While the labyrinth of waterways offer many days worth of
exploration for the inquisitive traveller, the tranquil calm
surrounding Inle makes it the ideal place to pause for a few days
longer, and relax mid-trip.
The active can explore the waterways by kayak and surrounding
villages and farms by bicycle. The local market rotates around the
lake-side villages every five days to give the surrounding hill
tribes a chance to trade their wares; well-worth a visit to inspect
the bizarre collection of fish, vegetables and local medicines on
sale. The local village of In Dein dotted with ancient 13th century
stupas is also a popular choice for those not 'templed-out' after
Bagan. Local workshops are plenty here, and if you only visit one,
make sure to go to the weaving village where lotus silk is used to
create everything from scarves to longhis.
Inle Lake is equally rewarding for those just wanting to relax
and take in the stunning scenery. Put your feet up and let yourself
be rowed between stilted villages and floating gardens anchored to
the lake by bamboo poles, passing local children rowing themselves
to school, fishermen reeling in their nets, and the traditional
one-legged rowers unique to this lake. Alternatively, while away
days lakeside at a peaceful hotel with a good book, a cool drink
and an idyllic view.