Lake of Inle.
What does one do when he comes to Nyaungshwe. Boat ride on Inle lake, of course. But what does that exactly mean?
You have more options for the boat rides which your hotel/guesthouse can arrange for you:
– normal ride for 15.000 kyat includes 5-6 hours on the lake (program below)
– if you add 3.000 kyat you can go to Inthein, a hill will ancient pagodas and a nice view
– for an extra 4.000 kyat you stay on the lake and see the sunset
– and for 10.000 kyat you can go another hour more and see the south of the lake
We opted for a normal boat ride with the sunset. We said we don’t like shopping that much but we still saw so many souvenir shops I can’t even count them all. Let me warn you that the prices on the lake are 30 % higher than in Nyaungshwe.
We saw textile shop where a special lotus scarves are made from lotus stems (they roll the sticky liquid and make a thread). Everyone gets a little tour around the ‘factory’ but we couldn’t understand a single so we just nodded. Hey, it’s made from lotus! Products are expensive, around 100 $ but you can get it much cheaper in the city.
We saw a blacksmith shop, a boat repairing shop, parasol shop (paper making), silver&gold shop, long neck souvenir shop (this one was so sad 🙁 Some of Palaung tribes had their neck elongated and in these shops are these ladies who just sit there while tourist are taking pictures of them. Mic just couldn’t take a photo) and our favorite (and the only shop we bought something) – a cheroot or cigar factory. Now that’s more like it! For 3 $ you get 10 sweet smelling cigars made of little tobacco, brown sugar, coconut, honey and anise. It smells nice and it doesn’t leave you tired like normal cigarettes.
We also saw a market, pagoda with 5 golden golden images that used to look like Buddhas but are now big blobs of gold, a former jumping cat monastery (the old main monk died and the I guess the new one doesn’t like jumping cats) and a floating garden of tomatoes which grow very nice on the water.
We also saw the traditional way of fishing where they use one leg to row but they don’t use those big baskets anymore, they use the usual nets.
Unfortunately the sunset was not very spectacular because of the clouds but we saw lots of birds (I think herons) feeding at that time.
It was a nice day and after we slept like babies 🙂
We didn’t do much in Nyaungshwe except visit the Red Mountain winery. 25 min ride with a bicycle and your in a nice surroundings of grape vines. For 2000 kyat you get a teeny amount of 4 wines (probably not really special in European standards but for us, after 9 months of not drinking wine, it was amazing!). We even bought a bottle of sweet rose and drank it in our hotel, yum 🙂