With few tourists, spectacular scenery and more than a few fabulous sites to see, Sagar offers a taste of the ‘real’ Inle Lake. The main attraction in Sagar is the sunken stupas, 108 old stupas often flooded by water, but it is the natural beauty, friendly people, local lifestyles and serene waterways that make this day trip an unforgettable adventure.
Set off this morning for your lakeside hotel for Sagar, the far southern region of Inle Lake. Very few tourists make the trip down to this region yet it is one of the most beautiful places in the Shan State with the mountains forming a backdrop for the small villages and fishermen on the water. The area was only recently opened to tourists in 2003. Upon arriving in Sagar area there are several stops that will be made (the order will depend on the time, other tourist boats and activity in the villages). The main highlight for many travelers are the ‘sunken’ stupas of Sagar- 108 stupas from the 16-17th centuries that are partially underwater for a few months a year. There is also a local monastery and village that can be visited here.
Continue to the village of Thaya Gone, home to Pa-Oh, Shan and Inthar people and known for its production of local rice wine. Watch the process of distillation and then sample some of the local brews if you wish. In Thaya Gone there is also the chance to climb to the top of a small hill, which there are great views of the lake and surrounding villages. Another stop will be made in Sae Khaung Pottery Village to see the crafting of oil and water pots as well as the natural, underground kilns used by the villagers. On the western shores of the Sagar area is Tar Kaung, a series of more than 200 stupas, which also make a fabulous photo stop.
Around 2.30 the boat will begin its journey back to the main section of Inle Lake. Traveling back in the afternoon the light has shifted and the route looks much different on the return, with different activities occurring on the water and in the villages. Rice noodles can be seen drying in the sun, spun cotton is hung out to dry and kids are returning from school at this time of day.
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