Blogs from Inle Lake, Mandalay Region, Burma, Asia

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Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake April 1st 2017

Wherever I go in the world, it seems that long distance buses never seem to stop for food at sensible times. 11am is a really awkward time to eat because you've only just had breakfast and it's a tad too early for lunch; likewise, 4pm is a bit too late for lunch but far too early for dinner. They never stop for long enough either, meaning you have to inhale your food if you do decide to go for any of the usual, unappetising options available. Speaking of food options, arriving in the town of Nyaungshwe, the tourist enclave for nearby Inle Lake, I had now arrived in Myanmar's Shan State and the food here is supposedly a little different, with much more of a Chinese slant to it. I therefore hunted down some local food ... read more
Floating Village
Moises & The Long-Necked Lady
Floating Gardens

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake March 15th 2017

During my past blogs I have frequently touched upon the concept of authenticity, or better the conflict between tourists looking for the "real thing" while still falling into a seemingly fabricated type of experience. In the case of Southeast Asia I have also mentioned that ending up in tourist circles is often unavaidable due to cultural and financial differences between most tourists and the local people. This time I would like to discuss a similar phenomenon. Similar, but not exactly the same - my issues with "attraction hopping". When I talk about attraction hopping I mean the intentional or unintentional ticking (and photographing) of all the flagship attractions of a certain destination. This kind of behavior is typically associated with Chinese or Asian tourists in general (the Europe in one week tours anyone?), but more frequently ... read more
Inle Lake
Inle Lake
Inle Lake

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake December 24th 2016

I'm doing this blog in 2 parts mainly because I took so many photos, but there not all on here I hasten to add! Up early (again) and this time for our Christmas Eve Boat Trip on Inle Lake, doing all the touristy stuff you do when here. However as the market is being held at In Dein we are starting there first. We were met by our boatman and after picking our way across tree roots we got to our boat and with a bit of wobbling about got into our wooden armchairs and were ready for the off, it was very exciting! You travel along a canal for about 15 minutes which takes you away from the town and out into the lake proper. The lake is vast, surrounded by high hills and mountains ... read more
Inle Lake
On the way to In Dein
In Dein Market

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake December 24th 2016

Ok so part 2 of our boat trip Whilst tootling we saw people washing and bathing in the river/lake, monks going to their monasteries and most exciting we saw (and heard) a procession taking place for a young boy who was going to join the monastery, everything involved boats and water. Our next stop was at the Hpaung Daw U Pagoda, this was fun, there was a big market under and around the pagoda, the most disgusting loos yet and in the pagoda itself on a raised platform - no ladies allowed, lots of men were sticking gold leaf onto what looked like golden blobs, apparently there are Buddhas under it all! You could even watch them doing it close up on TV monitors. Back outside again we discovered a big procession taking place (no idea ... read more
Hpaung Daw U Pagoda - Inle Lake
Inle Lake
Nga Phe Kyaung (Jumping cat monastery)

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake December 21st 2016

Ok so running behind with the blog again but the wifi was so dodgy in Burma that I decided to wait until we were back in Thailand before attempting any more. So the morning of the bus journey was an 8 am pickup so we decided to get up for sunrise and watch the hot air balloons going up - Howard had already seen this from a temple on our first morning but I've always been too tired to do it!! I have to say they were quite a sight and we counted 20 balloons up in the end, so at £300 plus person that was a lot of money in the air. Our pick up was late but we were told the bus wouldn't leave until everyone was on board and luckily this was true. ... read more
How could you fail to enjoy the ride with a name like that!
Random duck near Thazi
The road to Inle Lake

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake July 19th 2016

Well some time has passed and we are still loving Myanmar! One thing I don't love, however, is the tech take over... There are literally no Internet cafes and one is expected to have a wifi operating device and well I just don't want to be that connected while traveling. So I complain, but here I am typing a travel blog on my phone, to the sound of a monk chanting at a nearby monastery. Back to the good stuff - so we spent some time in a lovely little mountain town called Kalaw. We walked around the town, through the local market, up the surrounding hills to viewpoints and to the nearby temples and monasteries. It rained off and on for the two days we spent there, but we still really enjoyed the clean, crisp ... read more
Market - Kalaw
Market - Kalaw
City view - Kalaw

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake June 15th 2016

After the amazing adventure in Bagan, wandering around all the beautiful temples and experiencing the local and ancient culture I was keen to see more of Myanmar. Having looked online at travel blogs it seemed the common trek to do was from Kalaw to Inle Lake, but wanting to get off the beaten track and see “real” Myanmar, I followed the advice of heading a little further north to Hsipaw (pronounced see po). The travel blogs and the guide book both said that it's easy to get off the beaten path there, see a rural village and see traditional clothing etc. We got the “12 hour” bus from Bagan which actually took 14 hours! Believe me, sitting on one of those buses for 14 hours wasn't a pleasant experience. There's literally no way to get comfortable. ... read more

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake May 28th 2016

Until now I had done pretty good with my commandments, besides the photo one (one 16GB SD card was already full). But as titticaca lake in Bolivia was where I lost my camera with all photos, this lake should also hold something against me. I am not sure though if it is the lakes or just my own silliness. Anyways here is the story. So we all rented bikes on the second day to go to the winery, red mountain, which is about 20 minutes away and for some stupid reason I took my credit card with me. And for some even more stupid reason I kept it in the pocket of my jeans. Long story short, the winery was quiet disappointing (no good wine, bad service) and I must have somehow lost my credit card ... read more
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Winery

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake March 4th 2016

Wikipedia: Inle Lake (Burmese: အင်းလေးကန်, pronounced: ) is a freshwater lake located in the Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State, part of Shan Hills in Myanmar (Burma). It is the second largest lake in Myanmar with an... read more
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Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake February 29th 2016

I decided to take a Myanmar cooking class on our last day here. It was well worth it. Sue, the igniter of this programme, is an admirable woman. She has a strong desire to share her culture with foreigners, a trait she learned from her father. She is not in it for the money. Most of her profit goes to helping her extended family and to help local children get an education and a full belly. She also teaches them English with the help of foreigners who have been inspired by her vision. Her husband met us at 8 am outside the market. We followed him closely through the crowd as he shopped for ingredients for today’s class. I’m glad I tower above the locals as it was very difficult and I didn’t dare stop for ... read more
Fresh Produce
Fresh Fish
De-scaling Carp




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