Inle Lake is famous for the local life on the lake, there are many people who live on the lakeside and some actually on the lake itself. For me this is the reason to visit, it’s not natural beauty that is the highlight here but people.
I was still with 6 of those who I had done the trek here from Kalaw with and we arranged with the boat driver who had taken us the final stage of our journey (from the south of the lake up to Nyaungshwe) to take us on a tour of the lake the next day.
In Nyaungshwe we stayed at Song Of Travel hostel, one that come highly recommended to me, and it was a good choice. There is very limited wifi in Nyaungshwe, so that evening all I really did was find a restaurant that had some and make use of it. Song Of Travel are trying to get wifi, it seems a hard task! It is indeed a nice hostel, with capsule beds which I always prefer to bunk beds (way more privacy!).
So the next day we set off for our tour. First off we saw some of the fishermen out in their boats, then we visited a ‘floating garden’ where the lakes inhabitants grow vegetables on the lake.
There are a lot of buildings on the lake. I found it fascinating how many people live on the lake in them.
There was a touristic aspect to the day as we were taken to a silk factory, blacksmith and silversmith (all with shops of course) and a relatively expensive restaurant for lunch. It was interesting to see people at work but also kind of sad too as some of them looked pretty young.
From a political perspective, very significant to see pictures of Aung San Suu Kyi so prominently on display throughout Myanmar, unthinkable a few years ago.
We also visited a monastery that was full of Burmese pilgrims which gave some good opportunities to interact with people, such as taking selfies with them or waving at kids. Whilst the monastery itself wasn’t that spectacular in comparison to others in the country, it was interesting watching people arrive and leave via boat.
After this we went past a few more lake houses before going to see a long wooden bridge on the lake.
After this we went to watch the fishermen at sunset. A couple boats did plenty of poses for us before pulling in to ask for a tip for their efforts. Our guide let slip to us that these guys actually make most of their money just from poising for tourists and actually catch very few fish!