The second part of our trip to Burma was to visit Inle Lake. It’s this very large, shallow fresh water lake with many small villages edging its shores. Many of these are villages on stilts, and the only way to and from houses is on a boat.
Around the lake there are pagodas, new and old, to visit, but the main “attraction” is just to see life on the lake. There are fisherman that splash the water and use giant nets, and I’m still not quite sure how their technique helps them get fish, but it looks cool. And then there are the stilted villages and “floating” gardens, which I think use the floating vine plants to the dirt and the plants. Crazy stuff. As tourists we got shuttled around on big canoes with a loud motor on the back. If I lived in the lake I’d hate tourists, but everyone at the lake was very friendly and welcoming.
The lake is surrounded by many mountains and we did a hike one day. It was so hot I seriously almost didn’t make it. But, it was well worth it once I did make it, we had some great views of the lake and got to see what tows off the lake were like. Much of what is grown in the area is sugarcane, and there is a fair amount of rice, and some vegetables. Off the lake, and up in the mountains, we may have seen just as many cow-drawn carts as cars and trucks.