It made me want to visit Inle Lake more when I saw the Indein pics online. It made me curious what is the story behind the lake and pagodas. Turns out, it was quite a lot!
It was a good feeling to see Indein in real life. Seems like you can sense the history there even without a guide explaining everything to you. It’s all laid out for you to appreciate.
There are no direct flights to Myanmar so we decided to take advantage of Air Asia X‘s seat sale months’ prior our trip. Catch is, there will be hours of layover in Kuala Lumpur to get to Yangon.
From Mandalay, we took an JJ Expressway Bus to Inle Lake. Bus ride will take almost 10 hours.
WHAT WE DID
Indein is 45-minute boat from the city however our guide told us that we can visit those of the places we missed from our boat tour the day before to have a complete Inle Lake experience.
Got to listen to the experts, right? So, that is exactly what we did. Buti na lang.
Passed by this pagoda en route to Indein village.
Spots to visit:
Maing Thauk Bridge
Our first stop is the Maing Thauk market however we must get off and walk the 500m of this teak wood bridge to reach the village.
Maing Thauk Market
We really thought that it will just be a few minutes from the village entrance but it wasn’t! We were walking for around 30 minutes maybe and under the heat of the sun (that explains the t-shirt tan lines).
It is just a wet market and a souvenir shop at the same time. Labu-labo na siya! And the vendors entertain haggling so tawad away.
It is the largest village and some of the teak houses are built on large wooden poles driven into the lake bed. Ywama villagers commute by boat, walkways and bridges made of bamboo.
The village is one of the few craft communities and is famous for its gold and silversmiths. This is also where we visited a paper umbrella shop and they showed us how to create one…from scratch. Pretty amazing stuff.
Se-khong village is well- known for their skill in producing knives and farming tools.
Not really my kind of scene but the cutesy stuff in the shop caught my attention. But they do have swords, balisong and nut crackers though.
They are a tribe of Myanmar’s Kayan ethnic group whom are known for wearing copper neck rings. Padaung women begin to wear neck coils from as young as age two.
The custom of wearing neck rings is related to an ideal of beauty such as having an elongated neck.
Nyaung Oak Monastery
This is the first sight you will see upon entering the Shwe Indein complex. It looks like a group of disintegrated stupas that you may find in the wilderness. Just my own interpretation.
Shwe Indein Pagoda
Indein is one of the small villages of Inle Lake located on the western part of Inle Lake. This community is known for its groups of ancient pagodas. It can be reached by cruising an 8-km boat ride through the Indein creek canal.
At the center of the Shwe Indein group is the shrine of the Indein Buddha image, the shrine that is believed that houses a golden Buddha image in the meditation area.
From the top of the hill, visitors have great views of the Indein village and the surrounding area.
WHERE WE STAYED
We spent our first night in Inle Lake at Three Seasons Inn & Spa which is within walking distance to the city center. The owner is also very accommodating and even helped us book our boat tour services.
The next day, we rode the JJ Expressway Bus back to Yangon. See contact details below for more information.
Banana Pancake – We tasted this as part of our free breakfast in our hotel. But boy, the pancake is huge, kasing laki nung plato!
And you can tell that it is not a pre-made one since there were banana bits and well, you just can taste the difference. Ning, ang sarap talaga!
Myanmar Beer – I am not a beer person because even with San Miguel Beer, napapaklaan ako sa lasa. But Myanmar beer is different, it’s not bitter and I can still tolerate it even not served cold.
It says Lager beer, whatever that is, I’m sorry but I will vouch for this beer anytime. Ok lang malasing basta ito kumbaga.
• Our JJ Night Bus ticket covers a free snack, blanket and wet wipes. Also, there is a small LCD monitor in front of you with free movies. All you need is to bring your own earphones.
• JJ Expressway Bus’ Inle Lake to Yangon ticket includes a free dinner. It could’ve saved us a few bucks if we only knew from the start. It’s a restaurant meal so don’t worry.
• Be guided of the entrance fees so you can allocate your budget money accordingly.
• There is a dress code when entering pagodas. Shoulders and knees should always be covered. Footwear is also not allowed inside. You must roam around barefoot. Don’t worry, temple vicinities are usually clean.
• You must pay a zone fee amounting to MMK 25,000 upon entry to Inle Lake.
As stated earlier, we stayed at Three Seasons Inn & Spa. We booked them thru booking.com. This is also where we availed our Inle Lake and Indein boat tour services.
As earlier stated, we took the JJ Express Highway night bus to Bagan and reserved our seats online. You may contact them via their Facebook page.
**Our Indein boat tour has been done during our Myanmar trip last Oct 28 – Nov 4, 2016. Pics were taken using Nikon D3100 and Samsung S7.
TRAVEL EXPENSE SUMMARY
|Indein Expenses||Currency||Subtotal||in Php||÷ by 2|
|Hotel to bus station drop-off||MMK||2,000||60||30|
|Indein Boat Tour||MMK||25,000||750||375|
|JJ Night Bus back to Yangon||USD||38||1,835.4||917.7|
|TOTAL||P 2,909.4||P 1,454.7|
Note: RT airfare tickets and pasalubong money not included.