Day 7: Mandaly – Heho – Inle Lake - Nyaung Shwe
After breakfast, transfer to Mandalay Airport for a flight to Heho. From Heho, a scenic one-hour drive leads to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway village to Inle Lake. Along the way, stop at the wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery which features beautiful carvings and a collection of Buddha images.
Upon arrival in Nyaung Shwe, you’ll continue by local trishaw down to the bustling canal which is a hive of activity in the morning as boats from the lake come in to unload tomatoes and other vegetables for distribution to the markets around the country. Watch as baskets laden with produce are transferred from boats to trucks and bikes.
Hop back on the trishaw and wind through quiet streets. Make a stop at the ‘tomato house’, a warehouse-like structure where the tomatoes are sorted and priced for sale. Then continue past some of the many monasteries and nunneries in the town, stopping for photos as you go.
After lunch, you’ll head to the mountain bike depot. First, famlarize yourself with your mountain bike before setting off on a ride through town to the outskirts of Nyaung Shwe, where concrete buildings give way to their bamboo precursors. The streets become shadier and farms line the roads. Stop for photos and village visits along the way.
A short uphill ride is the final leg before reaching Red Moutain Estate, a collabartion between local Pa-Oh and a French vinter. You’ll take a tour of their wine-making facilities before settling down at their hilltop restaurant for a tasting. Afterwards, cycle back to Nyaung Shwe to board a boat for you Inle lake hotel.
Overnight on Inle Lake
Distances and journey time:
Heho Airport to Nyaung Shwe (28 km): 45 mins
Nyaung Shwe Jetty to Hotel on Inle Lake (10 – 20 km): 30 – 60 minsDay 8: Inle Lake - Indein
Your guide will greet you at your hotel this morning to embark on your Inle Lake day trip. Board your private motorboat (on board are cushioned wooden chairs, lifejackets, umbrellas- for sun and wind protection, and blankets in the winter months)
We’ll start with a visit to the morning market, which rotates locations on a 5-day basis. (Note: there are no markets on full moon or dark moon days) This daily market attracts people from all over the lake’s shores to buy and sell their wares- if you are lucky you may see Pa-Oh, Inthar and Shan people in their traditional outfits. Wander amid the stalls where your guide will explain the local produce and goods for sale.
Then continue across the lake, passing through villages with stilted houses and floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. You will also see the leg‐rowing fishermen who steer their boats with incredible balance.
We make our way to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains 5 sacred Buddha images and houses royal barges used during the pagoda’s annual festival.
Proceed to the village of Inpawkhone to observe the traditional silk weaving techniques of Inthar people. Inpawkhone is also known for weaving with the stems of lotus flowers, a time consuming process that results in high quality materials famous throughout the country. We also visit a cheroot factory where local Burmese cigars are rolled by hand.
This afternoon we will travel to Indein, on the southwestern shores of the lake. The boat will travel down a small canal leading to the Pa-oh village of Indein. Explore the area on foot, strolling around the village and wander through the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area. Alaung Sitthou is filled with picturesque stupas and has magnificent views of the lake.
Should time allow, we’ll stop at Inthar Heritage House to learn more about the history and culture of the lake’s indigenous people and enjoy a delicious coffee and cake (snack break not included).Day 9: Inle Lake At lesiure
Today is free at your leisure to enjoy the lake and its environs.
We can arrange a full day on the lake with a guide to visit the morning markets, villages and other sites.
Overnight in Inle Lake.Day 10: Inle Lake – Heho – Yangon - Departure (Breakfast)
This morning transfer to the Heho airport for your flight to Yangon. Connect to your onward international flight.