inle lake is everything wonderful about myanmar.
just north of the lake is a small town
called nyaung shwe where you can find
tasty food, lovely guesthouses, few cars, and friendly individuals.
we stayed in a larger guest called friendly inn,
and the owners were, in fact, extremely friendly.
they were very helpful when it came to ideas for what to do around town,
helping us hire a boat for a tour around the lake and renting us bikes
to explore the countryside on our own.
when it came to leaving the inle lake area
they were very knowledgable about other parts of myanmar worth venturing out to.
after the horrible seven hour "bus" ride
we plopped into bed and didn't move until morning.
when we woke up we enjoyed the complimentary american breakfast
that was offered at every single burmese guesthouse
and them hired a boat to take us around the lake.
we shared the boat with a couple from vietnam and a young man from japan
(we got to practice our newly acquired japanese phrases with him!).
we spent all day on the lake- leaving at 8am and returning at 5pm.
we got to see a huge market, several monasteries,
as well as visit multiple shops specializing in handmade goods
from hand woven silk scarves to silver jewelry.
it was an incredible day that deserves at least a couple blog posts...
this was not our boat- but it was essentially the same thing. with lawn chairs for sitting...
an inle lake fisherman
there were many guesthouses and restaurants in the middle of the lake
there were also whole villages on the lake including schools for the children to attend