Life on the Water, Inle Lake, Shan State, Myanmar

Relaxing amidst the tranquility of the surrounding nature. Inle Lake is a lake formed by nature, which is surrounded by tranquility and nature. The original local people who live here is the Intha Tribal with their living communities based entirely on the water. They grow a variety of vegetables, fruits and flowers on their floating gardens. Intha fisherman propel their boats along the lake via their unique technique of leg-rowing style. In with the simply way of life of Intha people and a nice weather with a good environment, all of these fascinating is attractive to the tourists from around the world travel to the Inle Lake.

Inle Lake is located in the south of Shan State, far from Taunggyi District, Myanmar around 25 km. and it is the second largest lake in Myanmar. It is a beautiful highland lake with an estimated surface area of 116.3 km2 and the average water depth is 2-8 m. and 880 m. above sea level. Surrounded by mountains and there are many different ethnic people live in this area for more than hundred years. Moreover, there is the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda where located in the north of the lake and contains five small images of the Buddha which known as the Upakut Buddha or Pra Bua Khem (in Thai language). The size measure in each small Upakut Buddha image is 5 cm. which was carved from vintage wood incense.

Sightseeing in the Inle Lake is not just to admire the beautiful scenery only. But the highlight for tourism is to cruise along the Lake to see the lifestyle of Intha people. This local people live in Inle Lake for hundreds years by living on the water and do the floating agriculture which is a unique. Tomatoes are the primary crop. Almost every houses on the lake plant tomatoes on the backyard. It is such a beautiful scenery when looking to tomato floating garden and seeing various color; green, yellow and red together. Moreover, other vegetables such as eggplant, squash, and string beans are grown on the floating garden. Visitors can buy fresh organic vegetables from the garden or taste before buying.

In addition, the main occupation of Intha people is fishing while their fisheries has a unique style which other fisheries cannot do the same. They are sailing along the Lake by wooden boat, with the feet, which is the unique ability of Intha and must be practiced from generation to generation. This is make their life easy as rowing boat with their foot make it easier to catch the fish while they need two hands to lift both fishnet and fishing tap. All of these is the way to make an adaption of their life toward the Inle Lake geography.

Boat trips along the villages on Inle Lake, not only to experience the beautiful nature, the peaceful atmosphere along the lake and mountains as far as the eye can see. Or surprised with the unique lifestyle of the Intha people. But there is the craftsmanship from the community such as woven fabric product, silver, cigarette carved from wood as souvenirs which were sold to the tourists. Don’t miss to cruise along the lake to see the most romantic sunset as well.