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 DAY 23 - Inle, Myanmar (Burma)

Previous Blogs: Day 1 Tokyo | Day 2 Tokyo | Day 3 & 4 Singapore | Day 5 Singapore | Day 6 Ho Chi Minh City | Day 7 Ho Chi Minh City & Tunnels

Day 8 Can Tho | Day 9 Floating Market | Day 10 Flower Market | Day 11 Hoi An | Day 12 My Son Temple | Day 13 Hanoi | Day 14-16 Halong Bay

Day 17 Luang Prabang | Day 18 Temples-Waterfalls | Day 19 Mekong River | Day 20-21 Bagan | Day 22 Bagan | Day 23 Inle | Day24-25 Inle

Click photos for a larger image...

We flew from Bagan to Inle in a Myanmar National Airlines ATR72 - 45 minute flight. YOU need to fly even short distances because the roads are so bad that driving 100 miles could take all day.

Our private tour guide and driver met us and then it was a 45 minute drive to the lake with a few stops along the way. You know you are in the backwoods when you run into a herd of cows on the main road.

First stop was a visit to a local market. which is always fun and interesting.


This is the local Taxi - a tractor with a couple benches in the back.

<<<<, Cooking oil and firewood very important, because EVERYTHING is fried in pans on a wood fire.

Next stop was at a monastery.  It was built in 1889.

Novices (Junior Monks) - boys 10-12 years old all do at least a couple months in the monastery before they go out into the world.

Then it was time to, yet again, climb into a boat for a lake tour

The boats are long and skinny powered by a simple single cylinder diesel that is started by hand crank

The tiller not only steers the boat but allows you to raise and lower the propeller shaft to what ever height you want.

The local fishermen use a unique system of paddling with their foot. They wrap their leg around the paddle making circular turns to move the boat forward balancing on their other leg and operating their nets with their hands.
Lunch as at a waterfront restaurant built on stilts
Next was a visit to a fisherman's village - there are 400 villages on the lake built out on stilts over the water. The fisherman hang nets below their houses to keep their catch alive and fresh for the market.
Everyone gets around by boat - even kids going to school because their school is built out over the water too!
These are floating farms, soil is placed on rafts and they grow all kinds of crops floating out in the middle of the lake.
We visited several handicraft places on the water including umbrella makers, silk made from lotus plant, blacksmith, silversmith and boat makers. The boats we rode in are made by hand and cost $3500 with engine installed.

Longneck women weaving from the Kirin Tribe

NO visit in Southeast Asia is complete unless you visit at least one temple

This monastery has about 40 cats (who eat rice). They used to perform and were trained by the monks to jump and do tricks.  Unfortunately the government stopped them because they felt it was behavior not fitting to a monk.  Geeesh, monks just wanna have fun too!

Then it was time to go to our hotel which is also built out on the water and you can only get to by boat.

Landing dock and reception

Our room

View from our patio

Inside very spacious

Here is a video I shot of the boat ride.

Today nothing was planned for tours so we are just lounging around, staring at the lake and watching the one legged fishermen.  This actually worked out perfect as I have caught a terrible cold and feel like crap.  Time for a beer, a nap and tomorrow is another action packed day touring the sights and flying back to Yangon.