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Lovely Things To Do in Inle Lake, Myanmar

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Located in the Shan state of Myanmar, Inle Lake is a huge freshwater lake. It is surrounded by mountain ranges from all sides.

Measuring twenty-two(22) kilometer long by eleven(11) kilometer wide, Inle Lake seemed so big that it reminded me of Lake Titicaca that is shared between Bolivia and Peru. People inhabit both these lakes.

While I was trying to find the things to do in Inle Lake Myanmar, only a few travelers talked about visiting the Shan, Intha, Padaung, and Pa-O communities that live on, around, and above the lake in the mountains that so gloriously encircle the lake.

So what was the highlight of the Lake Inle as per most of the people?

I had seen traveler’s feed stuffed with Inle lake fishermen balancing a conical net on their one feet while the other leg rested on the stern of a long wooden canoe that is ubiquitous on the lake. In other Inle pictures, I had seen frail men maneuvering the wooden oar with one leg and their other leg perched on the stern.

This is what I mean.

things to do in inle lake myanmar
And this.

While the legs were doing most of the action, their hands were busy throwing the nets, and eyes were always searching for shoals of fish. 

One evening, while watching a golden sunset over the river Irrawady in Mandalay, I saw a fisherman hitting the water hard with a wooden stick. Later, I understood (and read) that he was trying to scare the fish so they hustled and got into his fishing net.

Who are these fishermen?

Inthas are the Tibeto-Burman fishing families that you would see living on the lake. I saw women rowing the boats as well, but I didn’t find even one woman rowing with her leg. This difference in the Myanmar culture again underlined how similar Asian countries are, for even in India, in general, mostly men are seen doing adventurous/risky stuff. Because from early on, the women were told not to venture into anything too offbeat. 

RELATED READ: My complete guide to Myanmar visa for Indians

In the two days that I lived in the township of Nyaung Shwe, the access point for the lake, I spent hours touring the lake on a boat and saw the local life from up close.

Fishing is an integral part of the lake. Shoals of large and small fish swim in the waters wading through the hyacinth that once was absent from the lake. This foliage that covers the lake has made the Inthas discover this unique leg-rowing technique, that is practiced only in Inle Lake in Myanmar, for they can see the fish better when they stand. 


Inthas are known to be self-sufficient by fishing and maintaining floating gardens to harvest tomato and other products. If you go on an Inle Lake boat tour, you would find them minding their own business, washing clothes, bathing, working in their floating fields, fishing, carrying reeds from one place to another, or busy in lotus weaving or mending silver jewelry and other traditional handicraft practices.

I found most of the lake people quite reserved, and they didn’t smile as much as they did in the other places in Burma.

Inthas’ reserved behavior went in line with how Norman Lewis had described the Shans in his book Golden Earth – Travels in Burma. Even though he never mentioned visiting Inle lake, he found the Shans (whom he met in Lashio in the Shan state) to be peaceful, polite, and aloof. 


The lake has many floating villages, and a few villages were even half on land. Villages are made up of wooden stilt houses. One or two canoes that let the people move around the lake can be always found resting outside the house.

Sometimes you would also see women washing clothes, bathing their children, cleaning vegetables on these canoes. 

The villages and the floating gardens on the lake are connected through a labyrinth of narrow canals running in and out of villages. 


The stilt houses of the lake made me nostalgic about the wooden stilt houses of Castro, the capital city of the island in Chile where I spent about 5 months. Unlike Castro, each house of the lake Inle was also surrounded by a garden that the family can be seen to tend dearly. 

Most of the houses had balconies.

The life of the Inthas and other communities that inhabit the lake is interesting, and you would be always tempted to click a picture or two. But I made sure to never point my camera at anyone. The zoom feature of my Nikon helped me capture the local life from far, with mostly their faces turned the other way round, or I politely asked permission to click a picture. 

With the regular influx of tourists that visit the lake, the locals must feel that their life and houses are put on a show. All day-long they see travelers cruising around their houses clicking pictures, looking at them, and admiring their homes.

