Inle Lake was included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) in June 2015 at the 27th Session of the International Coordinating Council of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB-ICC). Inle Lake is surrounded by the green mountain ranges and overlooks the misty Shan Mountains at 900 metres above sea level. It is the home of the Intha people, who have adapted their environment by building entire villages rising on stilts from the shallow waters. Lake dwellers grow an array of flowers and vegetables in picturesque floating gardens and fields, tended by workers in canoes. They have become famous for their unique one-leg rowing technique.
Five-Day-Market: These bustling markets around Inle Lake are mostly of interest for the variety of different products offered, mainly grown on the floating gardens. Additional local color is added by the presence of the different tribal groups such as the Pa-O, who come from far and wide to sell their items. The market rotates between different villages over five days.
Nga Phe Monastery: It is also called the "Monastery of the jumping cats", since the monks have trained their cats to jump through hoops. The different ancient Buddha images inside make this monastery a worthwhile stop.
Indaing Village: Indaing is located half way along the western side of the lake and is very interesting due to its 1.094 stupas surrounding the main pagoda, the Indaing Pagoda. This pagoda is the original home of the five famous Buddha images of Inle Lake. Some of the stupas were built during the 11th century and feature beautiful stone carvings.
Phaung Daw U Pagoda: This complex is the holiest religious site in the southern area of the Shan State. It hosts five gold-leaf-covered statues, of which three are Buddha images and two are reportedly Arahats (historical disciples of the Buddha). The gold leaf on the figures has become so thick that the images have become almost unrecognizable. During the 18 days of the famous Phaung Daw U Festival, the ceremonial barge sets off from here to carry four of the five Buddha images around the lake, from village to village, to bless the village monasteries. This festival takes place every year around September and October.
Kaung Daing Village: The village is situated on the northwest shore of the lake and is famous for the production of rice crackers, tofu snacks and fried beans. There are hot springs about 40 minutes walking distance from the village, a popular bathing place for locals and tourists alike.
Sagar Village: is a ruined royal capital with ancient monasteries and pagodas at the edge of a picturesque wide lake between the Shan mountain ranges in the south of Inle Lake. Fascinating is the 2 hr boat ride down the river leading out of Inle Lake in the south, along old Nat shrines and lonely pagodas. It is a ride through the “watery Tuscany of Myanmar”, lush colourful fields in green, yellow and brown along the mountain slopes.
Kyauk Taing: Visiting Kyauk Taing pottery village, tourists will have a chance to enjoy the amazing landscapes along the boat ride on Inle Lake, also learn about the local life of the villagers, and experience the process of making pottery products. The village is mostly famous for its underground kilns. There are around 100 houses and pottery making is a major economy of the community. Pottery products including planters, small water pots, kitchen wares, storage jars, etc. are sold not only at the local market but also distributed throughout the country.
Kyaing Khan: The magic could be found only in two traditional villages on Inle Lake and nowhere else in the world! Kyaing Khan is one of the last places where the process of lotus weaving can be seen. It is worth watching how the weavers works in a real working area, the lotus being made into thread, dyed and woven.
Traditional crafts on the Inle Lake:
|Silk weaving||at Inbawkhone|
|Gold & Silver Smithing||at Ywama|
|Paper Making||at Ywama|
|Boat Making||at Nam Pan|
|Cheroot Making||at Nam Pan|