Inle Lake

  • Location: 30 km south of Taunggyi
  • Status: Myanmar's second largest freshwater lake
  • Population: about 150 000
  • Area: 116 square km
  • Best time to visit in a year: from October to Mar
  • Among the most picturesque attractions of Myanmar and even in Southeast Asia as well, known as "Venice of the East"

Being a mesmerizing area of natural beauty as well as cultural diversity, the lake of Inle is absolutely an attractive destination for your tour in Shan State, Myanmar. The attraction is so famous that if you talk the word 'Inle', immediately people will think of 'Inle Lake'.

At an altitude of 880 meters and an estimated surface area of 116 square kilometers, Inle Lake is the one of the highest and the second largest freshwater lake in Myanmar. In addition, Inle is the habitat of a considerable number of endemic species with over nine species of fish and twenty species of snails which are nowhere else in the world to be found. Also, from November to January, the lake houses about 20,000 black and brown head migratory seagulls.

There are about 150,000 people living in four cities bordering the lake of Inle, in several small villages along the lake shores, and on the lake itself, making Inle a multi culture area – a mix of predominant Intha with ethnicities of Shan, Taungyo, Pa-Oh, and others. Such diversity in local lives leaves good impressions on you, through the images of fishermen doing their works at sunset, women in canoe making bamboo fences, Buddhist monks in Thakong Pagoda, and especially, young long necked Padaung tribe women wearing about 15 neck rings in the belief that long necks make them beautiful. Plus, there are other sceneries similar to those of rural areas such as men riding water buffaloes, oxen pulling carts along the road and women in their traditional dresses. Most of Inle’s habitants are Buddhists, living in simple stilts houses made of wooden and woven bamboo. Traditionally, transportation on the lake is by small boats, or by larger boats fitted with single cylinder inboard diesel engines.

Right on Inle Lake, all activities of lives can take place as local people subsist in harmony with the surrounding nature. They hold floating markets where locals buy and sell goods in their boats and practice a distinctive method of fishery which makes them famous: standing with one leg on the stern and using the other leg to row – letting their hands always free to scoop fish from the bottom of lake into their large bamboo nets. Still, this unique way of rowing is only practiced by Intha men, and Intha women row in the customary style, using the oar with their hands and sitting across legged at the stern. Furthermore, Inle Lake’s locals also have developed a unique form of gardening: floating gardens created from mud and reed. Farmers gather weeds from the deeper parts of lake; over the years, a network of interwoven seaweed and hyacinths creates a thick layer of humus, attached to bamboo poles. The gardens rise and fall with changes in the water level and hence are resistant to flooding. The constant availability of nutrient-laden water results in the gardens being incredibly fertile. These gardens are filled with tomatoes, cauliflowers, aubergines and different flowers.

Coming to Inle Lake in October and November, tourists have opportunities to take part in Phaung Daw Oo Festival which lasts for almost three weeks, closely followed by the Thadingyut Festival of lights. In Phaung Daw Oo festival, locals conduct a traditional event of boat racing; each boat is a team of dozens of leg-rowers wearing Shan dress.

Inle cuisine is different from Shan cuisine because it connects closely with its local natural products. The most renowned dish of Inle is Htaminjin (fermented rice) - a rice ball kneaded with fish salad, tomato paste, smashed potatoes, decorated with fried onion, tamarind sauce, crispy garlic, and served with Hnapyan jaw (twice-fried Shan tofu).

Tourists may take some handmade goods as the gifts for friends in the markets around the lake area, typically tools, carvings, other ornamental objects, and textiles. Like in other cities in Myanmar, there are several Buddhist sites around Inle which are also destinations in a lot of tours, such as Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda and Ngaphe Kyaung Monastery.