Maybe trying to maintain a private life amongst hoards of tourists has made the lake people appear distant?

teak wood canoe inle lake

Myanmar is not an offbeat-tourist country now. Compared to a mere .7 million people in 2008, more than 3.5 million people visited Burma in 2018. The numbers are expected to be more in 2019 (public account not available yet). 

But due to the long political struggle of Myanmar, tourism hasn’t been able to dig into the nooks and corners of the country. You can visit remote states, villages, and forests but only with local guides and tourism companies. 

On the second day, I wanted to hike to a village in any of the hills around the lake. 

I hiked to the Red Mountain Estate winery, close to the mountains, hoping to ask for information there and get to a village nearby. But when I reached the winery, a guide there told me that I couldn’t find a village or venture into the hills without a guide. 

There was so much to see and absorb on and around Inle lake that I shouldn’t regret not doing the hike. I spent the next day also on the boat, spending time around the pool in my hotel, and eating.


Now let me get started with the Inle Lake things to do list for I have much to talk about.

Things to do in Inle Lake Myanmar

1. Take an Inle Lake Boat Tour — An Inle lake boat trip is the perfect way to start your Inle trip


Finding a boat that will take you around the lake Inle isn’t hard. Your accommodation in Inle can find a tour for you or come out of your hotel and walk towards the bridge in Nyaung Shwe, from where most of these boat trips start.

Several boatmen would rush to you to take you on a tour. The standard price for a tour is about 10,000 Myanmar kyats, and the tour takes you on a standard set of destinations. We hired almost the first boatman who approached us, and our boat trip lasted for about 5-6 hours.

The trick is to customize the tour so that you can pick and choose the places you prefer. I suggest you note down a list of places you wish to see and then let the boatman know the names. 

I have already spoken in detail about the Intha fishermen who set the first few frames of our lake tour. The sky was a light blue, the hills in the background also seemed blueish, and while the water rippled underneath, Intha fishermen moved like shadows along with their narrow boats. 

In the morning, most of them fished with nets, their leg constantly engaged on the oar, hands ready to spread the net, and their gaze fixed afar.


We slowed down around these fishing boats and let time pass slow and steady matching the rhythm and the patience of the fishermen.

And when we had seen one of the rarest kinds of fishing techniques, our guide sped up to take us to some destinations he had on his mind.

Internet is filled with the number of places you can see on the Lago Inle, but here are some of the standard set of places that the boatmen brings the tourists to — Lotus, silk, and cotton hand-weaving center, cheroot cigar factory, teak wood boats workshop, Padaung hand weaving center, Phaungdawoo Pagoda and the Nga Hpe Kyaung or popularly known as Jumping Cat Monastery, silversmith workshop, floating gardens, and Maing Thauk Village. 


Though some places such as lotus weaving center and the cigar making were ingenious and totally worth visiting to understand how these practices are done despite some of them being hard, places like the jumping cat monastery could have been missed as it was crowded and didn’t offer a different experience from any other monastery that you might have already seen on your Burma trip. 

I felt the same way about the Phaungdawoo Pagoda, too. But if you do end up going to the pagoda, find a local place in the compound to eat some Shan soup and make the best of your time.

jumping cat monastery inle lake
The jumping cat monastery

At the lotus hand-weaving center you can see a thin thread being taken out of the lotus stem and then rolled over and over onto other lotus threads meticulously to form a spool in a process that would take at least a few hours. Then these yarns of thread would be weaved into pure lotus or lotus plus cotton mixed longyis, shawls, skirts, caps, and other clothing. 

Who would have thought lotus can be weaved into clothes?

lotus weaving center lake inle burma

At the Cheroot cigar making factory women would be seen rolling tobacco into the cigars while laughing on some inside story. The smell of the tobacco made my head swing a bit so I left swiftly.


Some of the visits were even embarrassing such as a stop at the Padaung weaving center where the elongated-neck Padaung ladies from the Karen state were put on a tourist show as groups of tourists came in, photographed them, and left.

padaung woman painting kayah state
Painting of a Padaung woman
padaung woman long neck tribe inle lake

You must have seen these pictures before. These brass rings that they wear around their necks are added on every year when the girls are growing. Every year a new ring is added. 

