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inle lake monastery

Inle Lake Myanmar 

Inle Lake in the Shan State Highland
The Inle Lake district is found in the hearth of Shan State
It is a popular holiday destination since colonial times and discovered for the purpose by the British who built the first railway from Mandalay to Pin Oo Lwin (Maymyo) to escape the summer heat in central Myanmar.  

The reason is simple Shan State (also famous as the "Golden Triangle" towards the border to north Thailand is almost entirely above thousand meters elevation and has a climate like the Austrian / Switzerland area before the Alps the ideal place to grow poppies which are made into opium and heroin which is controlled by Chinese druglords which have their own armies which were build up decades ago with the help of the US to be used as a sting against the Myanmar Military of that time.  

This was an attractions for the British military personal and today for the tourists. The native Shan and Pa-O are more interested in the incredoble fertile area which allows three harvesting of vegetable fruits and flowers per year by using the "floating garden" on the lake and the area around. Despite the awful roads all this finds their way to Yangon's markets. 

Shan-state radiates a cool and pleasant feeling after raching the plateau with over about thousand meters with pines appearing in the landscape plus water buffaloes and bamboo groves.

Driving from Mandalay to Inle Lake

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  1. Inle Lake floating garden
  2. Mandalay to Inle Lake
  3. Novitiation procession on the Lake
  4. Market vendor at Inle Lake
Inle Lake Cruising & Hiking in the Hills
But Inle Lake Pictures are probably the most impressive. There are a couple of books written by Maurice Collis during colonial times, everyone who is seriously interested should consider reading them.

This part can't be missed on a Myanmar visit because it is quite different to the tropical environment of the center and south. The Shan Plateau is a bit over 1000 m over sea level with a different flora as the rest of the country except parts of Kachin State. In the 
northeast region is the notorious "golden Triangle". 

Inle Lake is one of the four most important holiday destinations in Myanmar (Burma) and part of every round trip in the country. The unique environment makes holiday on Inle Lake a special one and that's the reason why it is included in every basic travel circuit.
The wide freshwater lake is located in Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi. The local tribe are the Pa-O people who moved to this place times ago from today Mon State because of the continuous war between the Siamese and Burmese.

Lake elevation is 884 m and the size is 116.3 km² the lake is very flat and has only an average depth of about 1.5 meters. The Po-O developed a special technique of "floating garden" on the lake which allows 3 harvests per years mainly of vegetable.

Almost all houses in the lake are built on stilts

That includes monasteries, temples and some kind of "Cottage Industry" built into the water, this lake district is in the highland of Shan State. is There are only a few small buildings on some islands around. Since the water body is a shallow one, not more than 2 - 3 meter deep, this is not a big deal to handle. 

The whole village is connected by walkways make from bamboo looking very fragile which, from an optical point of view somehow look romantic. In the late afternoon before the sun disappears pretty pictures appear. 

There are only a few resorts right in the water one of it is the "Golden Island Cottage" which is owned and operated by a "Pa-O" cooperative. All other bigger accommodations structures are off the water, they have quite pretty "lake resorts" around since it is somehow difficult to handle the logistics prices are quite high.

Visiting Inle Lake 

For the local people who have usually no money it's a hard living, imagine when you get sick, because of this remoteness you better geta excellent travel insurance when "roaming" around here.

People living around the lake are Shan and Pa-O, the first are around since they can think and the second came a fewhundred hundred years ago from south Myanmar to escape the ever lasting war's between the Thai and the Burmese.

The products to trade are not very diverse, it's agricultural, vegetable, rice, flowers pork and chicken and consumer goods which slowly trickle in from Thailand and China or are carried up from Yangon by truck.
  1. visiting inle lake and leg rower
  2. Phaundaw Oo Pagoda Inle Lake
  3. inle lake leg rower
At Inle Lake the Five Day Market is a very interesting spectacle where all local tribes gather around the lake in their particular dresses. This events are very important since they are the way to buy the every day goods needed, in the part of the world are no grocery stores with a suitable assortment.
As you can see it at the pictures people come even from far with boats, ox carts and some with cars and trucks. It also functions as a news exchange and other things, internet and newspaper
is only available in the big hotels for the tourists.

The mainly women at the stalls wear black clothing together with some other of strong colors, many smoke local made cigarettes which are enhanced with various herbs and add-on's
Almost all hotels in South East Asia \ ASEAN 
Myanmar Inle Lake

Inle Lake at Shan State

A trip to Inle Lake should be on the "travel radar" at every holiday destination in Myanmar.

This is one of the most interesting places in Myanmar a somehow unique and romantic place with floating gardens nice peoples hotel and resorts on stilts in the water and famous pagodas and temples plus monasteries altogether a great atmosphere. 

A couple of other monks homes are built into the lake like this one, the monk's offer is, if you like, stay with us. This is not a Buddhist retreat for meditation but a interesting experience.
  1. Inle Lake (1)
  2. Inle Lake (3)
  3. Floating Garden
  4. Floating Garden (1)