Inle Lake, Myanmar
Enjoy a full day tour of Inle Lake.
Board a long-tail boat for an insider's view of the life in this unique region. Community villages and farms perch over the waters on stilts and float on pads of reeds and earth. Observe the leg-rowers and visit the local handicraft villages (silk weaving on wooden handlooms, lotus weaving, the Burmese mild cigar cottage industry, traditional boat makers and the Silversmith Village). Pass endless floating gardens where fruit and vegetables are grown.
Visit a silver smith factory, silk weaving village, boat-making workshop, the famous jumping cat monastery and Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, home of the 5 sacred Buddha Images.
Around and on the lake live the Intha, one of Burma's ethnic minorities. The Intha are skilled fishermen with a unique fishing technique. A conical trap made of bamboo or wood with a net inside is thrust into the water. When the fisherman feels (with a string) a fish caught in the net, he releases the net, and with some luck, a fish is caught. To scare the fish, so that it touches the net, a pole is used in the other hand to stir the water near the net.
Known widely as fine craftsmen, the Intha excel as silversmiths, blacksmiths, carpenters and as weavers of cotton and silk.
The farmers have also developed some interesting skills. They use floating mats woven of dried reeds and grass covered with mud to grow crops. These mats are as long as 196 feet, but very narrow, so that they can be easily worked from a boat. The term gardener gets a new meaning with some Inthas towing this 'land' behind them and selling off slices according to the needs of their customers.