As their age increases, the number of rings and the weight of the rings increase. With such a heavyweight, the shoulders and the ribs cages are compressed and the neck seems longer.

The guide told us that it was initially done to protect the women from tigers for the neck is the body part that a tiger always clutched at. But there are multiple stories around the internet about the origin of these rings – to avoid slave trade, to look more beautiful to men, are amongst some other reasons apart from the tiger attack. 

My travel friend clicked their pictures and even wanted to photograph us together. I tried engaging in a little conversation, smiled at the ladies a few times, but the whole thing made me uncomfortable so I left.

Meeting these Padaung women, who sometimes don’t even like being called Padaung for that’s not their original name, is on the borderline of supporting local communities through tourism and being disrespectful. 

If you read the history of Padaung women who hail from the Kayah state, you would know how brutal life has been to them. Most of them now live as refugees in Thailand, not allowed to leave, and the rest are scattered in North Myanmar. There have been incidents when tourists clicked pictures of these women without even asking and circulated the photos around the world, while ironically, the women were confined to their homes or refugee camps. 

I do think that giving money to the women at the weaving center was good as they have intentionally (or by the circumstances) chosen to earn money this way (rather than being photographed without their permission).

Myanmar’s history is complicated. With the inter-tribe fights, Myanmar military regime, and issues with the neighboring countries, some people have been suffering for many generations.

As the day moved towards more touristy things to do, I longed to slow down and see a sunset on the lake. But the tour was already coming to an end, so I got off the boat having decided that I would do a sunset tour the next day and went off to eat and explore Nyaungshwe.


2. See at least one sunrise or sunset at the Inle lake — Start your Inle Lake tour either at sunrise or sunset.

Here I am making a giant switch from talking about the sad state of some of the communities of Burma to asking you to enjoy the Inle lake in Myanmar.  

As travelers, we have to face the truth and ugliness of the world but we also need to be strong to bring ourselves out of the melancholy that acceptance brings along. 

Because soon you move onto a new destination or do something different and create a new, happy story. The more happy stories we create, the happier the entire world is.


When I was at Inle lake, the weather was so cloudy that I never saw a proper sunrise. Even half an hour beyond the sunrise time, thick clouds covered the lake and the Nyaungshwe town.

So the next day, I talked to a boatman to show us a silversmith workshop and the Maing Thauk Village before slowing down at sunset. This tour cost us, two people, 15000 kyats in total for it was shorter. 

The workshop was a quick affair as the men from many generations of a silversmith family sat together and worked making silver jewelry. 

When I arrived at the Maing Thauk village, which is half on land and half on water, I saw a lot of locals and tourists walking on a long teak-wood bridge. I would see a similar bridge later in Mandalay. 

I just relaxed around the bridge for a while before heading to a tourist-less place to watch the sun disappear under the horizon. 

Maing Thauk Village+what+to+do+inle+lake

A sunset on a lake can do wonders for mindfulness. The water danced golden when the sun started receding away. The wind became much cooler, and in that quiet corner of the lake, as our boat swayed with the hyacinth, everything slowed down. 


At this moment, a young fisherman rowed closer to showcase his one-leg rowing style and earn some money. I ignored him for I wanted to have a quite sunset. 

I was more than happy to photograph men who were genuinely fishing rather than putting up with some fake act. 

Now you can ask me that that money would have helped the local community? 

It would have. But do you imagine how many fishermen have left fishing only to earn by getting photographed now?

If we change the cultural experience as per tourism, we don’t have any culture left. I observed the same thing in the Pushkar fair

Camels and other cattle were sold as per the requirements of the Rajasthani people. Soon people from other parts of the country and outside started pouring in to see the trade fair.

Tourists loved the fair, and the locals started making money with that business. Now the entire game of the fair changed. The focus of the fair shifted from the original practices to the activities that the tourists found more charming or alarming. 

Camels dance in the camel fair now. Rather than focusing on camel trade, Rajasthani men try to make money by getting their mustaches clicked. 

