Inle Lake has a unique style of aquaculture. The Inthas live on the lake and also live off of it, thanks to their floating gardens. Intha farmers grow flowers and vegetables such as tomatoes and squash on long strips of floating land. The land is formed through a collection of tangled water hyacinth, weeds and reeds that accumulate on the rim of the lake; the Inthas tie the land down to the bottom of the lake with long bamboo poles. Location: Nampan Village, Inle Lake, Nyaung Shwe Township.
Inle Floating Gardens
The Nga Phe Kyaung is the biggest and oldest monastery in Inle Lake. It is a beautiful wooden structure that was built on stilts over the lake at the end of the 1850s. The monastery is home to a collection of ancient Bagan, Shan, Tibet and Ava-style Buddha images. However, it is most famous for the jumping cats. An abbot at the monastery has trained the cats to jump through a hoop like in a circus. Location: Nga Phe Kyaung Village, Inle Lake.
Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery/Jumping Cats Monastery
The village of Indein is a tourist destination for the ruins of ancient pagodas, and Nyaung Oak is one of them. Nyaung Oak is not a single pagoda; rather, it is a group of pagodas found immediately behind the village. The ancient pagodas may be crumbling, but the intricate details of the structures can still be seen. In some parts, the elaborate stucco carvings of celestial beings and mythical animals are still apparent. Location: Indein Village, Inle Lake.
Nyaung Oak Pagodas
Because it is the most anticipated and most significant religious event in Inle Lake, the Phaungdawoo Festival can be considered as an attraction in its own right. The 18-day event includes a grand procession of Buddha images, a boat race and other activities. Four of the five Buddha images in the Phaungdawoo Pagoda are transported on a royal barge which is pulled by big Inle traditional boats. The festival is generally held in September or October, depending on the Myanmar calendar.
Founded in 2002, the winery employs French and Australian know-how and French, Spanish and Israeli vines to knock out some fine and varied vintages. Enjoy an inexpensive tasting and savour the superb location.
A selection of Western and Local dishes is also served, including a small cheese plate at 4,500 kyat, to help with the wine tasting. There’s the fine terrace plus an indoor seating area too.
If you’ve not tasted too many glasses, you can push on further down the lake by bicycle to reach the attractive lakeside village of Maing Thauk. Half the village is on stilts over the water and half on dry land, plus a photogenic forest pagoda lies at the foot of the hills just inland from the village. The round trip would be around 20 kilometres on a sealed but bumpy road. To your right, there are views across marshlands to the lake and to the left the forested foothills of the range leading east to Kakku. Maing Thauk has tea shops with snacks and noodles. If you’re feeling tired, you could try talking a boatman into taking you back to town. Sticking yourselves and your bikes in a boat for Nyaung Shwe shouldn’t cost you more than 15,000 kyat.
Red Mountain Winery and Maing Thauk
Shwe Indein Pagoda
The Shwe Indein Pagoda is situated at the end of the marvellous Indein creek, which is linked to the Inle Lake after the Phaungdawoo Pagoda. One can find a Buddha image enshrined in a whitewashed stupa found on the summit of a hill. Around the hill, there is a cluster of ancient stupas, most of which are ruins. It is said that the pagoda was built in the 17th and 18th century. Location: Indein Village, Inle Lake.
The Phaungdawoo Pagoda is one of the most recognized shrines in Myanmar. In fact, it is the most sacred pagoda in the whole southern Shan State. It is found in Inle Lake, in the main boat landing in Ywama. The name 'Phaungdawoo' means ‘front of the raft’ in Burmese. The Phaungdawoo is home to five Buddha images, which were said to be donated by King Alaung Sithu. The pagoda was built for the purpose of keeping these Buddha images. A small entrance fee applies. Location: Ywama Village, Inle Lake.
Home of Pa-O tribe: Sakar Village
A hidden village dramatized by the greenly scenery mountains amid the Shan Plateau near the Lake Inle is Sakar. A boat trip to the village of Sakar is beyond your imagination. Gazing at the blue hazy mountains, feeding groups of water birds that are chattering here and there on the Lake, scattering floating vegetation and happy-and-content Inthas (native to the Lake Inle) in their leg-rowing small boats are some unique spices appetizing those who are hungry for nature and cleanly environs.
The Sakar village, once must have been a thriving town of Sawbwa (the heredity prince), is a place of unexplored. All are intact and unspoiled. Reach up the Sakar village which takes a half-day boat ride. There you find blushing faces of Pa-O tribe, welcoming smiles of the villagers amidst the dotting religious buildings (pagodas & monasteries). Witness the two Ms (Maze & Mystery) there and let the solution be found in your own tune when you come in Sakar.
Alodaw Pauk Pagoda
The Alodaw Pauk Pagoda is one of the 84,000 pagodas built by a famous king - King Thiri Dhamma Thawka. When King Anawrahta arrived in Inle Lake, he rebuilt the pagoda because the only thing left was the foot of the original. The pagoda was originally named the Innphaya Pagoda, but it was changed into Yadana Pagoda before assuming its current name. The Alodaw Pauk Pagoda is home to the gem-encrusted Shan-style Buddha stupa. Location: Nampan Village, Inle Lake, Nyaung Shwe Township.