Inle Lake, a part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the lake measuring 22 km long by 10 km wide, and sitting in a valley between two mountain ranges, feels like a different world to the rest of Myanmar: in villages and towns across the lake, wooden houses are built high on stilts and fishermen steer their one-man boats with a unique rowing style, wrapping one leg around their oar Inle lake definitely is a must-not-miss during your trip in Myanmar. Around and inside the lake, you can not only relax but follow popular activities such as bicycling, hiking, boating, and/or ballooning regardless of what you do, it will certainly be worthwhile.
Key Attractionssee the surroundings
Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda
One of the famous principal shrines in Myanmar, this pagoda houses five small Buddha images. Once a year, the Lights Festival coincident with PhaungDawOo Pagoda festival from end September to early October. The festival revolves around the procession of four sacred images, which usually reside with a fifth image at PhaungDawOo Pagoda for worship by the faithful all year round. For 18 days, the four images are taken out of PhaungDawOo Pagoda and carried in a spectacular procession around the 200 villages dotting Inlay Lake, with an overnight stop at a pagoda in one of the villages.
Ngaphechaung Monastery is located in Inle Lake, on the way to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. This is an attractive wooden monastery built on stilts over the lake at the end of the 1850s. Aside from its collection of Buddhas the monastery may be of interest to visit because its monks have taught a few of the many cats living with them to jump through hoops. 25 minutes boat ride to visit and ancient monastery built on huge pieces of teak wood with traditional architecture and see the popular jumping cats leap through the hoops.
The monastery is also known for a collection of old Myanmar’s Buddha images from different areas that are worth seeing. NgaPheChaug is the biggest and oldest monastery on the Inle Lake and is worth visiting for its historical purposes and architecture as well as its cats.
Shwe Indein Pagoda
This mysterious place is one of the small villages of Inle Lake located on the western bank of the lake. A Buddha image has enshrined at a whitewashed stupa, which is on the summit of a hill. Below the stupa around the hill are cluster of hundreds of ancient stupas most are ruins overgrown with bushes. The pagoda hill is quiet and calm. One could feel the pleasant cool breeze with the sweet rings of the bells hanging at the umbrella of the stupa. Mesmerizing view from pagoda hill releases the fatigue and refreshes everybody who ascends to the peak. This mysterious place is at the end of the marvellous Indein creek, which connected with Inle Lake just after the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda.
Mint Thauk Market
Usually the Mint Thauk Market is open after every 5 days. A large and bustling market where one can find a real local atmosphere with a variety of produce from the lake. Other places of interest near the market in the lake are PayaPauk Pagoda, Zakah Village and NgaPheChaung monastery. Accessible by ferry boats in Inle.