This beautiful freshwater lake is located in Shan State, eastern part of Myanmar. It is the second largest lake in Myanmar with an estimated surface area of 44.9 square miles (116 km2), and on an altitude of 2,900 feet (880 m). During the dry season, the average water depth is 7 feet (2.1 m), with the deepest point being 12 feet (3.7 m), but during the rainy season this can increase by 5 feet (1.5 m).

The 100,000 population consists predominantly of Intha (people of Inle lake), with a mix of Shan, Taungyo, Pa-O, Danu, Kayah and Bamar ethnicities.

Most transportation on the lake is traditionally by small boats, or by some larger boats fitted with diesel engines. Local fishermen are known for practicing a distinctive rowing style which involves standing at the stern on one leg and wrapping the other leg around the oar. This unique style evolved for the reason that the lake is covered by reeds and floating plants making it difficult to see above them while sitting. Standing provides the rower with a view beyond the reeds and floating gardens. Locals grow vegetables and fruit in large gardens that float on the surface of the lake, called Hydroponic culture. The floating garden beds are formed by extensive manual labor. The farmers gather up lake-bottom weeds from the deeper parts of the lake, bring them back in boats and make them into floating beds in their garden areas, anchored by bamboo poles. These gardens rise and fall with changes in the water level, and so are resistant to flooding. The constant availability of nutrient-laden water results in these gardens being incredibly fertile. Rice cultivation on the lake shores is also significant.

Silk-weaving is another important industry, producing high-quality hand-woven silk fabrics. A unique fabric from the lotus plant fibers is produced only at Inle Lake and is used for weaving special robes for Buddha images called (lotus robe).

A local market called 5 days market serves most common shopping needs and is held daily but the location of the event rotates through five different sites around the lake area, thus each of them hosting an itinerant market every fifth day. The Phaungdawoo Pagoda from Inle Lake is one of the famous principal shrines in Myanmar. Once a year, in October, there is a pagoda festival with the procession of the four Buddha images around the Lake in a colorful barge drawn by the long racing boats with 1000 leg rowers. The boat race takes place at the end of procession. 

Other interesting places to visit are the Shwe Indein Pagoda on the western bank of Inle Lake, Taungto, Sagar and Tar khaung with hundreds of ancient stupas – most are ruins overgrown with bushes.

 

 

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FLOOD RELIEF

It is the rainy season in Myanmar and every year some areas do get flooded. However, this year with climate change, the rains have been pouring down on the country, the rivers are swollen and getting out of their beds ... Read more

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