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Inle Lake – Capturing the Essence of Myanmar’s Natural and Cultural Beauty

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Perhaps one of Myanmar’s most ecologically diverse areas with colorful rural life to match lies in and around Inle Lake. A trip here truly encompasses everything about the country. With charming culture, impressive biodiversity, calm waters, mist-covered mountains and green floating gardens, Inle Lake should be in everybody’s itinerary visiting this beautiful country.

For such an important body of water, Inle Lake is surprisingly not that large. It has a surface area of 116 square kilometers. It is also one of Myanmar’s highest bodies of water, with its elevation of 880 meters above sea level. Despite its small size, there are still plenty of unique animals here. Over twenty species of snails and nine species of fish are found nowhere else in the world.

Inle Lake is also home to several cottage industries and none as prominent as the area’s splendid silk and cotton weaving. Inle’s weavers are renowned for their beauty and intricate designs of their handicrafts which consist of its own unique and recognizable style.

Inthas (native lake dwellers) move about on the lake in their boats with a unique one-legged rowing technique. Yes, go on ahead and rub your eyes if you need to, but these guys and girls do paddle their boats with their legs. The reasons? Well, it could be that the weeds here can grow pretty tall. And another is that from a standing position, it is easier to spot fish swimming in the waters.

So, what else is interesting here? If you like little kitties, then check out the jumping cats at Nga Phe Chaung Monastery. The monks there decided to train cats to jump through hoops so to pass the time. Don’t be surprised if the monk is giving you life advice while holding a hoop for the feline to jump through in one hand! Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is renowned for its 19 day festival which is usually held at the lake every October at the end of Buddhist Lent. Another interesting site is at Shew Indein Pagoda, where you will have to ascend a covered stairway. Once you reach up to the top, let hundreds of ancient stupas wow you.

If you like the outdoors, well, you’re certainly at the right place. The area surrounding the lake makes for a good walk or bike experience. There are also some hot springs on its northwestern shore, a great place for an afternoon break.

Lend a helping hand while you’re in Inle Lake. Our House Building on Inle Lake provides you an opportunity to help an underprivileged family in the Inle Lake area. Help build a house for a family and spend time with children at a local school in this one day trip that is sure to make a difference for many in the area.

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