Tourism shouldn’t change the culture, that should be the only goal.


3. Eat at the Sin Yaw and the Lin Htet Myanmar restaurant — My best restaurants in Inle Lake.

While we strolled around the streets of the Nyaungshwe town looking for some local food, I didn’t stumble into any good restaurants or kiosks. Every place looked shabby and not the kind of shabby that promised good food.

So straying away from my normal we-will-eat-wherever routine, I searched for some good restaurants and hawker centers in and around Inle. The hunger pangs were real, and when I saw Tripadvisor suggesting Sin Yaw a must-eat place in Inle, I found myself walking to the restaurant in no time.

You can imagine what must have happened next. I ordered the biggest, local Shan meal on the menu and awaited it with a beer and some crunchies.

And I am so glad that I went all in. For this Shan food that you see in the picture changed my opinion about Burmese food. Until then I thought of Myanmar food comprising noodles, soups, grilled meats, Myanmar meal, and other rice preparations.

But this assortment of at least a few vegetarian and fish preparations along with the rice, noodle, tea leaves, and avocado salad, fried tofu showed me how sour, fresh, and juicy Shan meals, and so I am imagining some other food from Burma, could be.

Apart from being tasty, everything was healthy.


Sin Yaw restaurant was on a street corner. While sitting on a table outside on the road, I noticed another restaurant on the other side of the road.

Even that looks pretty authentic, I thought.

So the next day I went to the Lin Htet Myanmar traditional food restaurant, which is right opposite Sin Yaw.

Again, a wonderful choice. I was with another friend, and we shared a Myanmar meal, an avocado salad, and a Shan noodle soup.

Dishes that come with Myanmar meal
Shan noodle soup and avocado salad

Everything was delicious. The place seemed old and was run by a lady and what seemed like her entire family and at least a few staff for the restaurant was always busy.

It was one of those rustic places that seem to have been running for some hundred years. I enjoyed sitting there and letting my mind fill with the conversations floating around. Big Myanmar families came, shared a few meals, and left.

Lin Htet Myanmar+Nyaung Shwe Inle lake

It was an experience to see families eat together while the waiters rushed to bring rice, fried dry prawns and fish, tea leaves salad amongst a myriad of other things.

Do try at least one Shan meal when you are in the Shan state in Myanmar.

4. Take a cooking class — Myo Myo cooking class at the Lin Htet Myanmar seemed like a good one.

The restaurant I talked about above also offered cooking classes. I only noticed the information about the classes on my last day in Inle, so I couldn’t take a cooking class.

But if you have some time on hand, then cooking with the locals seem like a good use of time and money.

I still make Shan food now in India for I bought Shan noodles from the Aung San Bogyoke market in Yangon and recipes are of course from the internet coupled with my experience with the Shan food in Burma.

5. Cycle around Nyaungshwe and Lake Inle Burma One of the leisurely things to do at Inle Lake

Cycling around in the town and the surrounding countryside is a really good way to see the places and enjoy the greenery.

You can either cycle to the Red Mountain Estate Winery located near the township or you can also go to the hot springs that are about an hour ride away. When I talked to a local guide, he also told about some villages that are accessible from Nyaungshwe and are located before the winery.

Exploring some ruins while walking to the winery.

I didn’t find the winery to be an out of the world place. The mountains looked cool from there but not any better than they look from the lake.

The wine was good, too. But I had hiked to the winery hoping that I would be able to go to one of the villages in the mountains from there.


A guide I met at the winery told me that it was not possible to go to any mountain village without a local guide. He tried calling his guide friend but it was too late for his friend was at least a few hours away from us.

So eventually what I hoped would be a walk to a cool traditional village, turned into a tiring journey to the winery. We made it fun by tripling on a scooter taxi to return to the Nyaungshwe market.

In the market, near the bridge, you can find many tour companies. Ask them about hiking tours or the places you can go cycling. The guide their had suggested the hot springs, but I didn’t go there for I read really bad reviews about the springs. People said that the springs weren’t natural but were manmade, the pool was expensive, and the water was dirty.

