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Places to Visit in Myanmar

Inle (Inlay) Lake

The Inle lake is situated 900 m above sea level and surrounded by blue and hazy mountain ranges. Some visitors to Myanmar referred to Inle lake as the “Venice of the East” when going through the canals and villages by boat. There are about 100,000 people inhibiting Inle lake and it’s shores. It is 22 km in length and 10 km in the widest place. Various tribal (e.g. Intha, Pa-O and Shan) people’s daily life and markets in the lake area are an attraction. Arts and crafts of Intha people can also be seen at Inle lake. Leg rowing is practiced among all the Intha people.
The better hotels are either directly on the lake or on its shores. Many of these hotels can only be reached by boat.

The main gateway when arriving to the Inle Lake is Nyaung Shwe, which used to be a former capital of a Shan Kingdom. Today there is not much to see aside from the Shan Palace (today Haw Museum) that in foreigner’s eyes rather looks like a beautiful villa. It’s worth a visit. There are plenty of guesthouses and restaurants in the lower category in Nyaung Shwe.

Most devote Buddhists believe the Paung Daw Oo Pagoda to be a very sacred one due to some miracles that happened in the past. The pagoda has five Buddha Images and all are in irregular shape. The legend tells the Buddha images were carved in the 12th Century. Phaung Daw Oo pagoda festival usually held in October is unique and famous for its procession where the Images are brought from village to village.

These floating gardens are also found in Kashmir, Peru and Mexico. But Intha people are wise enough to turn these floating gardens into hydroponics farming. The gardens are formed naturally from the mixture of hyacinth, buoyancy and some decay roots and anchored with bamboo poles in the shallow lake. Mainly tomatoes and gourds are planted on floating gardens.

One may be curious why the Intha people row their boats with legs. It is more powerful, and more suitable to use their traditional fishing method by putting a conical shaped fishing trap into the lake. In addition they can see ahead by standing in reedy area. Intha is the only tribe who row their boat with legs.

The Indein pagoda complex is situated in the Western part of Inle Lake and most archaeologists believe that the Indein pagodas were built between the 17th and 18th Century. There are about 1000 stupas in the area. The boats navigate a narrow stream upstream to Indein pagoda complex, which is an exciting boat ride and requires great skills in navigating. You may stroll around the pagodas and bamboo forests.

On Inle lake there are many birds. There are 18 species of local and 15 species of hibernating birds. In the bird sanctuary ornithologists can observe Herons, King fishers, Cormorants, Egrets, Seagull and Drongos amongst others.

Various silk shawls and other clothes are woven in artistic patterns patiently by handlooms. The method is very similar to Ikrat method of Cambodia. The process is very complicated and time consuming. It is worth to visit if one is interested to see hand made fabrics.

Inle lake is shallow and weedy. So the people invented their own method to catch fishes. Among the various methods of catching fish is a conical shaped fishing trap as well as pulling a net in the downstream of Inle lake. Inthar catch crabs and shrimps with a small bamboo basket.






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Yangon, Myanmar
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Last Updated : 09 May 2018