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Ousted from their lands by warring neighbours, the resident tribe of Inle Lake took to the water and developed a culture that has survived for centuries, living in houses built on stilts and cultivating crops of floating seedbeds.
Nestled in a hollow of the Shan Plateau, Inle Lake is the focus of attention for the surrounding area and provides some good opportunities to see local tribes.
Numerous villages surround it and floating markets are held on a rotational basis. Religious deities travel the lake by boat visiting each of the villages with boats being rowed by men using a curious combination of just one leg and an oar. A number of good hotels have been built at the edge of the lake making it a peaceful place to spend a few days.
Considered as heaven on earth by travellers who have visited it, it a perfect place for activity enthusiastic travellers interested in cycling, kayaking and trekking, and new for 2015, hot air balloon rides.
A truly fascinating place and well worth a visit during any tailor-made Myanmar holiday, its cultural and scenic offerings are second to none.
Tell us what you love doing and we’ll curate a journey that’s perfect for you.
See the famous Inle Lake leg rowers. Their iconic one legged stance allows them to wrap one leg around the oar to guide their boat while keeping both hands free to cast their conical net into the water
Visit the five-day market, which travels from village to village based on the lunar calendar.
Cycle to the Red Mountain Wine Estate on the shores of Inle Lake and enjoy a sundowner.
Float across the serenely beautiful lake by hot air balloon.
Learn more above the traditional silk and lotus weaving process, from cultivation to dying and weaving.
Discover the less visited southern shore of Inle Lake.
Located on the eastern shores of Inle Lake…
Our experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something to spark ideas for a unique adventure.
A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.
Paul is the Conde Nast Traveler chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.
Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz. Later, my father’s postings took us to Nepal where we had to transit Delhi and Kathmandu where we were sometimes stranded for days and Hong Kong from where I travelled in 1983 through China for two months.
My first journey for Steppes was in 1999 when I set off to explore Thailand to gather those little details that constitute Steppes Travel’s trademark knowledge. I have since been lucky enough to travel extensively in Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East and India. A few special memories include being joined at dinner by an otter in Laos, proudly being shown an illicit picture of the Dalai Lama in Tibet and diving with manta rays on Christmas day in Indonesia. I’m pretty sure I always leave a country wishing I had done more, seen more, learned more ….. but I also always hope to return …
Your expertise helped us with our choices of activity, and we were often pleasantly surprised by some of the things arranged - the boat building at Inle was fascinating, we loved eating in the Burmese houses and thought that a real highlight and adored the ballooning in Bagan.
Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.
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