Inle Lake

Today we finally arrived at one of the most touristic places in Myanmar – Inle Lake. But the actual arrival was not as enjoyable as it could have been. We had taken the night bus from Hsipaw and had arrived at Shwenyaung, the junction leading to Nyaungshew at some God forsaken early hour. We left the freezing bus only to find ourselves in some even colder open tuk tuk that was taking us to Nyaungshew. Those 30 minutes were dreadful. It was still dark, just around 5:30 am and really really cold. We got eventually to the ticket booth where every visitor to Inle Lake has to pay 10 US Dollar entrance fee. It’s like an over scale museum and one has to pay to get in.

We arrived around 6 am at our guesthouse and I was eternally grateful that both reserved rooms were already available and I could just go to bed and sleep a bit. Just after 9 am I woke up, and since breakfast at the guesthouse wasn’t available anymore, we left to find some place for a warm tea.

We had already been told that in the Shan district tea is being grown. And there are more tea houses here than cafes. Tea is always available but I like especially the sweet milky one. It is just delicious.

While wondering the streets of Nyaungshew I took some photos that made me laugh.

DSC_3460[1] modern traffic lights
DSC_3488[1] valuable advise on appropriate behavior

DSC_3472[1]Afterwards we visited the Yadana Man Aung Paya, which is the oldest and most important Buddhist shrine in town. The stepped stupa is unique in Myanmar. We took our time visiting the inside and outside of the pagoda and poured some water again over the day we were born. I love this ritual and am wondering if I could find a way to add those animals to our garden. We just need an elephant, a tiger, a mouse, a guinea pig and a dragon.

From the pagoda we continued and found our way to the market. Although Nyaungshwe is the place for all the tourists coming to Inle Lake and although it is high season at the moment, the area around the market was nicely calm and sleepy. We had a look around, bought some nice earrings and had some delicious Shan noodle soup.

DSC_3535[1]Then we followed the recommendation we were given and went to the Red Mountain Estate. This winery is offering wine tastings. Yes there is also wine in Myanmar and I tried four different ones today. I can honestly say it will not become my favorite wine. Sorry. The Sauvignon Blanc was nice, but the other three I didn’t like. But the view over the valley is alone worth coming here. This is the place to be for sunset.