Published: April 14th 2012January 21st 2012
The start of our boat trip
Today was a fantastic day! Our night in the Lucky Bright Hotel was quiet and the breakfast they served was big and delicious.
We booked a driver and his boat to take us around Inle Lake for the day. Our boat was 14 000 Kyat for 5 people - just under $20 dollars. The boat itself was super comfortable. We had huge chairs with cushions on the seats and blankets to keep us warm. It was really chilly on the lake in the morning so the blankets were really useful!
To start the day we drove almost an hour from Nyaungshwe
to the south end of the lake. On our way we saw fisherman net fishing. The fisherman on Inle Lake are known for their distinctive rowing style. This involves standing at the back of the boat on one leg and wrapping their other leg around their paddle. They do this to see better since Inle Lake is covered with reeds and floating plants.
Our stops in Inle Lake were:
1. The big 5 day market at the south end where tribes from all over gather to sell their goods (textiles, foods, etc).
2. Blacksmith: it
was very cool to see them making knives by hand.
3. A huge pagoda: women weren't allowed at the very top.
4. Lunch: It wasn't that great compared to some of the stuff we have had on the trip so far. I think it was because our driver took us to a restaraunt specifically for tourists.
5. Silverware: there is a lot of silver in Shan State. They make everything by hand here including a special type of fish, nga hpein,
6. Longneck Tribe: We saw a few Karen (or Karenni) women here who put the heavy brass rings around their necks.
7. Floating Gardens: The locals grow vegetables and fruit in large gardens that float on the surface of the lake. The gardens have a constant source of nutrients from the lake water and are resistant to flooding (the lake's depth can change up to 5 feet depending on the season!).
8. Jumping Cat Monastary: I had been looking forward to this place ever since I read about it a few years ago. Its basically a monastary where in their free time the monks train their cats to jump through hoops.
All I know is that the next cat I have will be jumping through hoops!
Overall, the boat trip was amazing! It was super relaxing and we were able to see a ton of different places.
That night we went back to the same restaurant we found the night before (by mistake while looking for the night market) and the family was SO happy to see us and very excited that we brought more people.
After dinner I ordered a banana chapati and milk tea. It was my first milk tea and it was delicious!
There are more photos below