Inle Lake, formerly Burma or Burmese, is the second largest freshwater lake within the borders of Myanmar.
Inle Lake, formerly Burma or Burmese, is the second largest freshwater lake within the borders of Myanmar. The area it covers is about 120 km². The average depth varies according to the season. The depth, which increases up to 4 meters especially in the rainy season, is around 2 meters in the dry season.
Although Inle Lake is not very large, it is home to some endemic animal species. Nine kinds of fish and twenty kinds of snails are known to live only in this lake. Inle Lake has a great impact on the geography it is located in and gives direction to life here. Many different ethnic groups continue their lives depending on this lake in the surrounding cities and in the villages established within the lake. There are many small or large villages, pagodas, hotels, holiday resorts, shopping areas, etc., built on stilts in the lake. There are even agricultural fields floating in the lake.
Transportation in Inle Lake is provided by boats. Although there are many small and large boats, the most commonly used stern boats are long boats (pirog) using single-cylinder diesel engines. They go fast and make a lot of noise. These are generally used for freight and passenger transport. The ones used for fishing are slightly smaller and some do not have a motor, they only move with the help of oars.
Sometimes water hyacinths multiply uncontrollably and cover the water surface, making the journey in Inle Lake difficult.
The easiest way to reach Inle Lake is to arrive in Heho city by plane and then drive south for about an hour (40 km) to arrive at Nyaungshwe Village. This is a beautiful village where you can meet all your food, drink and accommodation needs. Shwe Yan Pyay, a wooden monastery that you can see and take pictures with. After visiting this place, you can start your journey by boat on the lake.
As you head south, you will see and photograph the houses built on stilts and their reflections in the clear water. You can stop by a place where there are local silk hand-wovens and local silver works, as well as souvenir shops. In this place, which is known as Inle Heritage, you also have the chance to see the making and purchase of the local Myanmar Cigar.
There are also plenty of floating markets where both tourists and locals shop in Inle Lake. Here you have the chance to find all kinds of food and necessities, petrol for boats and souvenirs.
While walking around İnle Lake, you can stop by another place where women belonging to the Kayan culture, an ethnic community unique to Myanmar. Here you can see the Red Karen Women known as the Long Neck Women. They are also known as Giraffe Girls. These women wore an average of 20 rings around their necks throughout their lives. These heavy brass rings weighing around 10 kilograms, over time, press the shoulders down and distort the shape of the body and lengthen the neck. Rings were started to be worn when they were 5-6 years old and the number of rings was increased every year.
There are many wonderful hotels built on stilts by and inside the lake. The Nga Phe Chaung temple, which is right across from here, is famous for its jumping cats, and if you have time, stop by there.
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