During our visit to Inle Lake, a large freshwater lake in the Shan state, I say large because it can easily sustain a floating village with a population numbering in the thousands with a fishing industry and floating tomato beds and still provide vast amounts of water that Myanmar uses for irrigation and hydro power generation. After arriving on the shores of Inle Lake, we were settled into our private ‘long tail’ boat- extremely shallow propellers fitted on long handles in the water sending ‘tails’ of water into the air as they move along
The 45min boat ride to our hotel on a was extremely enjoyable after the plane and car rides usual of the travel we were doing. While our hotel wasn’t actually ‘floating’ it was built on stilts – not that it helped when boats went past as the whole room swayed with the waves – a very disconcerting feeling when you are in the bathroom or in the bath. However the location and facilities were amazing.
Before our trip to Inle Lake, I had no idea that you could use the fibre from the inner stem of the lotus flower as a material for weaving. Turns out for the people of Inle, it's a staple.
I was absolutely fascinated by the people of Inle and their lives, everything they do is associated with the water - they have to, their houses are built on it, they rely on it for transport.
Inle is one of the largest tomato producing regions of Myanmar, the floating beds are based on floating tuff cut on the banks and secured into position.
No trip to Inle Lake count be complete without seeing the iconic fishermen, who remarkably paddle their low profile fishing boats with their legs - leaving their hands free to net and set fish traps.
Sorry for the death by pictures - but the location was just so amazing.
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