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Published: April 19th 2016
Flight to Inle
Looking down over the Ayeyarwady River following our takeoff.
Day 21-Sunday-January 31 This morning we checked out of the Sule Shangri-La and got on the bus for the airport at 8:30 to catch our flight at 11:00 to Inle Lake. Inle Lake is located in the heart of the Shan Plateau. It is a beautiful highland lake, 2,950 feet above sea level. The lake is 13.7 miles long and 6.2 miles across, and inhabited by many different ethnic nationals of the area. The Intha people are the lake dwellers who are unique for their leg rowing. Leg rowed traditional boats are the main ceremonial attractions of Inle Lake. The Intha people are hard-working. Cigar-rolling and weaving are the women's work. One tradition says that the Intha people living on Lake Inle are the descendants of those who fled from Dawei, about 500 miles to the South, in order to escape war during the 18th century. "Intha" means "Children of the Lake", and its language closely resembles Burmese.
The people of Inle Lake, by childhood, are already veterans at swimming and boating.
Unfortunately our plane was about an hour late in arriving at the Yangon Airport so we were late in departing for Heho Airport. After arriving we boarded
The Heho Airport, where we landed in the Inle region.
our buses for Inle Lake. On the way to our hotel which was about a 45 minute, we had two stops; first at the Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery. It is just outside Nyaung Shwe
and and is a fascinating wooden monastery built in the early 19th
Century. It is a very interesting, old, red painted teak wood and raised building with a unique exterior design. It includes oval windows and richly decorated with mosaics and golden ornaments. We took off our shoes & socks and entered to see many young boys (novices) studying on the floor and several were playing with a kitten. The monastery has several rooms that appear to include a general room probably where they sleep, a kitchen, an eating area, a central area that includes numerous Buddha statues and the study area. There was also a building across a courtyard that was probably a school. After about 20 minutes we re-boarded the bus and went to the Red Mountain Winery for a wine tasting…yes, they are making wine in Myanmar too. It‘s a pretty winery nestled in an area overlooking the mountain range. This is one of two wineries in the country. It was established in 2005
The bags from our group get transferred to the bus.
and they have about 150 acres of grapes. Their winemaker is from France and they produce 4 reds and 4 whites. We got a quick tour of the winery before we tasted 2 reds and 2 whites. Let’s just say that they have a little ways to go before they’ll compete with our California wines.
Following our tasting, it was back on the bus for our ride to the Novotel Hotel, where we will spend 3 nights on Inle Lake. It’s a very nice hotel complex with spacious individual bungalows. They have an on-site spa and Sunset Bar overlooking a quiet and picturesque part of the lake that we will enjoy. We got settled into our room and then enjoyed a drink with some of our mates on the deck of the Sunset Bar and watched the sun go down.
After sunset we went up to the nice and colorful restaurant. They offer a very nice buffet or ala carte menu. We chose the menu option. We enjoyed a nice dinner and called it a night…kind of. When we initially got to our room this afternoon, Ye Min said we should turn on the heater because it gets
Ye Min and Duli
Overseeing our transfer to the bus.
cold at night…so we did. When we got back to our room after dinner and prepared for bed it was still real cold in our room and Doug increased the temperature…no luck, it just seemed to keep blowing cool air. So we climbed under our mosquito netting and covers, and went to sleep. It didn’t seem to get any warmer as the night went through.
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