Spending a Day at Inle Lake Myanmar
Kelli and I enjoyed 3 fun days at Inle Lake, Myanmar.
This scenic, sleepy town in a remote area of Myanmar draws tourists from around the globe.
Bird watchers flock (wink wink) to the world class….bird watching reserve. Most tourists however visit Inle to take the famous boat tour of Inle Lake.
The Lead In
Maybe I had some bad tomato soup in Bagan. Or maybe it was just the water. Or maybe the yogurt I enjoyed at breakfast time was not quite chilled enough.
I bused into town with Kelli, slowly evacuating through front and back ends.
Thank the gods I began feeling better the moment we arrived at the bus stop. We paid for a tuk tuk. Headed into town. Found our lodging.
Instantly, we noted how chilly things were at night up in the hills, but also how the temperature rose as we descended into town. Aha! Contrast; not often experienced in hot, humid, steamy SE Asia.
After 1 intense day spent in bed – due to ingesting some super duper strong, major league dose, definitely not legal in America antibiotics – Kelli and I booked an Inle Lake boat tour.
Set Up through the Hotel
Cost = $15 USD. (We tipped the tour operator and boat driver $5 each.)
We woke at 6 AM. Up and at ’em.
Morning meditation done and a few sips of Coke – still reeling from the stomach situation – we headed to the hotel lobby, greeting by the warm, friendly staff (Folks from Myanmar are incredibly friendly and genuine).
Walk to the Boat
I expected a tuk tuk ride to the lake but we were so close that a 10 minute walk did the trick.
We spoke to our warm tour guide about Myanmar, the tour, and how Arnold Schwartzeneggar is quite popular in Myanmar, among other things.
The canal beckoned, as in this area, you hop on the boat in a man-made channel then cruise up toward the massive lake.
Delicately, we did a little hop, skip, jump and all but showed the poise and balance of a ballet dancer to find our seats on the boat. Seats being SE Asian style, little kid chairs often seen at food stalls in Thailand. You know what I mean; Tyrion Lannister style, plastic chairs.
Anyway, these small but sturdy numbers supported us for the ride.
Umbrellas were available for lake spray. I invited the wake up call after being bed bound and barfing the 2 days prior.
And we were off!
Enjoy the Day on the Lake
We did the lite tour. Meaning it was a full day affair but in the same regard we skipped some activities that we did not resonate with.
Think of an avian paradise, with a wide range of shore birds as far as the eye can see, with towering mountains shrouded in green serving as a serene background.
Our tour guide did a fabulous job explaining clearly the local customs, the wildlife and history of Inle Lake.
Big time thumbs up on all levels.
He spoke clear English and was quite the pleasant dude too. Makes a difference, guys.
Consider ear plugs for the non-stop howl of the motor. Old school dug out canoes powered by old school, diesel engines can wear on the less patient. I personally enjoyed the hum.
Fisherman with super human balance rested on one foot like a crane, paddling and catching their daily bread.
Cormorants, gulls and other water birds flapped by as we sped toward the local market, dodging lily pads, barreling along this truly epic lake.
We arrived at the weekly market to see all manner of food, goods and some crimson-looking, betel-stained smiles.
Oh yeah; if older folks in Myanmar appear to have a Kool-Aid fetish, rest-assured these cats have been chewing betel for decades. Think nature’s chewing tobacco, with people masticating and spitting this nut or leaf all over the place, staining their chompers and the ground a deep shade of red.
So we exit the market and town hop, visiting a silver jeweler, a silk factory and a neat-looking temple along the way.
After a long and fun day on the water we cruised back into town. I was even mildly sunburned, which entertained my Dracula-being, sunshine-blocking, 1/4 Transylvania (100% true; my grandfather was Transylvanian, from Romania), white ass quite o’ bit.
Make Your Way to Inle
Inle Lake is one of the most stunning places we have visited.
Spending a day at Inle – wandering around town for a bit and enjoying a boat tour – is a fabulous add to your trip through Myanmar.
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