So what followed was an hour of splashing around in the swimming pool of Spring Inle followed by the sunset tour that I told you all about.

6. Get into a hiking tour Most of the Inle lake trekking requires a local guide.

The hills surrounding the lake has some of the remotest villages that house Shan people, Kayah, Pa-O, Intha, and other communities. A few villages have collaborated with travel companies to host guests and offer authentic home-cooked meals along with sharing their experience of living in that part of Burma.

Don’t make the same mistake as I did and if you would like to do something like this plan ahead. If you walk from the bridge along the water with Spring Inle on the other side of the water, you will find a good tour company that I found honest and helpful.

Rather than just meeting locals at a tourist shop and clicking their pictures, such a hiking tour would bring you closer to their regular life and lifestyle.


7. Spend time around the stilt houses, floating gardens, and find the floating market if you get a chance You should never have to think about what to do in Inle lake for just randomly going around the lake is also so much fun.

You must have already grasped my love for stilt houses that are ubiquitous around Inle lake. I first understood what stilt houses are when I saw them in Castro, Chile, as I mentioned towards the beginning of this article. Standing in line like a rainbow next to the azure inland water of the Pacific, stilt houses make Castro special.

Then I found these houses resting on wooden poles at many places around South America, Lake Titicaca is one of them. But years later when I visited Manali recently, I again found myself admiring colorful stilt houses in Old Manali. 

I love stilt houses and to date, I haven’t stayed in one. Soon.

You can ask your boat to take you around these houses slowly. You can eat lunch in any of the stilt-house restaurants on the lake. Or try getting a stilt house resort located on the Inle lake itself.

Inle lake boat trip

Inle lake floating gardens are the agricultural fields that the Intha and other communities have cultivated on the lake. You would see a lot of floating gardens on the lake where the locals cultivate tomato. 

The garden beds are made of bamboo tied together with mud and weed (collected from the deeper part of the lake itself) placed on top of it. 


If you decide to do a balloon ride over the lake, yes that’s another thing to do, you can see how large these gardens are. 

The floating market, also known as the five-day-market, is shifted throughout the week around five lakeside villages so to make it easier for everyone around the lake to have it closer to their homes and gardens at least once a week. I didn’t see the floating market on any of my boat tours maybe because I hadn’t mentioned it specifically. 

So be smart and ask your boatman before. 


8. Trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake

This Inle lake itinerary is filled with things I didn’t do. But I had limited time in the area on this Burma trip, and I couldn’t spare three days to trek from Kalaw, a small hill town, to Inle. 

I have heard that the trek isn’t that hard and that the three days are worth the views and the local life you discover on the way. 

You can book your Kalaw to Inle Lake trek from Kalaw itself or find a company online.

Tip: Another place to visit is the ruined Shwe Inn Dein Pagodas, which are located in Indein, west of Inle Lake. The area is a bit far off. If you have time and you want to get away from the crowd, you can ask your guide to take you there. The journey would be surely worth it.

How is the weather in Inle Lake, Burma?

Inle Lake Weather is known to be good year-around except for April when the maximum temperature rises to be about 43-degree celsius. From June the temperature in Inle lake starts decreasing and goes to a minimum of 17-degree celsius in December and January. These are the numbers from the internet but I think the temperature in Inle decreases further during nights.

The best time to visit Inle lake seems to be from July to anything until Jan-Feb. The monsoon season in lake Inle is from May to October while November might receive light rainfall.

Like all lakes (this one is even surrounded by mountains), the mornings and evenings are always chilly and windy in Inle. So you would need to carry a warm jumper or a shawl during those times of the day. If you are on a boat ride, the boatmen these days provide warm blankets to cover yourself up.

In the afternoon, the sun is strong, and carry along a hat and sunscreen.

Inle weather could be quite unpredictable though for all water bodies can be clouded any time and then you can just sit and wait for the rain to go by.

Where to stay in Inle Lake?

I stayed at the Spring Inle Lodge in Nyangshwe and really loved the property.

About a five-minute walk from the bridge from where all the boat rides start, Spring Inle was a peaceful and comfortable place. 

