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- Inle Travel Guide

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Inle Local Guide - Download PDF version.

Inle Scenery

Inle Lake or Inlay Lake lies at an altitude of nearly 3,000 feet, fringed by tall grasses and reed beds, ringed by well-forested hills which, according to the season, may often be wreathed in mist. The main body of the lake is some 13 miles in length. A beautiful, clear, natural lake surrounded by high green hills, Inle is about 14 miles long by six miles wide. On the lake and along its rim are 17 bamboo-and-wood villages, built on stilts, where about 150,000 people live, mostly members of the Intha tribe who is famous by their neatly cultivated floating farms and nurseries. The truly unique Inle Lake leg-rowers and fishermen cannot be missed as you glide through the waters on your boats on a dream-like an adventure. The presence of many ethnic groups in the area also makes it a captivating place of many cultural interests.

The Inthas also make their living by fishing. The silk dresses and clothes of Inle are popular among local and foreign visitors. Inle also produces silverware.


The main attraction of Inle Lake is the famous Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda situated in the middle of the lake. Every October, both local and foreign pilgrims and visitors would flock to the Pagoda for its annual festival. Inthas and Shan turn out in their best clothes in great numbers to celebrate the Buddhist Lent. Traditional boat racing, with dozens of leg-rowers in Shan dress in a team on each boat, is a famous event during the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival (or Hpaung Daw U or Hpaung Daw Oo). The lake is full of floating vegetations and houses.


The best time of the year to visit Inle Lake is during September and October. The ceremonial Phaung Daw Oo Festival, which lasts for almost three weeks, is closely followed by the Thadingyut festival of lights. Besides, beautiful landscape with many mysterious ancient pagodas and picturesque floating gardens and markets are also the biggest magnet pulling thousands of tourists coming to this place.


The floating water hyacinth is the main material for most of crafted products of this region, such as bags and baskets. Vegetations like tomatoes, beans, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant, garlic, onion, betel, melon, papaya and banana are grown in the fertilized floating gardens and exceptionally fresh and delicious.


Geographically, Inle Lake is a freshwater lake located in the Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State, part of Shan Hills in Myanmar. Inle Lake is a major tourist attraction, and this has led to some development of tourist infrastructure. Many small and large privately owned hotels and tour operations have arisen during the past few years. Local shops are flooded with consumer items, both local and foreign. The nearest airport is Heho Airport which is (41 kilometers northwest of Inle Lake). There are flights from both Yangon and Mandalay. Yangon is 660 km away by road, Mandalay 330 km.


Surface area                  44.9 sq mi (116 km2)

Average depth              5 ft (1.5 m) (dry season)

Max. depth                    12 ft (3.7 m) (dry season; +5 ft in monsoon season)

Surface elevation          2,900 ft (880 m)


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