Inle Lake

inlelake

Inle Lake, the natural second largest one located in Western Shan Plateau, is a site of an aquatic landscape. Inle Lake is roughly 14 miles long by 4 miles wide and is situated at 2950 feet above sea level, with an average depth of about 5 feet and a maximum depth of 10 feet.

The lake is the home to the Intha people famous for its leg-rowing fisherman, who stand upright at the stern of their boats and paddle with one leg wrapped around the oar, and do their fishing with conical fish traps that are thrust into the water and held down with one foot while the netting is freed from the conical frame with a pole. Many of whom live off the lake by farming, “floating gardens” made up of aquatic vegetation, composted foliage and soil which is staked to the lake bottom with bamboo poles.

The lake is also well-known for its “rotating market runs on a five-day cycle” with Shan ethnic people; its artisans, and its cottage factories that produce hand-woven silk and fabric, Shan bags, jewelry, hand-formed metal work and cheroot. The lake is idyllic, with thatched huts perched on stilts above the water across thick mats of floating hyacinths and floating gardens segregated by bamboo fencing with their images mirrored in the still water.

The highlight of the trip to Inle Lake is Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, which contains Buddha images that have had so much gold leaf rubbed on them that they almost look like gilded eggs; the hand-woven silk factory; the blacksmith shop; the Cheroot factory; the silversmith shop and Ngaphechaung monastery known as jumping cats monastery with the collection of old ware religious artifacts.

Intha are totally Buddhist so that Phaung Daw Oo pagoda festival is the most majestic held in late September and early October. The four of five Buddha images do a round tour within the lake and it is very splendid.

Indein Pagoda located at the western part of the lake is surrounded by the cluster of ancient stupas in the bushes. Indein Pagoda compound can be accessed along narrow creek and along the way you could observe county type - the farms, buffalos and kids who are washing and swimming in the creek.

 

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