When it comes to Inle Lake attractions, traditional floating craft villages are not-to-be-missed stopovers. All built above the Inle Lake, each with its own skills set and expertise. They sell and barter their handmade products in an innovative rotating 5-day market. Let us discover the art of traditional craft, starting with the decidedly ethnic looking pure gold or silver jewelleries.
Ywama Floating Village – Where Inle Lake best goldsmith and silversmith are born
Ywama village, one of the few craft villages, is famous for its goldsmith and silversmith. Located about 12 kilometres away from Nyaung Shwe, the artisans of this village have created amazing traditional gold and silver wear loved and highly demanded by locals and visitors. The Ywama goldsmiths and silversmiths live and work on homes and buildings that are constructed above the lake. The structures are piled deep into the lake’s bed. Ywama villagers commute around by boats, walkways and bridges made of bamboo. Pagoda and monasteries are constructed on built-up areas.
Ywama village takes part in the 5-day rotating market, jointly organised by the various craft villages around the Inle Lake. The market interestingly appears in a different location on the lake each day! The Ywama villagers sell their gold and silver jewelleries at these rotating market. Though the market at the Ywama village takes place on the grounds of a pagoda complex, most of the trade takes place on the lake as village merchants display and sell their items on small boats.
Besides creating silver and gold jewelleries, the Ywama village is also one of the most popular Inle Lake attractions which is famous for woodcarving and making intricate umbrellas. There are also many floating farms where farmers plant crops like tomatoes on floating mats, anchored in place with bamboo poles.
Other interesting Traditional Craft Villages
Villagers in Se-khong village in Inle are well known for their skills in producing knives and farming tools. Like the Ywama villagers, Se-khong villagers also sell their wares at the 5-day rotating market. The blacksmiths hold the metal over a scorching hot fire, while others hammer away in a rhythmic manner until the iron has been completely flattened and shaped into desired shape. Again like the Ywana village, Se-khong village is also build and established in the lake.
Phaw Khone Weaving Workshops
While this is not part of the rotating traditional crafts market, it is worth mentioning for the high quality end results. You will definitely be impressed by this weaving workshop. The various connected buildings vibrate with the clatter of shifting loom frames where female weavers skilfully create and produce high quality fabrics and scarves from bamboo and teak looms. Make sure you spent some time watching how the weavers make lotus shawls!