A timeless fisherman, rowing one-legged across the placid water at dawn. A floating vegetable garden, fertilized with decaying plant matter. The stilted wooden homes of waterfront villagers. A destination as lost in time as in the vast, unexplored realm of one of the world’s most compelling destinations. This is Inle Lake.
Together with Bagan, and two of the Far East’s most exotic cities at Yangon and Mandalay, Inle Lake beats at the heart of every traveler’s dream of Myanmar. As the country’s second largest lake, pooled at a lofty 800 meters above seal level, Inle is renowned for its waterborne life. Its stilted homes perch precariously above water levels that rise and fall with the seasons.
The lake's channels route splinter boats to some of Asia’s most fascinating markets, to pagodas of distinctive grandeur, to a remarkable collection of 1,000 ruined stupas at Inthein Village that date back to the 13th Century, and to a very singular house in the middle of the lake where locals are breeding Burmese cats.
Local industry abounds, from shops rolling cigars, to boatyards, and handicraft garments. Few destinations in the world today preserve the fabric of life as life was lived decades ago. Inle Lake is one of those places.