‘Minglabar’ Inle Lake! Inle Lake provides sustenance to the local hill tribes of the region and is the center of the areas ecosystem. A deep body of water, the freshwater lake is surrounded by the looming Shan Mountains and is home to floating gardens and rural villages, all of which can be explored by boat.
Your local Backyard Travel guide will meet you at your hotel this morning and escort you to board your private motorboat, which is decked out with cushioned seats, lifejackets and umbrellas for protection from the sun or rain, depending on the season, as well as blankets in the winter.
Your excursion will start at a morning market (the earlier your departure time the better), that changes its location around the lake on a five-day basis. Here the communities which inhabit the lake region, including local hill tribes such as the Pa-Oh, Intha and Shan people, all come to trade their handmade wares and farmed goods with each other.
The markets are bustling hives of activity with many interesting sights on offer. If you are here on a dark moon or full moon however, there may not be a market depending on the lunar cycle.
From the market you will then continue to the center of Inle Lake in your private motorboat, passing floating garden houses built on stilts inhabited by the local Intha People, and the famous ‘leg-rowing’ fishermen who make their living from the lake’s plentiful supply of fish.
Next you will head to Khaung Daing Village on the western shore of the lake, a village famous for their Shan tofu specialties including fried tofu crackers and other tofu treats. If you’re fortunate you may also be able to observe the production process of some of the snacks and see their secret tricks and techniques.
Your culinary adventure of Inle Lake will continue to the local house of an Intha family who will welcome you to learn how to prepare a traditional-style lunch made using fresh, local ingredients. The family of cooks will share their techniques, passed down through generations, and explain about the local produce and its purpose in each dish. Once you’ve assisted in the preparation of the feast, you will sit down together and enjoy a delicious lunch.
Sated and happy, your tour will then continue to Maing Thuak Village where you can choose to be driven by car or embark upon a guided bike ride to take you to your next destination, Nyaung Shwe, the road to which passes by numerous sugar cane, corn and vegetable farms. Depending on the season, long the way you’ll take a break to observe the processing of molasses or perhaps the harvesting of local produce or planting for next year’s crop.