The first day we hired a boat and went down the river to Inle Lake
. It's huge and at some points seems like you are in the sea it's so massive. There's gorgeous scenery of hills and floating villages and we stopped at a weaving place, that was like going back in time - Styal Mill eat your heart out! There was also a silver shop, where the girls stocked up on some jewellery. That night we had a fair few drinks and I found a pool table and a local with a guitar so we had a good jamming session!
The next day we hired bikes to hot springs and then to Red Mountain Vineyard which was a real treat! We did a wine tasting session, then bought a few bottles to share and watched the sunset over the vineyard. It really didn't feel like we were in Burma at all and the scenery looked more like South Africa! We liked it so much we went back again the following evening for some more of the delicious red!
Annoyingly the night buses in Burma arrive about three hours earlier than when they are supposed to, meaning that we arrived at Inle at around 3am. With no accommodation booked we went to about 5 guesthouses that were all full before coming across some locals who advised us to go to the monastery. We had images of us spooning monks, but when we arrived, we found that the examination hall had been changed into what looked like a huge dorm. It was warm and cosy with loads of space and blankets and plenty of sleeping travellers. At 5 dollars a night we jumped into bed and crashed until about 11am. When we woke up we even knew people who we'd met at Mr Charles'! It was a great cheap place to stay, despite freezing shower, great to meet people and we even slept pretty well there. One of the nights us and the girls went to get their hair washed by the local hairdresser as she had hot water! Hard times!