Did you know there are so many things to do in Inle Lake, Myanmar besides chilling by the river and admiring its natural beauty? Put these on your list!
Things to do at Inle to perfect your trip.
You are surrounded by natural beauty and you wish time will stop. You can just sit there and do nothing because it is so perfect. But will you? When you’ve had enough of chilling by the river (that will take a long while), it’s time to get up and get going to experience Inle beyond its exquisite landscape.
Unveil the cat lady in you
If you are a cat lady or person, Inle will score bonus points in your pawket. Every house has a resident cat and your tabby at home will understand if you ‘cheat’ or him or her whilst in this cat sanctuary. The Nga Phe Kyaung Monestery, popularly known as the Jumping Cat Monastery, houses acro-cats who can jump through hoops. Even though the practice is not around anymore, you can still interact with the ex-stars who have gotten fat from their lack of acrobatics. The Burmese Cat Sanctuary at the Inhar Heritage House is a conservation initiative and takes care of 40 purebred Burmese cats.
Beat those hipsters who do nothing but café-hop, because you can take it up one level by village-hopping. Go from Nampan to Maing Thauk to Indein – you get the drift. Each village has highlights, whether it be crafts, markets or pagodas. You can surely find something unique in each village.
Float on gardens
This is a farmland that you can’t find just anywhere. In Inle villages like Kayla, locals build floating gardens out of lake-bottom weeds and other organic crops such as tomatoes and squash. Ride on a boat that navigates slowly through passageways between gardens.
Souvenirs are one-of-a-kind as you can pick from handicrafts, cigars or knives made by the locals. Another one to bring home is a linen-like cloth made from lotus fibres. You can grab them from a market or a floating boat. Floating boats also sell fresh produce and cheap electronics!
Rent a bike, or simply hike. There are many biking and hiking trails that lead to the countryside. One popular bike trail is from Nyaungshwe to the Red Mountain Winery. Go uphill till you reach the winery where you will be surrounded by hills.
Experience the Buddhist culture
While village-hopping, you can do pagoda-hopping. Some of the ones that you should definitely see are the Hpaung Daw U Pagoda with the five golden Buddhas and the Shwe Indein Pagoda for an atmospheric experience.
Watch a rowing competition
If you are around while this happens, you are in for a treat. Look at their calendar for such events. The famous one-legged rowing fishermen compete between villages for a friendly competition and again, this is an event not seen elsewhere.