Inle Lake: boats, temples, stupas, markets, villages… 19-20th of February

The next morning we had a relaxed day. We started the morning not really early, we walked around, had a coffee and looked for a place for lunch.

In the afternoon, we were even lazier, we had a nap and late afternoon we went to a Nepalese restaurant, the Everest Nepali Food Center. Dinner was amazing (Floh even decided that he was ready and brave enough to eat curry again), the place is small, on a side road, but food is good and there is a lovely atmosphere.

The next day a boat trip around the Inle Lake was planned, bargained with a boatman during the day. The lake is inhabited by the Intha people that live in several villages, mostly in stilt houses. The Intha move around the lake using long motorized craft, while fishermen use a special technique to slide the boats on the water, holding the oar with one leg while standing at the stern of the boat making movement with the leg, so that their arms are free for fishing. In the lake there are gardens, orchards, floating markets and all around monasteries and temples.

Here the highlights of our day!

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Thaung Tho Kyaung village, located far at the southern end of the lake, off the tourist circuit and worth a visit, and the Thaung Tho Kyaung pagoda.

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Passing by the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the small village of INDEIN on the western bank of the lake, with a little market and the Shwe Indein Pagoda complex, with hundreds of stupas. We climbed up a little to reach the abandoned temples, now covered by vegetation. There were no tourists at all, and we sneaked into an enclosed pagoda.

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Ywama village, located on the western side of Inle Lake. Residents travel around by canoe, but there are also numerous bamboo walkways and bridges over the canals running throughout. As such, there is no main street or square, but there are pagoda complexes and monasteries on built-up areas.

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The floating gardens in at the Kaylar Village, where the villagers mainly live on fishing and farming. On the floating gardens, they mostly grow tomatoes and some of them grow peas, chilies and flowers.

Cheroot Makers, actually quite nice; the women working were old and very fast, they offered us tea, made us try cigars and we bought some to bring home as presents.

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[We decided to not visit the long-neck women. Didn’t feel like it.]

We stayed on the boat for some time more, till our driver brought us on a platform in the middle of the lake to wait for the sunset. We spent some time reading, and when it was time we enjoyed a beautiful view of the sun falling behind the mountains surrounding the lake.

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For dinner, we found an awesome restaurant with a “special view” (this is how the waiter sold it to us with a big smile! It was a table directly facing the street, in front of a parked car). The food was delicious, the waiters extremely nice with us, we had some beers and stayed till the place closed. Another beer around the village and it was time to bed.

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