Inle Lake Tours

  •  Meditate in magical sunset over the world-famous Shwedagon pagoda
  •   Discover dried plain of Bagan and its ancient temples and pagodas
  •   Sail upstream Irrawaddy river to exotic temple of Kyuak Gu U Min
  •   Enjoy horse-cart ride around the immortal capital of Ava
  •   Explore amazing collection of Buddha images in Pindaya cave
  •   Get closer to tribal life and culture with a trek through Danu hill village
  •   Learn local technique to cultivate typical floating gardens on Inle Lake
  •   Unwind on pristine beach of Ngapali
Experiences :
Only From $2,850 $3,050
  •  Drive up and visit temple-topped Sagaing Hills
  •   Unfold the hidden history behind Mingun unfinished pagoda
  •   Take in windy sunset from top of Yankin hill
  •   Get back in time to Bagan's crumbling temples and pagodas
  •   Experience unique floating life upon serene Inle Lake
  •   Climb up and explore amazing Indein stupa jungle
Experiences :
Only From $990 $1,040
  •  Stroll in peace across royal Kandawgyi Lake
  •   Blend in sacred atmosphere during the sundown in Shwedagon pagoda
  •   Discover Bagan's rich history and architecture with 2000 ancient monuments
  •   Uncover fascinating Buddha statues in Pindaya cave
  •   Participate in vibrant 5-day floating market in Inle Lake
Experiences :
Only From $950 $1,000
  •  Observe the old beauty of well-preserved colonial buildings
  •   Get deep in magical sunset over glistering Shwedagon pagoda
  •   Visit thousands ancient architectural temples in Bagan's plain
  •   Climb up the sacred mountain of Popa and enjoy the panoramic sceneries from the top
  •   Get amused with 8000 golden Buddha statues inside the limestone cave of Pindaya
  •   Relax and enjoy upon the scenic Inle Lake
Experiences :
Only From $1,360 $1,460
  •  Observe ornate beauty of legendary Shwedagon pagoda at night
  •   Uncover Bagan's historical secret with fine collection of old temples
  •   Walk along and wait for iconic sunset over U Bein bridge
  •   Gaze over beautiful landscape of Mandalay from Yankin Hill
  •   Learn how to make an exquisite Shan-style parasol
  •   Trek through hill villages and green plantations of Kalaw
  •   Try local floating life on Inle Lake
  •   Soak into crystal water of Ngwe Saung beach
Experiences :
Only From $3,120 $3,320
  •  Chill out with scenic boat trip to Mingun
  •   Enjoy peaceful sunset over Yankin hill
  •   Discover ancient kingdon of Bagan with thousands temples and pagodas
  •   Trek over Kalaw hill villages and observe their authentic tribal life
  •   Meander around the amazing stupa jungle of Shwe Indein pagoda
  •   Visit the most sacred Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset
Experiences :
Only From $1,620 $1,720
  •  Admire the mysterious sunset at magnificent Shwedagon pagoda
  •   Explore Mandalay's innate beaty
  •   Make a new river discovery from Mandalay to Bagan with Paukan cruise
  •   Uncover series of ancient monuments in Bagan archaeological zone
  •   Enjoy stress-free life on the picturesque Inle Lake
Experiences :
Only From $1,736 $1,928
  •  Observe the most notable Shwedagon pagoda gleaming over the sunset
  •   Uncover the ancient Bagan and its architectural and historical monuments
  •   Meander through quaint village of Minanthu
  •   Board in the Pandaw peaceful river cruise upstream the Irrawaddy from Bagan to Mandalay
  •   Catch up poetic sunset over U Bein bridge
  •   Experience hill tribal life and daily activities in Kalaw
  •   Visit floating Intha houses and colourful garden around Inle Lake
Experiences :
Only From $3,020 $3,322
  •  Meditate in the astounding sunset over Shwedagon pagoda
  •   Witness the famous fishing technique of leg-rowing fishermen on tranquil Inle lake
  •   Walk around the impressive stupa jungle in Shwe Indein pagoda
  •   Get to know deeply about culture, history and people of Bagan and Mandalay with The Strand downstream river cruise
  •   Taste out Myanmar and Asia various excellent cuisines on luxury board of Strand
  •   Gain excellent insights of traditional daily life around Minanthu village
Experiences :
Only From $1,850 $1,950
  •  Discover the treasure of Vietnam from the South to the North with visit to the highlights such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hue and Hanoi.
  •   Have memorable time with stunning places around Vietnam and Burma with lush countryside, fascinating city, amazing landscapes, wonderful islands, etc.
  •   Get more knowledge about the Asian's life, history, nature, culture and religious.
  •   Time to relax in beautiful spots with pure fresh air, good weather and friendly local people.
  •   Chance to experience the life style of two enchanting Asia countries Vietnam and Myanmar.
Experiences :
Only From $3,392 $3,592

Attractions In Inle Lake

Floating garden and villages
Locals in Inle Lake do not make their lives only by fishing but also by cultivating. They grow...
Phaungdawoo Pagoda
Without doubt, the Phaungdawoo Pagoda is such a brilliant and magical site in Asia. Locating in...
Local workshops: silk, cotton, weaving, cigar rolling
On Inle Lake, you will have a great chance to visit many workshops which bring you an unforgetable...
Indeinn village
The Indeinn small village lies in a shallow part, right on the western bank of Inle Lake. It is...
Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery
Nga Hpe Kyaung Monastery lies in the North of Ywama Village, built on stilts on Inle Lake. It is...

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