Inle Lake

Set in the heart of the vast Shan State and ringed by hazy mountain ranges, the shallow waters of Inle Lake are one of Myanmar’s most stunning scenic and cultural attractions. Its position 900 metres above sea level rewards visitors with pleasant temperatures throughout the day and can call for a jumper in the evening. The hills surrounding the lake are a melting pot of culture and are inhabited by over 30 ethnic groups. Of these, the Inthar, are perhaps the best known. Their houses built on stilts above the water and their iconic style of leg rowing, as well as their ingenious floating gardens using hyacinth bound together to grow their food, are marvels of any trip to Inle. Travelling by long tail boat visit the villages of the lake, the morning floating market and a variety of cottage industries including weaving, silversmith and Myanmar cigar rolling. The Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is widely regarded as one of the most important shrines in the country and every year at the September full moon plays host to festival during which the pagoda’s images of the Buddha are rowed around the lake on a golden Karaweik, visiting pagodas around its waters. A trip to the Red Mountain Vineyard is the perfect place to try some local wines and its terrace overlooking the valley is spectacular.

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