the booking icon above right

Inle Lake in Shan State radiates a cool and pleasant feeling after reaching the plateau with over about thousand meters with pines appearing in the landscape plus water buffaloes and bamboo groves.
  • Taxis are available at Heho airport.

For a taxi from the airport needs tough negotiation since the drivers know they are in the better position. By road from Yangon it is a distance of around 660 km and from Mandalay it's about 300 km. The road is not good and quite dangerous since it is very winding and narrow, all transportation moves by trucks. The rail connection is to Heho and after the same road as from the airport. From Taungyi the capital of Shan State to Inle Lake it's just 30 km by road some do it still by coach.

Around Inle Lake

Naungshwe a small town is the main village. A Inle Lake sightseeing trip starts there and motor boats are available to carry travelers where they want go go. 

Better have a hotel booking already made before you come here just by using the reservation icon above right since the accommodation situation can be quite dense because there are plenty of tourists around. If for some reason you cant find a hotel ask at the "monastery of the jumping cat" is you can stay there for a night usually the monks accepts guests.

First the boat tour is through the Nankand Canal where the boats are gliding between houses on stilts banana groves and some trees are on both sides riverbanks. Water buffaloes and other animals plus plenty of birds are around. Its a very idyllic setting in the lake are more villages on stilts all traffic is by boat.

The reason is simple that Shan State (also famous as the "Golden Triangle" towards the border to north Thailand is almost entirely above thousand meters elevation and has a climate like the Austrian / Switzerland area before the Alps the ideal place to grow poppies which are made into opium and heroin which is controlled by Chinese drug-lords having their own armies which were build up decades ago with the help of the US to be used as a sting against the Myanmar Military of that time.

This was an attraction for the British military personnel and today for the tourists. The native Shan and Pa-O tribes are more interested in the incredible fertile area which allows three harvesting of vegetable fruits and flowers per year by using the "floating garden" on the lake and the area around. Despite the awful roads all this finds their way to Yangon's markets.
Inle Lake Monastery

A trip to Shan State 

Visiting Inle Lake is one of the standard tours which should be on the "travel radar" of every visit to Burma. 

Now the question is why and the answer is its a pleasant piece of Myanmar with an average altitude of around one-thousand meter and amazing countrysides and peoples, E.g the Inle Lake leg rower actually this are fishermen who use their legs for rowing instead of the arms and handle the fish-traps at the same time which needs difficult balancing. They also developed a way to grow floating gardens which allow 3 times harvesting per year of vegetables fruits and flowers this is no joke since I saw it with my own eyes. I don't hearsay

Inle Lake town center

This is one of the most interesting places in Myanmar a somehow unique and romantic place with floating gardens nice peoples hotel and resorts on stilts in the water including famous Inle Lake pagodas and temples plus monasteries altogether a great atmosphere. 

A couple of other monks homes and monasteries are built into the lake like this one, the monk's offer is if you like stay with us. This is not a Myanmar style Buddhist retreat for meditation but an interesting experience.