Everything You Need to Know About Inle Lake Boat Tour

Believe it or not, you may have never heard of this place, but it’s my favorite place in Myanmar. Its name is Inle Lake. As dreamy as it sounds, it’s a place where heaven and water meet. The sky is blue, the air is fresh and most importantly, it’s a place surrounded by crystal clear water! Here’s everything you need to know about Inle Lake boat tour.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat cover

Why take Inle Lake boat tour?

Unless you are actually staying on the lake at some expensive resorts, you can’t really see the lake without doing a boat tour. Most of the hotels and guesthouses are located in a small village called Nyaungshwe, approximately 30 mins away from the lake by boat.

We stayed in Spring Lodge Inle, a very beautiful hotel in Nyaungshwe. The hotel is brand new, clean, spacious and most importantly, the owners are super friendly. Rarely can you find a hotel of such good quality in rural places like Inle Lake.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour spring lodge room

What to take note of Inle Lake boat tour?

Depending on what time you want to start your tour, your boat tour guide will pick you up directly from your hotel. The tour lasts about 6 hours and I highly recommend you to go for either sunrise or sunset tour, as they are the most amazing moments of the day.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour sunset time

Do note that if you are traveling during the winter season (Nov to Feb), which is also the best season to visit Myanmar, the weather is very cold during day and night. So do bring a warm jacket (yes no kidding!) so that you can fully enjoy the boat tour. A hat and a pair of sunglasses are recommended too as the sunlight is strong.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour hat

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour sunset

If you want to avoid looking for your own tour or using a tourist agency as a middleman, I would highly recommend trying the boat tour guide we engaged. You can ask staff from Spring Lodge Inle to book the tour with him in advance.

Nyunt Pe – Boat Driver (+95 9428316291)

20000 kyat, or about $18 USD total for the whole boat (2-5 people). 

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour captain

What to expect in Inle Lake boat tour?

During your 6-hour boat ride, you are going to see a lot of things. Beautiful scenery, amazing people, and unique culture. So are you ready to be on board?

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour lake

Once you hop onto the boat, you’ll soon be led to the open lake. You’ll probably be busy snapping photos of the surrounding. But trust me, this is just a beginning. Even better things are coming! So put on the life-jacket and get ready to embrace the brisk wind and changing scenery. Apart from safety reasons, the life-jacket will keep you warm too!

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour life jacket

Inle Lake boat tour – Floating Garden

One iconic scene from Inle Lake you shouldn’t miss is its floating gardens. In most parts of the world, people plant food in the earth. But because Inle Lake has more water than land, locals there actually make use of the lake for agriculture. How? Basically, they use bamboo poles to secure clumps of land, water plants and grasses to the mud below the water, then farmers plant their vegetables in the soil. How ingenious isn’t it!

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour view

If you look closely, the floating garden is so secure that it can actually support people’s weight. And when our guide Nyunt Pe stepped on it, it looked like he was stepping on a waterbed. So cool!

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour floating garden

Nyunt Pe told us that they plant many different types of vegetables in Inle Lake, including tomato, cucumber etc, and they will sell it to the rest of Myanmar.

Inle Lake boat tour – Lotus Silk Weaving House

I’ve heard of silk weaving, but lotus silk? It’s a first time I’ve ever heard of such thing! I was so amazed that the locals can make thread from fibers found in lotus stems.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour lotus flower

The sticky, elastic fibers are pulled out of the stem while simultaneously being hand rolled to other fibers to create a long thread.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour lotus

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour thread

The thread is just the beginning, they locals will then go through several processing steps, such as machinery, glue, weaving to make the lotus silk stronger.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour make silk

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour glue

The thread is then used to make scarves and other items. And because of the tedious hand-making process, the price tag for each item is rather steep. But you can choose not to buy, the locals won’t be pushy at all.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour silk

Inle Lake boat tour – Hand Made Cigarettes Workshop

Throughout Burma you’ll notice people, often older women, with green leaf cigarettes hanging out the sides of their mouths and small stands splattered with ingredients as they hand roll various cheroots and small packages of betel nut to chew.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour tobacco

The Inle Lake area, in particular, is known for its flavored cheroots like coconut, anise, pineapple, mint and even banana. You can sample the different kinds before buying a pack for your self – ten hand-rolled cheroots will run you $1-2.

