Best time to travel to Myanmar

Inle Lake Activities in Myanmar

Visit Burma’s most unique region that gives visitors plenty of things to do

Best time: November–February

Inle Lake Activities
Inle Lake Activities
Inle Lake Activities
Inle Lake Activities

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.

Practical info

What are some unique places to visit on Inle Lake by boat?

Tourists on boats can visit the Phaung Daw U Pagoda which is built on water, the unique morning market, the Nga Phe Kyaung or Jumping Cat Monastery, Floating Gardens, shopping at local boat shops, and encounter ladies from the Kayan Lahwi tribe. For taking pictures, hiring a canoe is recommended. Show more

Can tourists see the fishermen with their catch, and why is their rowing style distinctive?

Fishermen catching small fish in shallow waters using conical-shaped nets are the highlight of Inle Lake. The distinctive aspect is their unique rowing style that involves balancing themselves on one foot while rowing with their other leg wrapped around the oar. To get a closer look, one can rent a private boat and observe them in action while enjoying the lake's view. Show more

Is hiking a popular activity in Inle Lake, and where are the popular hiking trails?

Hiking is popular in and around Inle Lake, and visitors can choose from various popular hiking trails like the walk from Inle Lake to Kalaw, exploring Ta-Eh Gu Cave and visiting the Koun Soun Taungbo Monastery. Nyaungshwe Pass has long walks for people seeking a relaxing walk. Renting a bike is another option to venture into the town and enjoy its surroundings. Show more

Are there hot springs near Inle Lake, and how can tourists access them?

Nestled close to Inle Lake are the hot springs, which can be reached by a bumpy bicycle ride, which costs around $2 or a boat ride from Nyaungshwe. They are popular among people who prefer to relax after hiking or boating. To safely access them, it is advisable to take a local guide's help who will help navigate the dirt roads. Show more

Can visitors explore ecotourism and birdwatching in Inle Lake, and what can they expect to see?

Inle Lake is a renowned place for ecotourism and bird watching. The region is a sanctuary for freshwater fish, wetland birds and to conserve natural vegetation. The Inthar people still practice the traditional floating agriculture that visitors can explore. November till February is the ideal birdwatching time when migratory birds arrive to escape the brutal winter of their native region. Show more

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