Today we were departing from Mandalay by flight to Heho, more accurately Inle Lake. Our driver picked us at 7 am and drove us to Mandalay Airport that took 45 minutes through highway. Our flight is on time at 9.05 am, by then we were already inside the airplane (ATR) and ready to take off. The flight took only 35 minutes, even I haven’t finished reading the in-flight magazine when we landed.
Inle Lake, taken from the airplane just before landing in Heho
Landscape in Shan State, taken also from the air
In Heho we met Yan, our guide in Inle. He first took us to a local market that only opened every Saturday and located 15 minutes from the airport. We toured around the market while Yan explaining things being sold there, it was a wet market selling fishes, meats, vegetables, spices, to underwear and movies. Then we continued our drive for about 45 minutes and arrived at Shweyanpyay monastery. It is a teak wood monastery housing several monk and monkee, when we were there they had thet lunch and prepared for a nap.
A barber in the market in Heho
Traditional market in Heho
Shweyanpyay Monastery, novice monks are preparing for a nap
The next stop was a boat station. We were going to use a small-motorized boat to get to Inle Lake and our hotel at the northern part of it. The small wooden boat could take 5 person on it and I sat on the first row to take decent photographs. The ride was great, wind blowing and sun shining through your face for 1 hour, but the landscape around Inle Lake is decorated by beautiful fields and mountain range. We could see fisherman and local transporting goods by boat.
The boat ride from Boat Station to Inle Lake (1.5 hours)
Local villager transporting goods from the land
Fisherman catching a fish in Inle Lake with tourist resort on the background
In Inle Lake we were using boat as the only transportation method, first we went to jumping cat monastery, also known as Nga phe chaung monastery. There is no much interesting object to see in the monastery, just few monks and Buddha image, we continued across tomato fields, heading for lunch. In the same place for lunch, we saw a tobacco factory where womens are making tobacco.
Nga Phe Chaung Monastery in Inle Lake, Myanmar
Local women making rolls of tobacco
We got around Ywama after lunch, Ywama is a village in Inle Lake popular for its gold and silversmith. We also visited Cotton and Silk Weaving workshop at Inpaw Khon, they are selling silk scarf and clothes within $15-$90. The next destination was a blacksmith making swords and other tools which we could buy. It was raining when we finished the tour at blacksmith, so we headed back to hotel and stayed for the day.
Cotton and Silk Weaving workshop at Inpaw Khon
Blacksmith in Inle Lake, Myanmar
We stayed at Golden Island Cottage, a nice and clean floating bungalow facing the river. We walked around the hotel and found us to be alone there at the time, later we learned there will be another two person staying there. I spent my evening cleaning my camera and reading a book I bought at the start of the trip, Jim Roger’s book titled “Adventure Capitalist”. It’s an excellent light read for finance and travel enthusiast.
Golden Island Cottage in Inle Lake, Myanmar
Staff of GIC welcoming new guest at the lobby
Local women going home from GIC
The sunset wasn’t very nice due to cloudy weather and there isn’t many things to do in the hotel itself but taking photos. When the water is calm, the sky is nicely reflected on the water, which is beautiful. We have our lunch at 7 pm in the GIC hotel, ordered a prawn and fish, costing us in total $21 for two person meal. I then had a frustration in taking a shower due to the hot water not working properly before going to sleep.
The view from our room in GIC
Cottages in GIC, Inle Lake
Sunset at our room in GIC, Inle Lake
Evening Twilight at Inle Lake, Myanmar