Inle Lake, the second largest in Myanmar is located in Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State, part of Shan Hills in Myanmar (Burma). The lake drains through the Nam Pilu (Balu Chaung) on its southern end. And also there is a hot spring on it northwestern shore. Inle Lake is a major tourist attraction, and a number of festivals occur.
In Inle Lake, there are proximately 70,000 of people living in four cities bordering the lake, in numerous small villages along the lake’s shore and on the lake itself. The population consists mainly of Intha with a mix of other Shan, Pa-O, Danu, Kayah, Burmese, Danaw and Taumgyo ethnicities. Transportation on the lake is traditionally by small boats, or by somewhat larger boats fitted with single cylinder inboard diesel engines. Local fishermen are known for practicing a distinctive rowing style which involves standing at the stern on one leg and wrapping the other leg around the oar. This unique style evolved out of necessity as the lake is covered by reeds and floating plants, making it difficult to see above them while sitting. Standing provides the rower with a view beyond the reeds.
The followings are the some of the things you can do in Inle;
Hpaung Daw Oo Pagoda
Hpaung Daw Oo is a notable Buddhist site in Myanmar (formerly Burma), located on the Inle Lake in Shan State. Surrounding the Pagoda, and in the basement are shops selling traditional Shan and Burmese merchandise. The pagoda houses five small gilded images of Buddha, which have been covered in gold leaf to the point that their original forms cannot be seen. The images are of differing sizes, range from about nine to eighteen inches tall. Being essentially solid gold, the images are extremely heavy. It is believed that the Buddha images were brought to Inlay Lake by King Alaungsithu.The ceremonial Hpaung Daw U Festival, which lasts for a total of 18 days, is closely followed by the Thadingyut festival of lights.
One of the tourist attractions in the village on the lake itself is floating market (five days market which appears in a different location on the lake each day). A local market serves most common shopping needs and is held daily but the location of the event rotates through five different sites around the lake area, thus each of them hosting an itinerant market every fifth day. When held on the lake, trading is conducted from small boats. This ‘floating-market’ event tends to emphasize tourist trade much more than the other four.
Nga Phe Chaung monastery
Nga Phe Chaung monastery is is a beautiful wooden monastery built on stilts around 200 years ago over the Inle Lake. It is considered the oldest and largest monastery in Inle Lake region. The Buddha statues are more than 200 years old.It is set among floating gardens and well worth a visit, especially if you’re on the way to or back from the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda.This attractive wooden monastery houses an impressive collection of Buddha images respectively in Shan, Tibetan, Bagan, and Inwa style. The tall, mosaic-decorated pedestals and cases built for the images showcasing Shan and Northern Thai Buddhist art have a history of more than 100 years.
Pindaya Cave located next to the town of Pindaya, Shan State, Burma (Myanmar) near Inle lake are a Buddhist pilgrimage site and a tourist attraction located on a limestone ridge in the Myelat region. The area is part of the ancestral homeland of the Danu people. There are three caves on the ridge which runs north-south, but only the southern cave can be entered and explored. It is not known whether the other two penetrate for any extended distance into the hillside. Scholars have been pushing for the site’s inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Pindaya Cave are supposed to be 200, 00 million years old and since ancient times they have been places of worship and veneration with 8,094 Buddha images made from various materials like teak wood, marble, alabaster, brick, cement and lacquer, and all enshrined in the nooks and corners of the winding caverns.
For more sightseeing in Inle region, email to [email protected] for more details.