You cannot visit Inle Lake without exploring its famous stilt villages. For almost a century, farmers in the area have farmed unique floating gardens (or, as locals call them, ye chan), built from rafts of water hyacinth and silt anchored to the lake bed with bamboo stakes. Your traditional long-tail boat will take you to meet some of the villagers to find out what it’s really like to live and work on top of a lake. Our very first stop of this tour will be a local home, we will meet with a local family, share our stories and see how people live their day to day lives.
After experiencing the tranquility of the lake, it’s time for a bit of history. At the monastery of Nga Phael Chaung, you will see intricate thrones used by the great monks over hundred years ago.
After admiring antique thrones, we will hop back in our boat and glide through a few more floating villages where you will have a chance to meet local artisans such as silversmiths and silk weavers. Then you are in for a real treat: lunch in a traditional Inthar restaurant. Or you could choose to eat in one of the Chinese or European-themed restaurants — the choice is yours. Once you have filled your belly with local (or not) culinary culture, it’s time to learn more about the extraordinary Inthar people at their heritage museum.
We will then take a boat through Indein Creek, floating past farmers ploughing rice fields with their water buffalo. The next stop is an Indiana Jones fantasy come true — the ancient crumbling ruins of a lost village among lush green forest. We will ascend 800 steps, past decaying pagodas and colourful remnants of old temples, to find one of the world’s most stunning scenes laid out before our eyes: a sea of decaying stupas, a truly captivating sight. If this view isn’t on your bucket list already, it darn well should be.
Our tour ends with one final boat ride across the placid waters of Inle Lake, giving you another opportunity to capture that quintessential holiday snap of the Inthar fisherman with his conical fishing net.
Before you go, don’t forget to ask your local guide for tips on what else to see and do during your stay.