Inle Lake

After our 60km cross country trek from the mountain village of Kalaw, we arrived on the outskirts of Inle Lake. The group breathed a huge sigh of relief as we were shuffled onto a small boat and ferried to our hotels. We were exhausted from three days of mountainous terrain and 30 degree heat.

As we sped along the lake, welcoming the refreshing feel of wind and water in our faces, I was astounded by how beautiful this place was. The lake was pristine; crystal blue water, full of life and not a single piece of plastic or rubbish. The lake was a buzzing hub of activity as fishermen and farmers went about their business intermittently stopping at various stilted wooden houses, many of which serve as shops and restaurants.

We spent three days exploring Inle Lake and the main town Nyaungshwe. I recommend exploring the lake by private boat for a full day including sunrise (this can be arranged by your hotel or in one of the tourist offices in Nyaungshwe), visit some of the various markets in the area, stop by some of the local workshops (long necked silk weavers and silversmiths), hire a bike and cycle around the perimeter of the lake, try traditional Shan food in Nyaungshwe, visit the floating monastery and stop at Red Mountain Estate Winery for drinks at sunset.

During our time at Inle Lake we stayed at the newly built Sanctum Inle Resort (construction hadn’t finished when we stayed so there was no pool and the grounds were still being developed) and it was a beautiful spot just 20 minutes drive from Nyaungshwe.

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