Spending half day or the full day in Inle Lake is mandatory to fully understand the life in the floating villages. For doing it so, the only way is booking a boat tour.
We are not sponsored (not at all!) but we recommend to book the tour in Paw Paw Café & Restaurant. Besides the excellent (vegetarian) food options in the restaurant, they have a charity program to empower community development for the marginalized young women from remote areas of Myanmar. By booking a tour with them, you help with the cause ✌🏼
Our experience with the tour in Inle Lake was absolutely fantastic. Most of the travelers we met were dissatisfied with their tour. We strongly believe that the boat driver influences a lot on the experience. But it’s also important to know the choices you have and choose in advance, upon agreement. We decided most of the things we wanted and didn’t want, like going to shops.
This is a list of our favorite things we did on the tour in 1 day (because we did even more! 🙈):
1. Sunrise in the Lake with the fishermen
Even though these fishermen are here only to take a picture for you, the real ones are only a few kilometers away with not so much difference. Also for sunset, the real ones are the only ones left. Both are stunning and impressive to see.
2. Observe the daily life of a floating village
Children going to school by boat, teenagers accompanying their grandmas for shopping with a boat, taxi boats and anything you can imagine happening in a normal village. Life goes on like any other, even if their house is floating.
3. Eat like a local in the market
The local markets offer vegetables, fruits and other values for daily life. Getting the rice chips and some salted tofu with egg for breakfast was only about $1 and delicious.
4. Traditional Floating Craft Workshops
There are several stops to visit old or still existing craftworks in the fisher villages.
- Silversmith, crafting silver jewelry.
- Blacksmiths, crafting knives and farming tools.
- Weaving, crafting lotus and cotton clothes.
All these small workshops businesses are not really where they manufacture all the products. It’s kind of a demo show for tourists. We consider the silver farm the most interesting and worth to visit. Agree with your boat driver if you want to stop or not in the different workshops.
5. Visit the Shwe Inn Dein Pagoda
Uncountable small pagodas owned by any individual who wishes to own one. It called us the attention to see so many German and Austrian owned pagodas.
6. Eat with a family in a floating house
We got to spend a few hours with a family living in a floating village. The lunch was excellent. Many veggie dishes and a fresh fish from the lake. They didn’t speak a word of english but that wasn’t a problem. They understood that we had a great time with the family and our stomachs completely satisfied.
7. Try the Thanaka
Thanaka is very distinctive in Myanmar’s culture. Burmese people are famous for applying the yellowish paste made from ground bark in their faces and arms. They use it as a cosmetic, cleansing and/or sunscreen.
8. Canoeing like a pro
The family that provided us with lunch offered us to do a bit of canoeing. We went for the full experience, of course. The canoeing costs an extra fee of 25.000 Kyhat.
9. Visit a Tomato Floating Farm
As good farmer girls, we didn’t want to miss the vegetable farm. It’s also floating!
10. Sunset in the Lake
The day ends at it starts, observing the fishermen on the lake.
All these activities were packed in the same day. We didn’t feel stressed by all the planning. Actually, we also got 1-hour siesta in the family house where we had lunch. Can you believe how many things can be done in one day!?
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