In Inle, we were even less lucky with the weather than in Bagan. It was cold, dreary and quite damp for our two days there. Things blessedly cleared up the afternoon of the second day, and we sat out on the porch of our room, which was at the Shwe Inn tha Floating Resort (which I can’t recommend enough if you don’t mind being about an hour outside of the nearest town, accessible to the world only by boat and tenuous internet, which I loved!), roasting in the sun, but otherwise, we saw most of Inle in the cloud and rain.
I’d really recommend taking a boat tour and trying to see the floating market, which changes location around the lake each day on rotation, and trying to get off the beaten track a little bit to see the Kayan ladies, also known as long neck women. These women stretch their necks with gold rings, which is an ancient tradition that is increasingly imperiled today, but very interesting to see.
Although you can stay on the main track and see quite a few things, like the Jumping Cat Monastery (there were a few cats, none jumped) and Hpaung Daw U Pagoda, which was beautiful, my favorite thing to do was just chill out in the boat (note: none of the boats are covered, so bring rain gear and wrap up, or sunscreen and bug repellant, depending on the weather) and be taken through the mazes of channels between the different Inle towns, waving at locals and watching people go about their days.
We mostly ate at our hotel, but if you’re looking for a good lunch spot on the lake, look no further than Hnin Thit Sar.
It has a gorgeous view from all vantage points of the restaurant (which is accessible by boat).
The food is also really fresh and traditional.
Local coffee to warm us up, and C. got the coconut fish (the sauce was divine) and I got a traditional rice ball. Couldn’t recommend more!
We have already discussed how going back to Inle is a must since we really didn’t see much of it in good weather. So, see you soon, Inle Lake!