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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Myanmar Attractions and Sight Seeing

Inle Lake

Inle Lake in Shan State

This lake is one of the most beautiful spot in Myanmar. Once it was much larger but today it is about 22.4 km long and 10.2 km wide and about 950 m above sea level.
Around and on the lake lives one of Burma's ethnic minorities, the Intha (Sons of the Lake). There are still quite a few living in houses on stilts on the lake.
It is no wonder, that with this environment the Intha children learn to swim before they can walk. To keep track of their young, bells are tied to their ankles.
The Intha are skilled fishermen with a unique fishing technique. A conical trap made of bamboo or wood with a net inside is used to catch the fish.
They also have a very special way of rowing that is standing upright in the long and narrow boats, then they use their leg for moving the row, leaving both arms free to handle other equipment (e.g. nets.). However one arm is used to give the oar some leverage.
Known widely as fine craftsmen, the Intha excel as silversmiths, blacksmiths, carpenters and as weavers of cotton and silk.
But also the farmers have developed some interesting skills. They use floating mats woven of dried reeds and grass covered with mud to grow crops. These mats are as long as 60 m, but very narrow, so that they can be easily worked from a boat. The term gardener gets a new meaning with some Inthas towing this "land" behind them and selling off slices according to the needs of their customers.
There is a market every five days at Inbawhkon. Inbawhkon is at the narrowest part of the lake, about two thirds of the lake's length towards the south.
Each October, for two weeks there is a big religious festival. An ornamental barge carrying the image of the mythical "karaweik" and four sacred figures tours the lake. The figures are thought to have been brought from Malaya by the 12th-century king Alaungsithu. According to the legend, the Buddhist devotee placed them inside a cave near Inle. Re-discovered centuries later, they have become increasingly significant in religion. Today, it is no longer possible to make out any features, since they are compleately covered with gold. After the big boat finishes the tour, the leg-rowers gather for the most important regatta.
To visit this lake, you will have to pay an admission fee of USD 3.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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