everyday life on inle lake, myanmar

The people of Inle Lake are of the Intha tribe.  Their villages are built on stilts over the water and their floating gardens are unique features that have made this area a tourist destination.  Fishing and gardening are all done from small, traditional, flat-bottomed, teak boats whereas most means of transportation are larger boats with motors. The fishermen are known for practicing a distinctive rowing style which involves standing at the stern on one leg (have no idea how they do it!!) and wrapping the other leg around the oar.  The reason is the lake is covered by reeds and floating plants making it very difficult to see above them while sitting.  Standing provides the fishermen with a view beyond the reeds.  But note, the leg rowing style is only practiced by the men, women row by using the oar with their hands, sitting cross legged at the stern.  It’s all so fascinating to watch.

inle lake, myanmar

inle lake, myanmarBesides fishing and farming,

the Intha people also make their living making various clothing items

from the threads of the freshly plucked lotus flowers.

fishing at inle lake, myanmar

inle lake, myanmarPaper making is another craft of the Intha people.  Threads from tree bark are soaked in water and then stretched, adding flowers and letting the sun finish the process.  The paper is used to make the colorful umbrellas and of course a purchase was needed for future collage work!

life on inle lake, myanmar

Red Mountain winery, Inle Lake, MyanmarThe Bordeaux of Myanmar?

The cold nights and sunny days make for good wine making especially when combined with the expertise of a French winemaker.

A visit to Red Mountain Estate is a real treat!

inle lake, myanmar

inle lake, myanmarFarming is done right on the water.  Weeds are collected, then tethered to the bottom of the lake with bamboo poles with piled on silt.  And voilà – no watering!   Interesting that this hydroponics type system was developed by the Intha people centuries before modern science learned of its values.  Of course any type of farming is always an interest to me since I grew up on a fruit and vegetable farm.

inle lake, myanmar

inle lake, myanmarSilver wares are also produced by the Intha people of Inle Lake…

the detail was simply amazing!

Can you imagine sitting like that all day?

inle lake, myanmarThe Inle Lake version of a school bus!

inle lake, myanmar

inle lake, myanmar

It’s concerning what the next several years of tourism will bring, so believe the articles when you read now is the time to visit!

My absolute favorite area of Myanmar!



  1. says

    Clothes made from fresh lotus flowers? That sounds like in a fairy tale. Thisn must be an amazing trip, each of your pictures tells a complete story. So amazing …

  2. Virginia says

    OMG Frissy, I most likely will never get there… but through your eyes, mine have been opened, to allow my imagination to understand what the “bigger picture” is all about… Thank you for sharing your experience… XoXo

  3. says

    I’m quite sure I’ll never visit there either, Robin, so seeing all this through your eyes is just wonderful…and the next best thing. As Astrid told me yesterday, many of these images are worthy of the National Geographic! Amen to that.

  4. says

    You manage to convey a real sense of peace and calm with these Robin. You have a gift for being able to replicate through images a feeling of the place and / or folk you record.

  5. says

    You are right….an amazing place. I just hope that they will manage the increasing numbers of tourists.Especially the young backpackers who come without a hotel reservation….last year they had to open monasteries to sleep them all. Your pictures are wonderful and I have seen all these places as well.! Only the wine place left us un-impressed, but we live in a wine growing place!

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