Ask any seasoned traveller who has been to Myanmar which attraction is a must-visit, and chances are, they’ll mention the majestic Inle Lake! Certainly, a trip to the Burmese country wouldn’t be complete without spending time exploring the world-famous lake via the traditional long-tailed boat tour.
The Little Venice of Asia
Also known as the little Venice of Asia, Inle Lake is home to a myriad of sights and experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. Take the leg-rowing fishermen utilising a unique style of fishing for example. Then you have the floating farms, gardens, and stilted homes built above the lake’s waters. There are tons to see and do here!
First things first, a trip to the quaint village of Indein found on the Western Shore (about an hour’s boat ride) is a must. The village, while tiny and simple, is still a beautiful albeit off-the-beaten-path affair well-known for a cluster (of thousands) of ancient weather-beaten stupas.
Also, the surrounding environment of lush forests makes Indein one of the most calming spots in the entire country. And the marketplace in this rural village is also a great place to get some especially niche products you won’t find elsewhere.
After Indein, the next place you should head to is Ywama Village near central Inle Lake. This is the village where the Kayan Lahwi/Padaung Tribe reside. A notable feature of the village’s inhabitants is that their female members all sport neck rings which effectively elongate their neck over time.
Following Yawama Village, you could then pay a visit to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. Apart from Shwezigon Pagoda and Shwedagon Pagoda, this site is considered one of the holiest religious grounds in Myanmar. Inside, you’ll find five revered ancient Buddha images that have morphed into amorphous blobs due to the sheer volume of gold leaf applied by devotees over the years.
Last but not least, Inpawkhone Village is the final stop on this exciting boat tour. The village is one of many that is home to numerous workshops specialising in a variety of local handicraft. But a highlight of this village is that it has silk weaving workshops, particularly of the lotus flower variety — one of the rarest and most expensive textiles in the world.