Boating is one of the best experiences on Inle lake. The traditional canoe or motorboat (a long canoe with a huge lawn-mower engine) on the Lake includes stops at a morning market, Phaung Daw U Pagoda on the water, the Nga Phe Kyaung or Jumping Cat Monastery, the ladies from the Kayan Lahwi tribe, Floating Gardens, and shopping at local boat “shops”. Going on the canoe is also better for those who want to take pictures.
You'll see lots of local fishermen with the day’s catch. Standing on the stern of a wooden canoe, each fisherman uses one leg to balance and one leg to propel a small oar in a snakelike pattern, all while holding onto a conical-shaped net bumbling with fresh fish. The rhythmic movements and steadfast balancing skills that comprise the fishermen’s unique rowing style are one of Inle Lake’s most well recognized features.
Hiking is another activity often done in and around Inle Lake. Go to the Koun Soun Taungbo Monastery and the nearby Ta-Eh Gu Cave or the hike from Inle Lake to Kalaw. Hikers can also enjoy long walks to Nyaungshwe Pass. Rent a bicycle and ride along the old town and visit the neighbouring villages.
Most tourists are not aware of the fact that there are hot springs to be enjoyed at Inle Lake. It can be accessed by boat from Nyaungshwe or you can take an hour-long bumpy bicycle ride. Renting a bicycle is under $2. Inle Lake is also a place for ecotourism and birdwatching. It was made to protect and conserve natural vegetation, wetland birds, and freshwater fish. Here one learns about the traditional floating agriculture practised by the Inthar people.