We love hunting through packed market places, seeking out strange and unusual trinkets and snapping up forgotten-about treasures. Wet markets too hold an aura of fascination in foreign countries, with exotic fruits and alien vegetables creating a vista of inspirational color, smell and flavor for those brave enough to try.
Perhaps best-known for the leg-rowing fishermen that scour the lake in search of their daily catch, Inle Lake in the Taunggyi District of the Shan State of Myanmar 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.
The magnetizing lake also hosts large markets which rotate around the lake each day. As morning mists dissipate with the rising sun various regions spring to life, bustling with colorful vendors out to make their daily living.
By rotating the location of these vibrant market places, hill tribe villagers such as the black and orange outfitted Pa-O or Danu can come down from the mountains outside the lake to buy or sell their wares without having to travel long distances.
The beauty for travelers hoping to visit one of the vibrant markets is that they will therefore be in luck no matter what day they arrive. The five-day cycle follows this schedule and then repeats throughout December 2013:
Dec 1 – Nyaung Shwe, Pindaya, Hanpam, Hang See and Samga
Dec 2 – Taunggyi, Aungban and Ywa Ma Floating Market
Dec 3 – Heho, Kyone and Taung To
Dec 4 – Pwe Hla, Mine Thauth, Phaung Daw Oo and Kyauk Tine
Dec 5 – Kalaw, Shwe Nyaung, Khaung Dine, Indine and Maw Bhi
Each market is renowned for a unique characteristic or treasure. A visit to Nanpam on the lake’s southeast shore is popular for those buying bamboo for example. Indein is great if you’re seeking tourist trinkets or freshly picked tomatoes, while Khaung Dine is renowned for amazing tofu.
Many of our Backyard Travel tours around Myanmar pay visit to Inle Lake and its surrounds. Our ‘Cultural Tour of Myanmar’s Inle Lake’ for example, is a brief two-day, one-night introduction to the region and works perfectly as an add-on experience to your travels.
For a more comprehensive tour around magical Myanmar, we have several longer insider experience-packed trips, including our ‘Best of Myanmar’ and the 14-day ‘Myanmar In Depth’ tour which covers the most essential must-see sites combined with a plethora of insider experiences.
If you’d like to visit one of these fascinating markets on, around and near Inle Lake be sure to contact our Yangon-based Travel Specialists Ei Ei Thwe (Helen) or Kyaw (both pictured below) who will be delighted to help by customizing one of our tours or building you one completely from scratch to your preferences.