Admire the beauty of lake
Tourists flock to Inle Lake to see the lake and for good reason: it’s one of the most stunning lakes in the world and the stilt houses and Buddhist temples rising from the water only add to its appeal. Emerging from the marshy reeds the lake is dotted with villages on stilts,and the calm waters appear like glass reflecting the surrounding beauty.
Meet the cats of Myanmar
The ordinary house cat is an important part of Burmese culture, and almost every house on Inle Lake has one. If you're missing your own house cat while traveling abroad, Inle Lake offers two unique ways to get your fill of feline companionship during your trip.
To see fun cat tricks, visit the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, which is popularly known as the "Jumping Cat Monastery" thanks to the resident monks that once trained the cats to jump through hoops. Unfortunately, when the last head monk died in 2014, the practice of training cats was retired by the new head of the monastery. Although the number of cat shows has dwindled to near non-existence in recent years as a result, you can still see these acrobatic felines when visiting Nga Phe Kyaung.
Take a boat ride
The best way to experience Inle Lake is to take a ride on one of the slender long-tail wooden boats used by the locals. The sleek boats are equipped with powerful long-tailed outboard motors and skim across the lake at terrific speed leaving a distinctive spray in their wake. Jetting across Inle Lake was one of the highlights of our Myanmar adventure. Experiencing the silence and peace of the lake as dawn break is an absolute privilege as watching local village life while floating.
Visit Floating garden
Although there are floating gardens in other parts of Southeast Asia, no other place contains gardens as spectacular and picturesque as Inle Lake. The local people who live in the stilted villages surrounding the lake use charming floating gardens to grow vegetables and fruit for their traditional cuisine. The biggest and most extensive gardens are located on the northwest portion of the lake where the lush greenery spreads out in rows far past the houses. Locals can be seen tending the flourishing gardens daily from their small wooden boats.
Some of the oldest gardens are even firm enough to walk on, because roots from the plants have spread down to the lake bottom and keep the gardens firm.
Discover the long-neck women of Kayan
The Kayan people are native to northern Myanmar where the women wear large brass neck rings. The practice starts as young children when rings are worn to deform the collar bones and upper ribs which, over time, creates the appearance of a stretched neck leading to a very distinctive look. It is possible to see some of these women weaving cloth at the many crafts shops.
Visit Red Mountain Estate Vineyards & Winery
A visit to the Red Mountain Estate Vineyards & Winery is the perfect way to end a day exploring the area surrounding Inle Lake. Many visitors steer clear in fear that the glasses will cost an ungodly amount of kyat, as the winery is nestled up between stunning gardens, colorful foliage, and rolling mountains scenery that would certainly cost a fortune to enjoy anywhere else.