Inle Lake Travel & Hotel Guide
Inle Lake Tourist Attractions
Inle Lake, most scenic lake in Myanmar
Inle Lake, a shallow, 158-sq-km body of water in the south of Shan State in Myanmar, is one of the most scenic lakes in Southeast Asia. You go go to Inle Lake from Yangon (Rangoon) by a 40-minute flight on board a propeller aircraft. The nearest airport is at Heho. Arriving there, you may opt to stay at Nyaungshwe, the town at the northern part of Inle Lake, or Taunggyi, the highland capital, on in a few resorts on Inle Lake itself. I visited Inle Lake with a group of AsiaExplorers members, and am documenting it here to tell you about it.
Guide to Inle Lake Hotels
Here's a list of hotels in Inle Lake that you can book online, with full description, star rating, address, location map, evaluation, and prices as offered by different booking sites.
More on Inle Lake
What makes Inle Lake so fascinating is the way of life of the people there. The people who live around Inle Lake are called the Intha. Nyaungshwe is the oldest of 200 Intha settlement around the lake. It sits on the edge of a 5-km wide strip of silt and water hyacinth that somewhat mask the true size of the lake.
The lake weed of Inle is collected by the Intha people to create floating gardens, which are anchored to the lake bed with bamboo poles. These floating gardens, called kyunpaw, produces cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, peas, beans, eggplants and other vegetables, at such an abundant quantity that truckloads can be taken from the kyunpaw of the Inle region and distributed throughout Myanmar.
Perhaps the biggest attraction for many to Inle Lake is to view the unique way the Intha fishermen row their canoes. Unlike the lake dwellers anywhere else, the Intha fishermen use their legs to row, thereby freeing their hands to fish. They usually work alone on their long canoes, on which they perch themselves on a tiny area at the stern. They are surprisingly agile even at that precarious position. During the AsiaExplorers trip to Inle Lake, I watch them handle their massive fishtrap with great ease.
Which leads me to mention another visible attraction of Inle Lake: the fishermen's unique method of fishing. The Intha fisherman uses a tall conical trap containing a gill net. Looking for telltale sign of fish in the lake, he thrusts the trap to the 3 meter deep lake. Any fish within the range - from the metre-long Inle carp to catfish, or perhaps a lake eel - is his immediate catch.