Inle Lake Activities
What to Do in Inle Lake
At first glance, it seems like there is not much to do at Inle Lake. Visiting pagodas is a given, since it is done in almost every city in Myanmar. Sightseeing is also an expected activity. As a rural area, Inle Lake and its surrounding areas boast stunning lake views and glimpses of a picturesque countryside. Indeed, Inle Lake is the destination for a laid-back and relaxing vacation. Nonetheless, the lake offers its visitors several things to do in its vicinity.
Because it is a body of water, naturally some of its activities involve travelling by boat and tourists have the option to choose between two types: the motor-powered variety or traditional canoes. Trekking is also a popular activity in the area, especially with such a vast landscape to explore. The hidden treasures of the lake, such as a sanctuary and hot springs, also give Inle Lake visitors plenty to do.
For those who do not want the noise that comes with motorboats, canoe trips prove to be a good alternative. It is a delight to pass through the villages and observe the serene surroundings in silence. Going on canoe trips is also better for those who want to take pictures. One place visitors can go to by canoe is a big nat shrine found in the midst of a swampy jungle of banyan tress opposite Nanthe village.
Inle Lake is also a place for ecotourism and is the home of Inle Lake Sanctuary, a wetland sanctuary with an area of 642.32 square miles. Established in 1985, this sanctuary was made to protect and conserve natural vegetation, wetland birds and freshwater fish. Another objective of the sanctuary is to conserve the geological characteristics and scenic beauty of the mountain areas. In this place, tourists can learn about the traditional floating agriculture practised by the Inthar people.
- Location: In between the Nyaungshwe, Pinlaung and Peh Kon Townships of the Southern Shan State.
Hiking is another activity often done in and around Inle Lake. Two favoured destinations for an all-day hike are the Koun Soun Taungbo Monastery and the nearby Ta-Eh Gu Cave. Another popular option is the hike from Inle Lake to Kalaw and vice versa. Hikers can also enjoy long walks either to the north or south of the Nyaungshwe Pass. Guided day hikes can be organized by guesthouses and hotels.
Hot Springs Bathing
Most tourists are not aware of the fact that there is a hot springs to be enjoyed at Inle Lake. Tourists can keep themselves warm in this hot springs, and they can choose between public or private bathing. The hot springs in Inle Lake can be accessed by a boat ride from Nyaungshwe or a bumpy, hour-long bicycle ride.
- Opening Hours: 07:00-17:00
- Location: Near the Intha village of Kaungdaing.
There is an unwritten rule that states that every tourist should experience at least one motorboat trip during a visit to Inle Lake. In this case, a motorboat is a long dugout canoe with a huge lawn-mower engine. These boats bring tourists to attractions such as the Phaungdawoo Pagoda and the Jumping Cat Monastery, as well as to floating gardens and souvenir shops. Almost every hotel and guesthouse in Nyaungshwe can arrange boat excursions, but naturally the high-end hotels charge more.