Inle Lake boat tour – Local Villages

The lake is the livelihood of these people, so you are bound to pass by many local villages. This is a good chance for you to observe people’s lives on the water. Everything just feels so slow on the lake…

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour village

Inle Lake boat tour – Golden Temple

There’s one famous temple inside Inle Lake, and their Buddha statues are very different from the rest of the temples in Myanmar. The four Buddha do not have any features. Basically, they are shapes with spirits. Locals say that they are very powerful, and they hold an annual festival to worship the four Buddha.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour buddha

Inle Lake boat tour – Long Neck Women

For whatever reasons, there are three long neck women at one of the shops that sell paper umbrella. They are the Karen women who lengthen their necks with metal rings. They will happily pose for photographs before some friendly assistants will walk you through the shop, pointing at the purchasable items apparently made by the women.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour long neck

I find it rather strange as it’s pretty staged. Probably this is the only place that I don’t recommend coming. But if you want to have a photography with the ladies, by all means. They won’t push you to buy anything after all.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour long neck photo

Where to stay in Inle Lake?

Many visitors come to Inle Lake for a couple of days, so that they can enjoy the beauty slowly. And I highly recommend staying with Spring Lodge Inle. The large hotel has only 14 rooms. Each room is spacious, clean and beautifully decorated, and you can enjoy a lot of privacy during your stay.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour spring lodge garden

Depending on whether you are traveling as a couple or a family, the hotel will have a perfect room for you.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour twin

Even the bathroom is super spacious and modern. It feels so good to soak in a tub of hot water at the end of the day…

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour spring lodge bathroom

In Myanmar, both guys and girls love to put a natural sunblock on their faces. The hotel even provides a brand new one for you, which is the wood looking plant in the picture below. All you need to do is to add a little bit of water to the plate and grind out the sunblock.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour sunblock

Each room also has a unique painting, and they are all painted by hands! How pretty isn’t it?

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour painting

The hotel also has a restaurant that serves very good food. A continental breakfast is served every morning. All the bread is freshly baked and so yummy!

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour breakfast time

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour breakfast egg

With the cosy decoration and the beautiful views outside of the window, the experience is just first class…

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour breakfast

And if you are in for a swim, there’s also a super clean pool right inside the hotel, a rare find in Inle Lake.

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour spring lodge pool

On top of the that, you can also rent bicycles for free from the hotel and explore the area. My family and I had such an amazing time cycling around the field and taking awesome pictures with animals and the blue sky!

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour spring lodge cycling

If you have any requests or questions during your stay, feel free to approach the hotel staff or the owners. They will be so happy to help you. They even allow us to have an early check-in and late check-out without any charges. How kind they are!

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour spring lodge

Hope my post has inspired you to visit Inle Lake, the most beautiful place of Myanmar. If you are staying with Spring Lodge, help me to say Hi to the owners and tell them that I miss them! In the meantime, happy traveling!

Everything you need to know about Inle lake boat tour spring lodge nearby

Check out my vlog below to explore the beauty of Inle Lake with your own eyes! Subscribe to my Youtube channel for more awesome vlogs!

 

  • Carol

    Floating garden, lotus silk, handmade cigarettes, long necks…how very interesting. Never heard if Inke Lake! Now I know where to go in Myanmar!

  • Alli Blair

    The floating garden, the vibrant fabric, and the fresh cuisine looks absolutely fantastic! Spending a few days here would be an absolute dream! I would love to glide in that boat with a big hat and just take in the sun and the sounds of the water 🙂

  • I love the floating gardens! Myanmar has definitely been on my radar lately with several friends having gone there, but Inle Lake is a whole different type of experience and very different from the places like Yangon and Bagan that I think of when I think of Myanmar. 6 hours is a long time for a boat tour; I’m sure I would see a lot of cool things! Also love the Buddhas in the Golden Temple.

  • Kenny T.K. Chow

    The fish villages has a incredible traditional and culture ~ it’s a beautiful place and I hope the it will be able to preserve the fishing culture even it’s getting more tourists visiting. @ knycx.journeying

  • Blissmersion

    I’m curious how much those lotus silk scarves cost, because they are beautiful and unique!

    Did you try the natural sunblock? That is fascinating and I think my children would enjoy “making” it and using it.

    Lake Inle is beautiful. Your video complements your post really well. I really enjoyed seeing your guide step on th floating gardens (which are an amazing concept). Maybe I’ll make it to Lake Inle someday.