The Inle Lake bug

Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
Trip End Apr 25, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of Myanmar  , Shan,
Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Staying in the delightful Mingalar Inn we are treated to the best breakfast in Myanmar so far. Four days of this and I might need new trousers. We hire some bicycles with luxuriously sprung seats and head off 11km down the side of the lake which is 13.5 miles long and 7 miles wide, travel ling through sugarcane plantations to a village where there is a pagoda perched high on a mountain. In our infinite wisdom we set off in midday heat to climb up to it. After much whinging on my part we arrive at the top to be rewarded by a beautiful view of the lake glistening in the sun and the cleanest squatters in the land. After descending again, we cross the road and walk to a quarter mile long wooden bridge which leads to the floating village on the lake. There are people industriously busy everywhere, fishing, building houses and tinkering with boat engines. All of a sudden, the bridge and waters are brimming with noisy children and young women who all peel off into various narrow boats and paddle off towards the village- looks like the school run, not a Chelsea Tractor in sight, at least three children in every boat, how refreshing. Traditional boat propulsion is unique on the lake. Standing at the back, one leg is wrapped around a single paddle to drive the blade through the water in a snake like motion. This also frees up both hands if grappling with fishing nets or bickering children.
On the way back we make a slight detour to the Red Mountain vineyard. It is well worth the steep cycle and we watch the sun go down over the lake with a fabulous glass of true Burmese wine, surrounded by every Frenchman in Myanmar, quelle suprise. As soon as the sun slips behind he hills we're off at Tour de France speed to get home before all the light disappears. It is amazing how performance is improved with two glasses of wine on board.
That night our luck runs out and whilst Jon is singing to the tune of 'keep on running', I'm a bit more of an 'uptown girl' and so we loose two days confined to the guesthouse. Myanmar food 1, Izzy & Jon 0.

The Inle lake dogs are dawgs in da hood. In daylight hours, the streets are littered with slumbering muts not moving an inch, then as dusk approaches they all slink off to their East side or West side gangs and war is waged in the early hours. First one pack breaks into loud and prolonged wolf like howling ensued by the opposition after which a huge brawl takes place on the waste ground/battleground behind our hotel. The hotel dog is clearly involved as it sleeps under the swinging chair all day and looks worse for wear in the mornings.
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