Traditional fisherman at Inle Lake

Traditional fisherman at Inle Lake

Those who visit Myanmar can not miss Inle Lake. Inle Lake is a very large lake in the middle of Myanmar and is especially well-known for its traditional fishermen, also called “leg rowers”, because they keep their hands free for their fishing nets. These fishermen’s lives take place mostly on this lake. Whole villages have been built on poles and even their vegetables and fruits are cultivated in genuine floating vegetable gardens.

Fisherman at work

Fisherman at work

Around Inle Lake there are daily local markets where you can get a good look into the cultures and the people that live on and around the lake. The mountain people even come here to do their shopping. In the little villages on the lake you will find numerous traditional trades. There are cigar makers for example and silk is woven from the lotus flower here. I found the traditional market at the Inle lake to be the most idyllic I have ever seen.

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Long necked Padaung tribe woman

The best way to visit all the sights of the lake is to rent a long-tail boat for the whole day. You can rent one privately but it’s more fun to share a boat with other people. It’s delightful no matter what, to let yourself be sailed everywhere, because the lake is enormous. From the boat you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the scenic mountains around the lake. You can not wish for a better picture.


Fun at the longtail boat

Besides the tourist hotspots on and around the lake you can visit a local primary school on request. Do stock up on about 50 notebooks and crayons to hand out though. The little school is built on high poles and the classrooms are screened off by wooden partitions. One teacher walks back and forth through the classroom which results into the necessary hilarities as the little ones can not sit still from excitement and peek to keep an eye on us closely as we visit. As a way of saying thank you for the gifts the children sing at the top of their voices for you and that is what makes such a visit worth the effort.

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The little ones, so cute

Most tourists stay in the little town of Nyaung Shwe which is located in the northern branches of Inle Lake. Nyaung Shwe is still a little sleeping town. Few to no cars drive there and the traffic mostly consists of horses that bravely pull their carts across the mostly unpaved roads. Even more surprising is the view from the ViewPoint Resort which arises from the water at the strategic crossroads at the end of the wooden bridge. ViewPoint immediately invites you to a drink at the open air restaurant, but the impressive water garden behind the resort with beautiful wooden bungalows on the water is even more special.


ViewPoint Lodge

The resort consists of 24 bungalows and is equipped with all the luxury. The hotel lobby is beautifully decorated with a mix of different international styles. This resort is a pleasant surprise when you long for some luxury on your round-trip through Myanmar. That’s why ViewPoint is an oasis of Western comfort within the individuality of the country itself. You can get lovely Burmese, Western or French food here (tip: The chocolate cake is delicious) and don’t forget to drink a cocktail in the lounge bar or to end the night well with a traditional glass of local rum.

ViewPoint villas

ViewPoint villas


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