There are some places that have the power to amaze and fascinate us. Myanmar is one of them, more precisely the Inle Lake region. It’s a world apart, a rough diamond! It has an ultra peculiar culture. It practically does not suffer interference from the life that happens a few tens of miles away. You are literally transported to another dimension.
It is from this great lake called Inle that many families of different ethnicities take their livelihood from fishing, from floating tomato plantations and other vegetables, or even from the manufacture of handicrafts and weaving. Life is simple, the robes and turbans have vibrant colors and the smiles are covered by the shyness of those who lived isolated for years, because of wars and even internal conflicts. And that’s exactly why the culture was untouched. The doors of Myanmar opened to the world only in 2012.
The entrance into Myanmar usually is by Yangon, the old capital. It is the largest city in the country and from there departs flights from local companies to smaller cities. The nearest airport to Inle Lake is called Heho. It is an hour’s drive from the hotel zone of Inle Lake, where you need to pay 15,000 Kyats or $10 per person to enter. The road itself is already a whole program. A village next to the other, Buddhist temples, monks, animals on the road, tuk-tuks circling and a lot of people here and there.
Choose a lakeside hotel. I suggest the traditional Aureum Palace Inle or the new Sofitel. As soon as the day arrises you begin to follow the movement of the small wooden boats. I imagine that you have already seen some photo of the fishing characteristic of the region, which looks more like a ballet or an acrobatics. Skilled Intha fishermen balance one leg only as they maneuver their huge baskets and spears into the lake. It’s beautiful to see.
Stay at least three days in Inle Lake to experience the life of the lake. Get to know some of the stilt villages, visit the craft shops between the canals, have lunch at one of the lake’s restaurants, visit temples and floating markets. Life is simple, but of a wealth that impresses.
Be sure to visit the stupas of Kakku, a very sacred Buddhist complex in a mountainous region 100 kilometers from the lake where very interesting ethnic minority groups live, including the Pa-O who live from rice farming. The best time to visit the country is from October to March.
I hope you have been enchanted by these photos and the story, just as I was enchanted by this country.
I wish you all a wonderful week to all!