Boat Trip | Inle Lake @ Nyaung Shwe Township, Myanmar [ Burma ]

By : Chha

From Yangon, Myanmar, i travel directly to Inle Lake by taking VIP Bus and arrived at Nyaung Shwe Township at around 5.20 am. In order to enter Nyaung Shwe Township, tourist will need to pay $ 10.00 per person, someone come up to our bus and collected the money. Once arrive at Nyaung Shwe Township, the moment i step out from the bus, there is already people waiting and asking if i would like to take taxi or any other transport to my hotel or directly to the boat trip ? After asking around, i decided to take this ..

Which only cost me Ks 2000 per person directly to my hotel for the night which is Song Of Travel Hostel at Nyaung Shwe, Inle Lake. At hotel i drop my bag and had breakfast by eating the bread i keep from the VIP Bus that i took to come to Inle Lake.

Song Of Travel Hostel is only approximately 2 km walk away from the Boat Trip 'Ferry Terminal' area, with that, i decided to walk all the way there. When approaching the 'Ferry Terminal', there are already people asking and offering boat trip with few different prices.

After asking for awhile, i decided to go with the one i feel most suitable which cost Ks 18000 per boat and one boat is capable of carrying up to five passengers, who get padded seats and life jackets. With this price you can actually choose where you would like to visit by negotiating with the boat driver. Many trips start early in the morning, when the light is great for photos. During the day it gets very hot, remember to bring a hat, water and plenty of sunscreen.

Inle Lake | Things To See :
  • The Iconic 'One-Legged' Fisherman

The fisherman stands on one leg like a flamingo and wraps his other leg around the oar. By rotating his leg the blade of the oar moves the boat along. After a short distance the fisherman becomes completely still and effortlessly balanced. Fully immersed in seemingly unconscious meditations the fisherman looks outward upon the vast expanse of water and lifts his conical net basket into the air before plunging it into the water. As my boat goes closer to the fisherman, they will strike some pose and demonstrate how they balance themselves at the edge of the boat, after that they come close to me to request for some tips. The tips is depending on how much you wish to give, i have Ks 1000 per person. This upright position is not just for show. It has a number of practical advantages and all the fisherman here at Inle Lake practice this method of fishing.

Even kids are well train into fishing like this. Really something unique to see.
  • Silversmiths

My first stop here at Inle Lake is the Silversmiths shop. Here is where items from silver are made by hand.

The moment i step into the Silversmiths shop, i was greeted with a cup of local Myanmar tea by the worker there. The worker there at the Silversmiths explain in details on how the Silverware there were made and how they obtain the materials.

Here at the Silversmiths shop, you can also buy a lot of Silverware items. To me, i personally think that the price here is slightly more expensive compare to other place.
  • Lotus Hand Weaving

Traditional handicrafts are an important part of the local economy here in Inle Lake and you will get to see many hand craft shop selling and making hand made items. My next stop for this boat trip is to a hand weaving center.

At the hand weaving center, they will show you how hand weaving are done by using lotus.

  • Nam Pan Market
Nam Pan Market is a large and much visited village market which is located near to the end of Inle Lake. This is not a floating market, Nam Pan Market itself takes place on dry land. This is another very popular market with visitors and the boat might get traffic jams during high season.

Nam Pan Market sells a lot of souvenirs for tourist which you can negotiate if you wish to buy. Nam Pan Market also sell some light snacks, cloths and drinks.

  • Hand Made Boat And Cheroot

Located at the same place, the boat and cheroot making is also another interesting place to visit here at Inle Lake. Cheroot is a traditional local cigar which is hand made by the locals here, this is a famous cigar at Inle Lake and i can see many of the locals are smoking the Cheroot. While the boat making area offers very informative input for tourist on how all the boat at Inle Lake are made.
  • Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is a notable Buddhist site in Inle Lake. Surrounding the Pagoda and in the basement are shops selling traditional Shan and Burmese merchandise. The pagoda houses five small gilded images of Buddha which have been covered in gold leaf. There is also market place behind Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda where you can also find food.

  • Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery

Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery or also known as The Jumping Cat Monastery is both the biggest and oldest monastery in Inle Lake. I  didn't know about this little fact during my visit there until i started google-ing for information about it. Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery get its name as the Jumping Cat Monastery is because of the cats that are living there can jump over little hoops as requested. Those Jumping Cats have been trained by the monks to perform the little tricks of which i think is kinda special but i did not see this during my visit, worst yet, i did not see any cat .. haha !

Actually, without those Jumping Cat tricks, Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery is just a very normal Monastery with nothing interesting to see. I was told that the Jumping Cat tricks ended few years ago. So, unless you are interested on the history behind Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery or you like shopping, as there is a small market place just beside Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, then this place is not worth spending time to visit.

  • The Floating Garden

Since everything at Inle Lake is on water, since it is a lake, that makes no exception for their garden too. A very special garden which is floating on water. This is something new for me, i wonder how they are able to plant fruits and vegetables on water ? The one i saw, is the area where the farmers here plant tomatoes.

A boat trip at Inle Lake is informative and interesting if you wish to learn and explore something new. What i find interesting is to get the chance to see how fisherman catch their fish with only one leg standing on their boat, the huge floating garden of tomatoes and the chance to learn few new things of how weaving is done, cheroot and silverware are made. This boat trip takes me one whole day to complete, the boat driver will bring us for lunch but it is not included in the boat fee that we pay earlier.

There is still one place that i wish to go, which is the Indein Pagodas, for me, i think that this place is worth a visit. Indein Pagodas is slightly further downstream and is a bit far too, which means you need to pay extra for the boat driver to bring you there. I was willing to pay the total boat trip of Ks 25000 which include Indein Pagodas but i was disappointed when the boat driver told me that the water level leading to Indein Pagodas is too low for out boat to enter on that day, therefore we have to cancel our trip there. I am not sure if Ks 25000 for a boat trip which include Indein Pagodas is cheap or expensive but you can always negotiate with the boat driver to get your preferred price or the price you feel reasonable.

Map : ( Inle Lake Boat Rental Area )

GPS Coordinate :
20.660753, 96.925131

Visited : April 2017

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Posted Date : 10 April 2016
Posted Time : 4.42 am