Visiting Inle Lake and Nyaung Shwe - Myanmar.
Including Inle Lake as part of a tour of Myanmar is definitely worthwhile - if for no other reason than to get some peace and quiet after all those Pagoda visits elsewhere.
Travelling to Inle Lake and/or Nyaung Shwe in Myanmar. Getting to the area by road is not too good an option - the roads from Mandalay and so on are really poor. The trip from Mandalay to Nyaung Shwe can easily take 9 hours and there are lots of pot-holes to enjoy. The best option is to fly there - the airport serving the area is located at HeHo which is around 25 miles away from Nyaung Shwe. Heho Airport is served by several domestic Burmese airlines using turboprop aircraft and these provide flights which operate out of Yangon and do stop-offs at various locations - namely Bagan, Mandalay and Heho - sometimes going the other way round i.e. Heho first. A taxi from
the airport is around USD 25 and the taxi-drivers seem to have an "agreement" amongst themselves and will not negotiate however a taxi back from Nyaung Shwe can be negotiated and maybe costs around USD20.
An area ticket is required for visitors to Inle Lake and Nyaung Shwe - the permit booth is on the main just on the outskirts of Nyaung Shwe and your taxi driver will automatically stop there. The area permit fee as of 2014 was USD10.
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Inle Lake and Nyaung Shwe hotels, guesthouses and picking where to stay.There are several quite expensive hotels to stay in situated alongside Inle Lake - these are more like resorts than simply hotels. However if you simply want somewhere to stay then a less expensive option is Nyaung Shwe which is a little to the north of Inle Lake and one of the main locations for visiting the Lake area. Most of this accommodation at both locations is bookable on the web.
Nyaung Shwe has many reasonably priced hotels and guesthouses available, plenty of restaurants as well as supermarkets and several banks
- it is in fact a very pleasant place. The town also has a fairly large market along Main Road (Mingala Market) where it's possible to buy pretty well anything you can think including fresh fish and produce from the lake. The market is open daily and is at it's largest when it takes it's turn on Inle Lake's five day rotating market-day. Most of the shops and a couple of banks are situated along Yone Gyi Road. The town is not particularly busy (apart from typically of course around the market area) - so Nyaung Shwe is very good for either walking or cycling around locally and for heading out into the beautiful countryside. On the subject of hiring bikes - these are readily available all around the town and cost maybe USD1 per day - but certainly for that there will not be gears on them.
Boat trips out onto Inle Lake in Myanmar. One of the things to do is go off for a nice trip on Inle Lake -
most boat trips start off from the jetty near the town's excellent little bridge (Teik Nan Bridge) which is on Nan Chaung (main canal). Most guest houses and hotels will offer such trips - also if wandering around the town you can expect to be approached by people offering them as well. Without doubt this is not a good way to get your boat ride - the boat trip will happen but you will be almost certainly paying far more for it than you need too. The best way is to wander down to the canal (near the bridge) which is where
most of the boat-owners for these trips are hanging around. There seem to be far more boats than customers and trips onto Inle Lake are really up for some bartering price-wise.
Apart from going off onto the lake there are several Pagodas and Monasteries within Nyaung Shwe to visit and several more which are only a bike ride away.
There are many stupas and monasteries in the town and these are ideal to visit by bike. A nice simple bike ride around town is to start from Teik Nan Bridge and follow the road going south i.e. Kann Nor Road, which follows alongside the Nan Chaung (main canal) where there are stilt houses lining the canal bank as well as many boats moored. The road leads across a dirt track to reach Yan Aung Nan Aung Hsu Taung Pyi Pagoda which is nex to the canal in the village Nan The.
There is a huge 26 foot high brightly coloured sitting Buddha. Although this monastery as been restored it is basically over 700 years old. There are several small stupas at the Pagoda as well as a fairly large storage water-tank which has got a small Buddha sat in it.
The tree-lined Mong Li Canal is on the opposite side of town - this area has several large monasteries all of which are inhabited by resident monks - it is fine to go into them to look round. Monasteries include Hliang Gu Kyuang, Kan Gyi Kyuang, Shwe Gu Kyuang and the Yadana Man Aung Praya.
There are also several colourful pagodas and various ruined stupas in the area.
Our other items about Inle Lake and Nyaung Shwe - including a couple nice bike rides.
- Cycle ride to Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery near Nyaung Shwe
- Visiting the wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, Myanmar - cycling from Nyaung Shwe via beautiful Burmese countryside.
- Nyaung Shwe, Maing Yhauk, Inle Lake, Kaung Daing circular bike ride
- Bike Ride from Nyaung Shwe Myanmar going via Maing Yhauk, Inle Lake, Kaung Daing seeing stilt houses and floating gardens.
- Local bike ride around the Nyaung Shwe countryside in Myanmar
- Cycling from Nyaung Shwe looking at a couple of Pagodas and Monasteries, villages and out in the lovely Burmese countryside.
- Inle Lake in Myanmar on a longtail boat trip
- Inle Lake long-tail boat ride looking at Pagodas (Phaung Daw Oo Paya, Nga Hpe Kyaung), Stilt-houses, floating farms.
- Myanmar travel, touring and sightseeing guides and photos
- Our above Home Page shows all of our items about Myanmar covering Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan.
Other destinations in the Far East which are reasonably easy to reach from Myanmar and for which we have travel and touring guides are Cambodia, Laos, China, Thailand and Vietnam - please see our above Home Page for these or visit our Resources Page