This is a place where most tourists exclude on their Myanmar itinerary. May it be a lack of time or just wasn’t that interested, all I can say is, they did miss out the moment one decided not to go in Inle Lake.
It was a whole new world out there and the experience was incredible!
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
Ten hours of bus ride after, we were finally in Inle Lake. It was 6 am then and we have another tour that day. This only mean that we only have a few hours to freshen up and get ready.
That was our Day 7 in Myanmar and I was just praying that we could survive the travel fatigue and hope for none of us will get sick. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. Thank you, Lord!
Spots to visit:
Inle Lake’s fishermen have a unique paddling style. They stand on one leg on the end of the boat while the other leg is wrapped around the oar (aka sagwan). Hence, they are likewise known as leg rowers.
The purpose of doing this position is that there are numerous reeds and water plants in the lake and the fishermen can’t see them if they row sitting down. Ibang level ang balancing skills, I was really in awe!
Cheroot Cigar Making Shop
A cheroot is a cigar distinctive to Myanmar because they are wrapped in thanal-phet tree leaves with crushed tobacco and bits of dried wood.
Their cigars are even are particularly known for its flavors as banana, pineapple, tamarind, honey and rice wine. They let me taste one and it’s true, lasang saging na menthol.
Lotus Silk & Cotton Weaving
We were welcomed by a girl by the entrance of the weaving shop and immediately told us that they weave fabrics using lotus fibers. I’m not sure what she meant but I nodded anyway.
That is when we came inside that I was enlightened, they literally use the lotus plants to make clothing! I was amazed most especially when they showed us how thin the is the lotus fiber.
Kay Lar Floating Garden
Located in the middle part of Inle Lake, the locals mostly grow tomatoes peas, chilies and flowers. I honestly just saw tomatoes, well, if I’m not mistaken.
Nga Phe Chaung Monastery
A wooden monastery built on stilts, this is also called the Cat Monastery. It was said that the monks taught a few of the many cats living with them to jump through hula hoops.
We saw cats within the area alright but none of them are jumping nor are using hula hoops. Nye.
Note: There are many other shops that we visited but I just recommended those of importance and with traveler’s value.
WHERE WE STAYED
We spent our first night in 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.
See contact details below for more information.
Stuffed Lake Fish – This will be an equivalent to our very own relleno only that they used tilapia since they are abundant with freshwater fishes. Relleno with many (and I mean sobrang dameng) ginger. To wash away the lansa, I guess.
Mont Lin Ma Yar – I couldn’t get enough of this Myanmar street food! It is a rice flour batter with quail egg toppings! Oooh, the combination of flavors is so clever. Plus, that crunchiness on every bite…ugh! Kung pwede lang magtake out eh, oh wait, I already did that!
• 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.
• Also, JJ Bus’ original route is Taunggyi but worry not as it will pass by Inle Lake. The bus attendants often ask their passengers where they’ll be dropped off. This will get you covered.
• 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.
TRAVEL EXPENSE SUMMARY
|Inle Lake Expenses||Currency||Subtotal||in Php||÷ by 2|
|Bus station to hotel drop-off||MMK||2,000||60||30|
|Inle Lake Zone Fee||MMK||25,000||750||375|
|Three Seasons Inn & Spa||USD||25||1,207.5||603.8|
|Inle Lake Boat Tour||USD||25||1,207.5||603.8|
|TOTAL||P 3,651.0||P 1,825.5|
Note: RT airfare tickets and pasalubong money not included.