Inle Lake is situated in the hilly Shan State in the eastern part of Myanmar. With an elevation of 900 meters above sea-level, it is one of the main tourist attractions in Myanmar. The lake, 22 km long and 10 km wide, has a population of some 150,000, many of whom live on floating islands of vegetation. Inle Lake, natural and unpolluted, is famous for its scenic beauty and the unique leg-rowing of the Inthas, the native lake-dwellers. Moreover, floating villages, colorful daily floating market and Inle Spa are places worthy of visit. The festival of Phaung-daw-Oo Pagoda in Inle Lake held during October is full of pageantry and colorful splendor.
The most convenient way is to fly from Yangon to Heho, which is the nearest airport to the lake. There are daily flights to Heho which take about an hour. If you are flying from Mandalay to Heho, it takes only 20 minutes. Traveling by car along the uphill and winding road over the Shan Plateau is interesting and well-worth taking although it takes long hours. There is also a regular train service via Thazi Junction to Heho and Shwenyaung, the nearest station to the lake
Ngaphechaung Monastery (Famous Jumping cat monastery).Out in the open lake is a monastery with 157 years` history.Supported by 654 teak pillars of which 200 are gilded in gold,it houses 6 golden Buddha stat-use of varying sizes.
Phaung Daw Oo Festival Once a year the peaceful scenery at Inle Lake is filled with joy and excitement. The famous Phaung Daw Oo Festival which is held at the lake every October. The procession start at the end of Buddhist Lent and it goes on for about 19 days till the Karaweik (water bird), and the four Buddha images are rowed back to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. The procession of the Inle leg-rowers in full pageantry and plendour
On the Western banksof Inle Lake stands Shwe Indein Pagoda complex, where hundreds of Shan style stupas nestle in the hills. A long covered and pillared walkway leads to the main shrine.Enchanting legends surround this beautifully tranquil place, with no records of when it was built, or who the obviously wealthy patron were.
Ywama is the largest village on the Lake; its streets are a web of canals. There are some beautiful teak houses built on large wooden piles driven into the lake bed. The main activity and attraction center at the floating market in the largest canal.
Around Inle Lake
Kakku is a hidden treasure an unusual, magnificent collection of Buddhist Stupas unheard of by historians and unlisted in guide books lies in the deepest Pa-oh territory, 26 miles south of Taunggyi the capital of Shan State. There lies more than 2000 stupas in a site closely packed together in ranks covering an area of approximately a square kilometer apparently unknown to outside world. Kakku area is covered and scattered by Pa-oh villages especially stretching along on both sides of the main road from north to south.
The land route for tour groups starting from Taunggyi is possible and accessible for all year round. But tours originated from Inle Lake are considered to be possible only in the open season from late October to early May or before heavy rain falls. The yearly religious festival normally takes about one week. The climax of this festival usually falls on fullmoon of the Tabaung (Mid-March) every year. The Kakku pagodas festival also draws thousands of visitors from all parts of the Shan State.
A boat trip to the village of Sagar is beyond your imagination. Gazing at the blue hazy mountains, feeding groups of water birds that are chattering here and there on the Lake, scattering floating vegetations and happy-and-content Inthas (native to the Lake Inle) in their leg-rowing small boats .. are some unique spices appetizing those who are hungry for nature and cleanly environs.
The Sagar village, once must have been a thriving town of Sawbwa (the heredity prince), is a place of unexplored. All are intact and unspoiled. Reach up the Sagar village which takes a half-day boat ride. There you find blushing faces of Pa-O tribe, welcoming smiles of the villagers amidst the dotting religious buildings (pagodas & monasteries). Witness the two Ms (Maze & Mystery) there and let the solution be found in your own tune when you come in Sagar.