How to Get to Inle Lake, Myanmar
In the unique watery world of Inle Lake, Intha fisherman row canoes with one leg, gardens float, and wooden homes perch above the water on rickety stilts. Take some time to explore one of Myanmar's most iconic destinations with an early-morning cruise or a cycle through the countryside.
Inle Lake to/from Yangon
Many people ask how far Inle Lake is from Yangon, but this depends on what mode of transport you choose. It is approximately 650km from Yangon and would take around 7-9 hours in a private taxi. But it is a popular tourist route and there are many other options for how to go from Inle Lake to Yangon.
Inle lake to Yangon by train: the least recommended way to travel, the train journey is long, slow and uncomfortable. If you really want to have the ‘train experience’ its advisable to only do the Kalaw-Inle Lake section, as this is already a bumpy 5 hour ride.
Inle lake to Yangon by bus: The best way to travel. For approximately $18 you can travel overnight on the 10 hour journey from Yangon to Inle Lake. The VIP buses are budget friendly and comfortable. Huge leather fully reclining seats, free toothbrush and toothpaste, shortbread cookies, a face wipe, vomit bags and a soft warm blanket to snuggle in. There are a few times for dinner/toilet stops on the way, they stop at a modern looking service station with flashing lights and plenty of food options.
Inle lake to Yangon flight: There are daily flights between Yangon and Heho, the local airport for Inle Lake. Flight time is approximately 1 hour and a half, however don’t forget to account for the time spent either side getting to the destination. In Yangon traffic it can take an hour to reach the city centre from the airport. On the other end, you will need to take a taxi or local bus from Heho to Inle Lake or Ngaung Shwe as it is quite far away. Flying is an expensive way to do this journey.
Inle Lake to/from Bagan
Inle lake to Bagan is another trip that is firmly on the tourist route, it is approximately 350km. There is a local Inle Lake to Bagan bus, or increasingly more ‘tourist VIP buses’. Both take the same amount of time, around 8-10 hours and run daily and also overnight. If you are in a rush, take the overnight bus or it is also possible to catch a flight. The local airport to Inle Lake is Heho. For Bagan the local airport is Nyaung U.
Inle Lake to Kalaw
Set in a gorgeous landscape of forest-capped hills, Kalaw is a former hill station surrounded by Buddhist pagodas, hilltop viewpoints and the peaceful villages. Kalaw is a top trekking destination, and you can trek over 2 or 3 days from Inle Lake to Kalaw. There is also a bus that takes a couple of hours or a slow train that takes approximately 5 hours.