Why did I decide to stay at Spring Inle? I looked at their cottage pictures standing in line with the palm trees in the lush garden that they maintain on Booking

garden spring inle lodge burma

Apart from the rooms and huge bathrooms fitted with bathtubs, the pictures of the buffet breakfast tempted me into finalizing Spring Inle as my hotel in Inle Lake.

And I didn’t regret my decision.

Imagine you wake up in a soft bed sprawled on a wooden floor. Remove the mosquito nets to get out of the bed and draw the white silky curtains. The morning light from the tall glass windows filled the room even before I could open my eyes.

best hotels in Inle Lake spring inle lodge.jpg

The breakfast buffet is at the restaurant located on the top floor of the hotel from where you can get a good view of the area. The buffet had more items than I could eat but given I am a pescatarian, I only chose the related options from the menu. 

restaurant spring inle lodge Myanmar Inle Lake hotels

The long breakfast buffet would mean two-three refills of fried rice and noodles, sautéed vegetables, soup, toast, fruits, and two cups of freshly brewed coffee.

breakfast buffet spring inle lodge.jpg
breakfast plate spring inle lodge lake inle burma

Then I would wander into the world of the lake which meant getting up early and heading off to hike to some far-off villages or getting into a boat to cruise through the lake. 

One afternoon I also chilled around the pool, soaked in the sunlight, and let time pass by. 

Evening meant that whenever I came back to my room it was already cleaned and everything was arranged by the staff. A fresh basket of fruits would be waiting to be eaten. The bed would be made. Nets would be thrown over the beds. 

room spring inle lodge.jpg

But sleep wouldn’t come until I had soaked in the bathtub for a couple of hours while eating fruits and reading books on Burma. There was never any noise so I didn’t even use my earplugs once.

I also used the free bicycle service of the hotel to roam around the Nyangshwe town. The helpful receptionist tried hard to arrange a hiking tour for me last minute but it was too late. 

Oh, if you arrive super early in Nyaungshwe as I did, you can change and freshen up in the common bathroom, or rest in the big lounge and then have the breakfast so that you are free to leave early. Don’t miss the detailed map of Inle Lake near the reception.

I have been mostly a fan of rustic stays and finding a stay once I am at the destination. But after staying at properties such as Spring Inle, I have started to rethink my choices, at least some times when I am in the mood for luxury and some pampering.

You can see the pictures of Spring Inle Lodge here and book it online.

Inle lake accommodation spring inle lodge

Inle lake hotels are of many kinds. From smaller hostels to big resorts right on the lake, you can find anything. 

Some of my other suggestions for hotels in Inle Lake Myanmar are here if you don’t want to stay at Spring Inle or if it is fully-booked:

La Maison Birmane Boutique Hotel

La Maison is located in the town of Nyangshwe. It is known for a mix of contemporary and Asian design, cottages with wooden flooring, and an outdoor seating area. 

Oh, the guests seem to love the breakfast with homemade muffins and jams. This would be ideally suited for a family or a couple. 

You can see the availability of La Maison and read more reviews here

Immana Grand Inle Hotel

Immana is located a bit out of the city center. Known for its large swimming pool, breakfast, and free bicycle service, this property also arranges hiking, boat, and biking tours at reasonable prices.

Immana would be ideal for couples or a group of travelers. 

See the prices and availability of Immana here on Booking. 

BaobaBed Hostel Nyaung Shwe Inle Lake

Located in Nyanhshwe, Baobabed is one of the rare hostels in the town. 

The hostel is known for its rooftop spa and bar, free bike rental service, and free breakfast. 

Browse through the pictures of BaobaBed and book it here

Ananta Inlay Resort

Though a bit far from Nyangshwe, consider Ananta if you are looking for a super-comfortable and fancy place.

A free minibar, an included breakfast, and an extremely quiet setting are the main features of the property. It is ideal for all families and couples. 

See the pictures and more reviews of Ananta on Booking.

Trinity Family Inn

Trinity is located in the Nyaungshwe town. These cottages are known for the helpful and generous owner, mountain views, and an included breakfast. 

Look at Trinity Inn reviews and pictures here.

