Get in touch with nature at Inle Lake, a scenic paradise that has stolen the hearts of many. To start your journey, hop on a boat (boat tours are aplenty!) to get a more holistic experience of Inle’s bustling sights and sounds.
Once you’re safely afloat, you’ll notice that this 5 kilometre long canal features a breathtaking amount of incredible scenery from floating fields to flower gardens. Anchored to the lake with bamboo poles, these floating gardens sprout an interesting mix of flowers, tomatoes, chilies, cauliflowers and more.
And if you’re in time for the floating market, you may chance upon seasoned lotus silk weavers. A sacred plant in Buddhism (the religion of many Inle residents), the lotus is also seen as a strong symbol for possibilities in life. As a start, the stem of the lotus plant is pulled into halves, before delicate threads are gently picked out. These threads are then made into a variety of pouches, scarves and many other gorgeous handcrafted items which you can bring home to your loved ones at reasonable prices.
Similarly too, skilful silversmiths are dominant in the Inle area. Many take part in the floating market, and can be seen proudly displaying their handcrafted jewellery aboard small boats. When they’re not at the market, these villagers usually live and work on homes and buildings above the lake – doing their part to keep Inle as majestic as it is.
Inle also plays home to the friendly Intha people and other ethnic minorities. Among these friendly faces, you’d be able to spot women with very long necks covered by bronze necklaces. If you strike a conversation with them, some will tell you that the reasons for this custom stem from legend; where a heroic tribe leader stopped a ferocious tiger from breaking the necks of all girls born on Wednesdays by making them wear magic necklaces. Others may tell you a grimmer story; that their necks are wrapped with bronze to make themselves uglier and avoid human trafficking. Whatever the reasons, these steadfast yet stunning women are truly a sight to behold.
And if you’re observant enough, you’ll also notice fishermen who row their boats their boats in a rather peculiar way - with their legs! We’ve been told that this method of rowing has long been a special tradition, unique to Inle. Also, as an insider’s tip, do aim for September and October if you’re planning a trip to Inle to avoid missing the ceremonial Hpaung Daw U Festival which spans three weeks, or the Thadingyut festival of lights too.
Be sure to catch the best of Inle on your trip! Get there with Dignitas today. Book your ride here!