Entry 12 500 Kyats/pers.
It’s possible to do a hike of 2-3 days to Inle from Kalaw and other nearby towns, but as we were short of time and partly because of the rainy weather, we just took the bus. When we arrived, Christophe made a trip to find cheap lodging, but came back from a bald journey, with a room of 20 000 Kyat per night.
The scenery around Inle is really beautiful. We had read that a boat trip on the lake was a massive tourist trap and thus were sceptical. We woke up early in the morning, unsure whether we would do a hike or a boat trip, but we didn’t find a guide for the hike. Instead went to the harbour and found 2 more people to share a boat with. We visited the markets, silversmith’s workshop, umbrella workshop, tobacco factory, silk and lotus weavers and some temples. The scenery was breathtaking, the trip itself was really interesting, and it was fun to be on the boat.
They fish (in an amazing way), live on top of the lake, have gardens and use the lake for pretty much everything. The mountains and valleys around the lake are really pretty Although the boat takes you pretty much from one tourist shop to the other, they didn’t really force us to buy anything. On our way back, we even saw a nice rainbow on the mountains. We did wonder if this way of doing things would be sustainable for the lake, as it seems that with the tourism, there is a heavier load on it …
The next day we decided to rent bicycles and do some self-guided hiking. First we cycled 25km, then hiked up a hill and down to a village in a valley. They were growing a lot of crops in the village and everything was super green around. It was a magical view, and totally unexpected.
The temperature here is a bit cooler that Yangon or Bagan, so the air is nice and fresh. Inle seems to be quite a relaxing place. In the evenings Christophe played football with the locals. They were also setting up a massive festival in the town, and on Friday night we passed by, but it was raining cats and dogs. So we didn’t see much of the festival. The next day we would have to wake up early because we would take the slow train to Mandalay!