Life on Lake Innle Lake


Houses on Lake Innle

By way of small Venecias, several villages extend over the surface of the lake. The best way to get to know them is to take one of the boat tours offered by agencies, hostels or individuals.

After hearing what people did, I think our option was the best. We hired the services of a boatman who was walking through the town and had a great time. It only cost us 14,000K for the entire boat -we were 7 passengers- and gave us the freedom to choose where to go.

It is important that you tell him what interests you because if you can not end up doing a kind of commercial tour in which you do not stop visiting shops of one thing and another. There are also markets in the villages on the banks of the lake. They are itinerant, so let them know which one is the most interesting and what day they put it to organize you.

We met our guide at 8.30 am and he took us to the lake pier. Soon we were plowing the waters of a lake that we didn't think was so big. An hour later we made our first stop: a small town where there was a market.

It was almost the best of the entire tour. The town was authentic, as taken from an old movie about Cambodia or Laos - I haven't seen any about Burma, that's why I can't say - with people working in their fields, farm animals and bamboo or wood houses. Great tranquility was breathed and people greeted us as they passed, all loaded with their farm tools, driving carts with oxen or carrying food on their shoulders.

Walking about 10 minutes we arrive at the market place. Total contrast! The tranquility of the village ended at the bridge that crossed the market. Stalls of fruits, vegetables, meat, nuts, things for the house, toys, hot food, breakfast, even gambling games overflowed with life and people in equal parts. Everyone bought everything. There was not a single empty post.

We spent an hour wandering around and watching the people who, in turn, watched us. Only another 7 or 8 tourists from other tours were there.

We returned to our boat and headed to the most commercial part of our day but before we passed through one of the villages built on water. It is amazing to see the wooden houses with “School” or “Library” signs and people moving in skeletal rowing boats. Some drove them and occupied only children who were going to play at their friends' house. They even had their own fields ... Over water! Small tomatoes were planted on floating platforms.

The channels between the houses came to narrow the unspeakable and our captain proved to have a magnificent expertise when it came to getting through them without getting stuck.

Soon we arrived at a fabric factory. They used the fiber of the lotus flower, cotton and silk to create scarves, skirts and all kinds of garments. There were people working at that time and it was all manual. A work of aupa.

After a rigorous visit to the store, we ate and headed to a silver shop that we decided to dodge just when we arrived. Yes, we entered the factory of the famous cigars of Innle Lake. They gave us an on-site demonstration of the elaboration process but at the time of selling us something they had bad luck: a group of 7 tourists in which none is a smoker! He was also very curious to see.

The paper mill was also entertaining and we could see how they make the beautiful paper umbrellas that tourists delight with a buyer spirit.

After these quick visits to the factories - don't worry if you don't buy anything because they barely give you the can for it - we told our guide that we would like to see another town on the lake. He took us and we enjoyed a quiet and parsimonious walk through those channels where life takes place at a totally different pace. People smoked on the steps of their houses, the boats passed silently by rowing with their feet (they do it in a strange way) and all this without being a typical representation of a tourist place.

It was his day to day, only the theater of life and not a Disney Park.

We all looked at each other and pointed out this or that, admiring the naturalness of our surroundings.

The clouds announced a rainy sunset and we headed towards the jetty. Our small motor boat reached a considerable speed and the wind whipped our face. The perfect end to a perfect tour. Of the best I've done on this trip.