3-Day Trekking Experience from Kalaw to Inle Lake, Myanmar
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 but it is a popular tourist route and there are many other options for how to go to Inle Lake. One of the options is trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake over 2 or 3 days. The sleepy town of Kalaw is known for being the start of one of Myanmar’s best experiences, a highlight that every traveler who passes through talks about. Between the varied and diverse scenery during the three day trek and the fact you are able to experience the simplicity of life in the villages that you trek to, makes this is an experience that I highly recommend to anyone heading to Myanmar.
Trekking Day 1: Kalaw to Ywa Pu village or Kyauk Su village (Danu tribe)
On the first day, we trekked for a total of 19km across a lush forest. Although the distance didn’t seem far, the trek was long and challenging but the scenery made up for it. We walked through forests and tea plantations boasting of incredible rolling hills and mountainous views. During this first day of trekking, we also encounter the Palauang tribe village which is home to many beautiful tea and orange plantations.
Trekking Day 2: Ywa Pu village or Kyauk Su village (Danu tribe) to the Thi Taein monastery (Pa-Oh tribe)
The second day, we trekked through farmland and rice paddies which stretched out as far as your eyes can see. The trek was roughly about 21km long and was challenging due to the hot climate. I went during the first two weeks of April so the sun was scorching. We walked through fields of vegetables and villages as little kids came out to play with us along the way. Our day ended with us sleeping in yet another locals home where we feasted on delicious dishes which were meticulously prepared by our host families.
Trekking Day 3: Thi Taein Monastery – Inle Lake
The landscape during this day was pretty barren and deserted which was a large contrast to the last couple of days. After what felt like ages, we saw a glimpse of the gleaming blue lake shining brightly. Soon, we found ourselves enjoying a well deserved ice cold beer by the lake, talking and reminiscing about our journey over the last three days. After a light lunch, we got on a motorized longtail boat which traveled across the lake to take us to the town of Nyaungshwe. The achievement of completing the trek and seeing the beautiful scenery around us made those three days one of my most memorable experiences in Myanmar.
Overall, this trek is something that I highly recommend doing as the experience was very memorable. Between the kindness of the locals who opened up their homes, the beautifully diverse scenery, and the challenging trek, this trip would easily be one of the highlights of your trip to Myanmar.