1 Day Inle Lake

I’m loving my solo adventure in Myanmar. Everything went well as I planned it to be. Unbelievable. Yes, at least for me. I always plan. I always feel the same thrills when planning my travel as realizing it. But most of the time, I break up my plans and adjust to what is actually happening at the moment such as skipping some itineraries after discovering a more interesting place or just missing the bus or train, unaware of the opening hours of museums so I have to do another things instead, etc. I screw up often whenever I’m with someone which is now surprising to me because I didn’t this time that I was traveling alone. Why is this so? Is it because I can control the situation when I’m all by myself? No one to consider to?

 

Day 4 Destination Activities Cost
3:00 AM Inle Lake Rode a tuktuk for hotel search 5000 kyats/3.7 USD
Princess Hotel 12 USD
9:00 AM Breakfast Free
10:00 AM Inle Lake Boat Tour 18000 kyats/13 USD

After visiting the 2 most important cities in Burma, Yangon and Bagan; on my 4th day I arrived at another tourist attraction,the most iconic destination as they put it, the Inle Lake. I left Bagan after 7 pm and got to the Shwenyaung station at 4 am. There’s one thing though that I forgot  in my planning stage before coming here; I weren’t able to book a hotel! And another thing that I overlooked in my research; I didn’t expect Inle Lake to be that cold much more in the wee hours. So, I asked the tuktuk driver to search for a hotel/hosteI for me and paid him 3 more USD for this service.

It was already 5 am when the driver found me a hotel and the receptionist told me that it only costs 5 USD per night.  That was what she said in the morning; at night during my departure, she charged me 12 USD! I cannot do anything about it , right? Anyway, I tried to sleep for at least 3 hours, restoring my energy to prepare my Inle Lake tour on the same day. Now, I remember why I didn’t book a hotel. It was intentional. I read several sites that say you can save from paying a hotel room by traveling on the overnight bus. I think I took this advise seriously. (Lol). I realized that it’s possible this way perhaps one night to experience how it is to sleep on a bus but not every night. Especially, if the bus doesn’t even have a toilet/shower. That’s why I had to get a room where to do all of this. At 10 am I woke up and ate my late breakfast. Then, I started walking around the small Inle village. In a breeze, I spotted someone that looked like a boatman and asked if he does lake tour and he said yes. To my surprise, he only asked me for 18,000 kyats for the said tour, sincebased on my research, most travelers mentioned it to be around 25-30,000 kyats.

So, here are the 7 stops during the Inle Lake Tour.

1.Silversmith Workshop

The lady who welcomed me into their shop explained me the stages of how they make the silver jewelries. Well, the looks of it, it seemed difficult to come up with such tiny, delicate pieces of jewelry. And the price! Wow, don’t say it!

2. Karenni Long- Neck tribe

One of the reasons that brought me into this serene lake is this queer practice of the Padaung, a subgroup of the Kayan tribe. It is said that as early as the age of 5, girls already begin wearing brass neck coils to lengthen their neck.

3. Paper and Umbrella-making workshop

Beside the area where the Padaung women weave is another workshop that makes umbrella out of paper. I would like to buy it as souvenir, at the same time, I want it to be useful. I don’t think in my country I can use it since it always rain.

 

4. Floating gardens

According to my tour guide, this place is what they call floating gardens. I’ve never seen a floating garden in my life and I was amazed. Where are the flowers, by the way?

5. Lotus Weaving Centre

A Burmese girl approached as I entered the center and explained to me about the process of weaving lotus. From pulling the fibers from the lotus plant to weaving it to turn into a textile  up to the end products, the girl took all her time to accommodate me. However, they are selling fewer clothes made from lotus which also come in costlier than other type of fabrics in their souvenir shop.

 

6. Cheroot/Cigar Workshop

Souvenirs of tobacco. Cheroot is a type of Burmese cigar that’s made from tobacco and wood chips. There are also flavored ones such as cheroot pineapple, banana, honey, rice wine, etc.

7. Jumping Cat Monastery

According to my boatman/tour  guide, (who else?) it is called as such since before when the monk who trained cats to jump through loops and in certain mischievous way was still alive, there were a lot of feline creatures in this monastery. But now, not a single cat anymore in sight. 🙁

12 NN Inle Lake Lunch-Seafood Salad 3500 kyats/2.6 USD
Banana Pancake 3500 kyats/2.6 USD
Milk Tea 1500 kyats/1 USD
  Souvenirs- Inle Lake t-shirts 20 USD
3:00 PM Inle Lake Merienda- Myanmar Tea with biscuits 2000 kyats/1.5 USD
6:00 PM Mandalay Nyaung Shwe JJ Sun Goddess Gate to Kywel Sel Kan Bus Station 12 USD

The tour ended at around 4 pm. Upon going back to the hotel, a woman smiled and invited me for a cup of tea. She said, ” Come , let’s chat. try our Burmese tea“.  For us Filipinos, it’s hard to say no to an invitation. I just smiled and shook my head. But she insisted and so as the other lady.  I tried their tea which tasted good by the way. Later, her son gave me biscuits. I told myself, “Is this for free?” And yes I was right. They were not.

 

Day 4 Expenses Summary

Tour 13 USD
Accommodation 12 USD
Airfare
Souvenirs 20 USD
Transport 15.7 USD
Food 5.1 USD
Total Expense 65.8 USD/3,277 Php

Click Myanmar series for more Myanmar adventure.

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Anna La Viajera
Anna is a travel buff, logophile, choreophile, an adventurous foodie & glossophilia.She loves writing, dancing, traveling & learning languages. She speaks more than 5 languages and have been to more than 20 countries so far. In her leisure time, she loves to listen to music, dance & try cooking.

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