In 2015 lnle Lake was declared Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, the first in Myanmar. Villages over the lake still keep their unique and hundreds-years-old traditional methods for weaving, extracting the threads from the lotus plant, manufacturing cheroots or silversmithing.
What to do in Inle Lake?
GET ABOARD A BOAT AND RELAX
It is hard to explain the feeling people have when being at Inle Lake, it is something that has to be experienced first hand. The magical combination of beautiful landscape, the lake tranquility and the naturalness of the local people will transport you to a mystical world, which will not left you indifferent.
VISIT THE VILLAGES FLOATING OVER THE LAKE
A few parabolic antennas and the noise of some engine will be the only thing than will get you back to the 21st century. Life has changed little over the last centuries in these villages.
LEARN ABOUT THEIR INTERESTING CULTIVATION METHODS
Also known as floating gardens, since they are literally floating on the surface of the lake.
VISIT SOME OF THE MULTIPLE WORKSHOPS SCATTERED AROUND THE LAKE
Jewelry, silk and lotus fabric and cheroots are some of the typical products manufactured in Inle Lake.
PHAUNG DAW OO PAGODA
Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, located on the western end of Inle Lake, is the holiest Buddhist site in southern Shan state. In the middle of the Pagoda’s main room, a group of five oddly shaped relics covered in gold leaf are displayed.
After a short walk along the river shore, visitors get to an impressive complex with hundreds of stupas, some of which are just ruins, while others have been built recently.
Located in the southern tip of Inle Lake, a three-hour boat ride takes you to the ‘sunken’ stupas of Sagar. Here there is a complex of 108 stupas from the 16-17th centuries that are partially underwater for a few months a year.
WHAT TO SEE IN THE LAKE’S SURROUNDINGS?
Located on the western edge of the Shan Plateau and 1,320 metre above sea level, this stunning town is very popular for its trekking experiences. Once a popular retreat centre during the British era, dozens of English gardens and Tudor-Style houses still remain in the town. Many Indian and Nepalese were brought by the British to build the town, being still possible to find the influence of their root throughout the town. In fact, it is the perfect place for experiencing the assortment of Western influenced architecture with colourful Eastern customs.
Neat rows of 2,478 stupas sprawl over the hillside at Kakku Pagoda in a bewildering variety of styles, marking the prevailing architectural trends when they were constructed, in the 3rd century B.C. Some are simple and unadorned while others are covered in a riot of stucco deities and mythical beasts.
The striking town for its landscape, Pindaya is located in about 45km from Kalaw, and about 2 hours drive from Heho Airport. This picturesque town is famous for its extensive limestone caves, set deep in the hillsides, where visitors will be amazed to explore the incredible amount of Buddha statues and stalagmites. Famous for its local handicrafts, Shan paper and parasols made from mulberry bark are popular products. For trekking lovers, an extensive trekking trip to nearby villages; Danu, Pa-O, Palaung, and Taung-Yo can experience tea plantation and rural villages along the trip.
The capital of Shan State covering a series of pine hill stations with chilly clime, Taunggyi is the minty break from the heat of plains. Located above 1,000 meter sea level, the weather is simply pleasant cool year around. Being the trading city of state, exploring the crowded markets and authentic semi-modern urban lifestyle of Shan State are worth a visit to the city. The town is popular for morning marketers who speak noticeably local dialects. Visitors can experience the carnival alike famous Balloon Festival which released several animal-shaped balloons in the day of festival, November.
ELEPHANT CAMP – GREEN HILL VALLEY
Elephants have not had it easy in Myanmar, and Green Hill Valley gives these majestic beasts a purpose after their prime years. An awe-inspiring window into the gentle nature of these incredible animals.