Inle Lake and surroundings

“The authentic journey consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having a new look”

(Marcel Proust)

 

 With an area of 116 square kms and located between the Shan mountains 884 m above sea level kms, Inle Lake Lake is the second largest lake in extension and one of the highest in Burma, addition to one of its main tourist destinations. Its average depth varies between 2 and 4 meters depending on the season. Nyaungshwe is the largest population and is home to the Pagoda and monastery built in teak ShweYaunghwe. On the banks the lake there are many villages, mostly populated by the ethnic group of Intha (children of the lake) and ethnic Pa-o, where people live from traditional fishing and crops in floating gardens scattered around the lake.

 In towns like Indein, besides having a "forest of stupas" is arranged a weekly street markets that goes from town to town. The usual method of transportation is a boat like a canoe that travels across the lake using a long paddle and in some cases engine. Inside the lake there are towns like Nan Pan with floating houses built as pile dwellings on the water, or other like Inpawkon where in large buildings of teak women woven on ancient looms.

 In one of the banks of the lake is Phaung DawOo pagoda, one of the three principals in Burma, built in the eighteenth century and containing five images of Buddha from the XII century. Once a year is held the Kandawgyi Festival, where images are transported in procession around the lake in barges beautifully decked.

 We leave the lake towards Kalaw, a town in Shan mountains from where we make a trekking route to Taryaw to see life in the countryside and children attending school in a remote school in the mountains.

 On the way to Taunggyi we got permission to visit Kakku, a place until recently in the hands of the guerrillas. Is a unique location with over 2,500 pagodas and stupas aligned that are believed to be built in the seventeenth century although there is some with more than 2,000 years old. (Watch video).

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