How to Get There
Inlay Lake (also known as Inle Lake) is a scenic highland lake in Shan State. It is easily accessible by plane from Yangon, Bagan or Mandalay to Heho airport. From there it is a 35km journey by road to Nyaung Shwe, the main “marina” for pick-up by boat. The Shan capital Taunggyi is accessible by either road or rail from where you then proceed to Nyaung Shwe. Typically, a motorised boat is the best way to explore the lake. The traditional non-motorised one-legged rowing canoe is also enjoyable.
Flights arrive at Heho airport – 45 mins by taxies to Nyaung Shwe.
From Yangon to Heho – 1 hours ~ 3 hours
From Mandalay to Heho – 25 min
From Bagan to Heho – 1 hour
From Ngapali to Heho – 1 hour
From Yangon to Nyaung Shwe – take around 12 hours
From Bagan to Nyaung Shwe – 9 hours
From Mandalay to Nyaung Shwe – 8 hour
From Yangon to Nyaung Shwe – 27 hours
From Tharzi to Nyaung Shwe – 6 hours
Some like Shan cuisine are found all over the region and even elsewhere in the country. Mostly made from natural, locally-grown produce, be sure to try dishes like Shan khao swe, htamin jin, lahpet, mala hin and myae oh meeshay. Tasting the authentic charm of Inlay Lake is by no means limited to food.
Inlay is a feast for all the senses and perhaps the most memorable sight is watching Inthar fishermen single-foot paddling and retrieving their catches in their conical nets. Taking home a souvenir or two from this unique place is a must. Certain villages on and around Inlay Lake specialise in particular handicrafts such as Phaw Kone Village (silk and lotus weaving), Kyaut Taing (pottery), Ywa-ma (gold and silver wares), Se-khong (blacksmiths) so explore, admire and purchase to help sustain these genuine practices.
Rich in ethnic customs and rituals, the tribes inhabiting the lake have preserved much of their traditional existence. Many of them have a self-sufficient way of life, farming the floating gardens on the lake and fishing using long-established methods. The lake is well known for its locally produced woven textiles especially lotus, and hand-rolled cheroot cigars. It is also home to plenty of craftsmen who produce handicrafts in time-honoured traditions such as silver wares, bronze wares and wooden sculptures. The same is true of the surrounding villages where, for example, naturally beautiful, handmade Shan paper decorated with fresh flowers.