ViewPoint Ecolodge

One of the luxurious properties again, ViewPoint Ecolodge is located in the town of Nyangshwe but in the middle of a lotus pool. You can walk into the town in 5 minutes. 

Known for its picturesque swimming pool, outdoor seating area, and beautiful setting, this place is ideal for families or couples. Have a look at this environmental-friendly property here.

Thanakha Inle Hotel

Located in Nyaungshwe, but right along the river (the inland water from Inle lake), Thanakha is a luxurious and beautiful hotel. 

A great breakfast, a large swimming pool, and an outdoor seating area right on the river, Thanakha is also ideal for families and couples.

See some of its pictures and availability here

How to get to Inle Lake, Myanmar?

You can arrive at Inle Lake either by bus or flight. Even though you might want to experience a train journey in Burma, you can’t get any direct train to Nyaungshwe, and the only options I heard of seemed too cumbersome to even try.

The nearest airport to Inle Lake is the Heho airport that lies 50 km away from the town of Nyaungshwe. Heho is the only airport near Inle Lake.

From Heho airport, Nyaungshwe is about an hour’s drive away by taxi. You would have to haggle with the taxi but the standard prices I have heard of are about 30,000 kyats.

Or you can take a bus from anywhere in the country to Nyaungshwe.

The bus company that I used in Myanmar is JJ Express. Frankly, I didn’t find their service to be the best or most comfortable as suggested in all the articles over the internet.

The buses were comfortable but so were some other buses I traveled with due to some change in plans. The other companies were also comfortable, on time, and cheaper.

Again, as suggested by everyone on the internet, JJ wasn’t full (even in holiday time) unless we took it on a really busy route. Sometimes the attendants in JJ also didn’t speak any better English or informed much about the break or a bus exchange.

I found them overhyped. If you are visiting Burma on a regular month, you can book your first ticket in advance with JJ, but do try some other bus companies later. You might end up saving some money.

Bus from Yangon to Inle lake — Our Yangon to Inle Lake bus took us about 12 hours. The ticket cost about 19 dollars. Remember that you need to select the destination as Taunggyi in the drop-down for getting down at Nyangshwe.

Bus from Bagan to Inle Lake — Bagan to Inle Lake bus would take about 10 hours. Expect to pay 15 USD from Bagan to Inle Lake if you travel first class by JJ.

Mandalay to Inle Lake — A bus from Mandalay to Inle lake would be 7-8 hours of journey. The ticket cost was 12 USD.

When we boarded the bus from Inle Lake to Mandalay, I felt filled with experiences I have had on the lake and with the desire to see more.



Would you love to visit lake Inle?

Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links to products I love. If you choose to click through and make a purchase, I will earn a little bit at no extra cost to you. Thank you.

Please note: Spring Inle Lodge hosted me for my two-day stay in Inle Lake. All the opinions here are my own, as you can tell.



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6 thoughts on “Lovely Things To Do in Inle Lake, Myanmar”

  1. Inle is one of my most favorite places in Myanmar. The vibe here is so mystical! Love the friendly people from Shan and their vibrant crafts : be it the lotus weaving or the silver work or the handicrafts. Your post brought back lovely memories!!

  2. This post on Inle Lake is such a detailed one. The things which I loved the most is how honestly you have portrayed the beauty and culture of the Lake. I can’t agree more about tourism promoting the local culture. People seem to forget about this while travelling. Sameer and I have never been to Myanmar, and your story is quite intriguing to inspire us. Keep exploring travel stories with honesty and love.

  3. I could not visit Inle Lake when I traveled to Myanmar. So, it is still very much on my bucket list. Especially because of those fishermen that row with just one leg. But I loved reading your post for completely different reasons. It was a very interesting insight into the lives and culture of people that live there instead of just things to do. For example, I had no clue some tribes were actually aloof. I would have just assumed that all Burmese were the smiling lot. This is so insightful!

    • Thank you, Soumya, for such an insightful comment. There are many tribes in Burma that never see any tourists. When you go there make sure you book a walking tour with a local company to see the insides of this country 🙂


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