Inle Lake
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inle01

Inle Lake is located in the heart of the Shan Plateau. It is a beautiful highland lake, 900 meters above sea level. The lake is 22km long and 10km across, and inhabited by many different ethnic nationals of the area. It is also known as for its unique leg rowers floating market, villages, floating gardens, traditional handicrafts and silk weaving. It is also an ecotourism site for its wetland birds, migratory birds and freshwater fishes, otter and turtle.

 

PLACES OF INTEREST ON INLE LAKE

 

YWAMA VILLAGE

inle02The largest village on the lake with beautiful houses built on large wooden poles driven into the Lake Bed. You can see the famed floating market according to the local five day market scheme. On market day it is a traffic jam of tourist boats and souvenir hawkers with a few local buyers. 

 

Phung Daw Oo Pagoda

inle03The holiest religious site for Buddhists in the southern area of the Shan State. Five images are enshrined in the centre of the building, one that attracts the Buddhists and the non-Buddhists alike. As a result of over gilding with Gold leaf offerings, the images have turned into solid ball of gold. Once a year, in end Sept-early Oct., there is a pagoda festival during which the five Buddha images are rowed around the Lake in a colourful barge. It is held on a grand scale for 18 days.

 

MAI THAUK MARKET

Usually the Mai Thauk Market is open after every 5 days. A large and bustling market where one can find a real local atmosphere with a variety of produce from the lake. Other places of interest near the market in the lake are Paya Pauk Pagoda, Zakah Village and Nga Phe Chaung monastery. Accessible by ferry boats in Inle.

 

NGAPHE CHAUNG MONASTERY (JUMPING CAT MONASTERY)

inle04A wooden monastery on stilts over the lake, built four years before Mandalay Palace. The monks trained their cats to leap through small hoops. It is worth to visit for modest collection of Buddha images in Shan, Tibetan, Bagan and Inwa styles.

 

INDEIN

inle05Indein is one of the small villages of Inle Lake located on the western bank of the lake. A Buddha image has enshrined at a whitewashed stupa, which is on the summit of a hill. Below the stupa around the hill are cluster of hundreds of ancient stupas most are ruins overgrown with bushes. The pagoda hill is quiet and calm. One could feel the pleasant cool breeze with the sweet rings of the bells hanging at the umbrella of the stupa. Mesmerizing view from pagoda hill release the fatigue and refresh everybody who ascend to the peak. This mysterious place is at the end of the marvellous Indein creek, which connected with Inle Lake just after the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. The creek is narrow with many twist and turns. Since the both sides are paddy fields you can see the farmers ploughing and harrowing by water buffaloes. At the lunch time while groups of farmers having lunch the water buffaloes enjoy themselves dipping in the creek. At many places in the creek the farmers dam up the water by bamboo barriers to irrigate the paddy fields. Indein water is not only useful for irrigation also for bathing and washing cloths. It is compulsory to see Novice monks, buffalo boys and village girls wash and swim in the creek.

 

VICINITY

 

PINDAYA

pindaya01Situated about 45 km north of Kalaw and in the Shan State. It is famous for its extensive limestone caves, set deep in the hillsides, where you'll see about thousands of Buddha images and stalagmites. And at the entrance of the hillside caves you'll see Shwe Oo Min (Golden Cave) Pagoda of 15 metre height.

 

TAUNGGYI

taunggyi01Taunggyi is a capital of Shan state and a pine clad hill station about 1500 meters high. Taunggyi is cool and pleasant all the year round. The market on every fifth day is crowded with ethnic tribes in their traditional dresses. Taunggyi is famous for its Balloon Festival which is held in November. There are two kinds of fire-balloon competitions the day festival and the night festival. Balloons in the shape of elephant, horse, ox, water-buffalo, bird, pig, fish, hintha, owl and parrot are released in the day festival. The balloons released at night have fireworks, multi-coloured lights with small lanterns attached to the main balloon. Interested place to visits are Taunggyi Department Store, the market, Dhammayon (congregation hall), Agricultural Bank, cinemas and shops and stores, restaurants, churches, Shan State Cultural Museum. Taunggyi Degree College, the golf course and residential buildings.There are pines, cherry and eucalyptus trees growing all over the town and the whole area is green and pleasant. The busiest part of Taunggyi is the Myoma Market, a place where people from the environs used to flock only once every five days to buy and sell their regional products.

 

KAKKU

kakku01Kakku is about 33 miles from Taunggyi. It will take about 3 hours drive by car. Kakku is in the territory of Pa-Oh people. There are over 2000 stupas packed closely together in ranks and covering an area perhaps a square kilometre. The main stupa is around 40 meters high, the mass of the spire surrounding it uniformly. But each one is an individual masterpiece. The particular remarkable about the whole site is its good state of preservation. Originally each one must have been topped by a gilded metal hti, the multi tiered umbrella-like feature, which is typical of Myanmar Pagodas. Many of these are tilted on fallen. External rendering of mortar and stucco has crumbled away on others, exposing the brick core while trees have established themselves in a few, threatening to split them apart. But so much of the originals still exist that this site must be free of the destructive force of earthquakes, which have periodically ravaged many of the Myanmar's other monuments.

 

KALAW 

kalaw01Kalaw sits high on the western edge of the Shan Plateau and was a popular hill station in the British times. It is situated 70 km west of Taunggyi, 1320 m above sea level. Many of the Tudor-style houses and English gardens of colonial days remain. It is still a peaceful and quiet place with an atmosphere remnant of colonial era with a pleasantly cool weather and is a good place for hiking amid gnarled pines, bamboo groves and rugged mountains scenery.

 

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