This picturesque Inle Lake is one of the major attractions in Myanmar. A freshwater lake and one of the largest and highest lakes in Myanmar; located at a height of 900m above sea level in Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi district of Shan state which is a part of Shan hill range, southeast of Mandalay. This 22km long lake has an average water depth of 7 feet during the dry season which rises an additional 5 feet during monsoon.
The lake is inhabited by rare species of fishes and snails which are found nowhere else and is host to thousands of brown and black headed seagulls during the winter. Around the lake there are four cities covering various villages which are inhabited by tribes, primarily Intha and a mix of other ethnicities.
The convenient way to reach Inle Lake is by flights from Yangon or Mandalay to Heho which is an hour’s ride from the lake. A reserved taxi from Heho to the resorts may cost you 30,000Kyat; hence it’s wiser to share it with fellow travelers. You can also avail the bus services from Yangon, Mandalay or Hsipaw; which are a lot cheaper. The journey will be of 13hours, 8hours and 16hours respectively, costing you $10-$20. As a foreign national you will have to pay a US$5 entry fee to stay at the lake and it may increase to $10 soon.
For Inle Lake, you can either stay in NyaungShwe or you can stay on the lake. To go around the villages and witness unique local cultural activities and markets it’s advisable to stay in NyaungShwe and rent a bicycle or motorbike, for 1000-1500Kyat a day. A boat trip or a day tour of the lake for 10000-15000Kyat is a must with a visit to the floating market to get your hands on handmade cigars. Go day hiking around the surrounding hills for another 10000Kyat per person or if you have time go to Kalaw for an awesome hiking experience; then to Red Mountain Winery for that brilliant sunset view. A trip to Inle Lake will keep you busy but is a cherishing experience.
Inle Lake is a beautiful highland lake located right at the heart of Shan state. The 10 kilometer broad and the 22 kilometer long blue lake looks amazing with mountains as a backdrop. Inthas are the famous lake dwellers in this region. They are a group of people who live their life off the lake and are known for leg rowing.
Tourist attractions around the lake include Alodaw Pauk Pagoda, five days market, floating gardens and a blacksmith workshop. Floating gardens are unique to this part of Myanmar as the native In-Thars grow their fruits and vegetables on a stretch of weeds which can be dragged along with the boat.
The Inle Lake area is frequented by travelers from across the globe. All types of accommodation are available from luxurious resorts with villas and cottages to economy hotels. Below is a list of all kinds of hotels in the Inle Lake area.