Inle Lake is a beautiful freshwater lake located in central Myanmar that has a very special charm about it. Inle Lake is the second largest lake in Myanmar, with an elevation of 880m above sea level and surprisingly is only 3.5 meters at its deepest point.
I spent 2 nights and 3 days at Inle Lake and I have put together this complete guide on the 5 Best Things To Do In Inle Lake to help you plan your trip!
Have you got travel insurance for Myanmar? I know that nobody likes to talk about this stuff but accidents can happen and having World Nomads Insurance can save you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong.
5 BEST THINGS TO DO IN INLE LAKE
#1 INLE LAKE BOAT TOUR
An Inle Lake boat tour should be on the top of your list of things to do in Inle Lake when you arrive.
I recommend taking an Inle Lake tour at sunrise or sunset to experience the true art of Myanmar’s balancing fisherman.
The Inle Lake fishermen have mastered a rather unusual method of paddling their boats with one leg, balancing on the other and ultimately having two hands free to catch fish in their conical nets.
An Inle Lake boat tour will cost you around $30 USD for a full day and can be booked online in advance to guarantee the cheapest rate.
Book Now → Inle Lake Boat Tour
Inle Lake boat tour – What to do in Inle Lake
#2 SHWE INDEIN PAGODA
The Shwe Indein Pagoda is a complex of ancient Buddhist stupas that lies on the western shore of Inle Lake in the small village of Indein and it’s not to be missed on your Inle Lake things to do list!
You can put in a request with your boat driver to take you across Inle lake to visit the Shwe Indein Pagoda, one of the best Burma temples in the country.
When you arrive in your boat to the river banks of Indein village, you’ll have to pay a 500 Kyat entrance fee before following the undercover stairway to the top of Shwe Indein Pagoda.
Inside the Shwe Indein Pagoda complex are hundreds of weather-beaten stupas, some are in rubble and covered in vines and others have been restored and freshly painted.
I spent an hour getting lost in between the colorful stupas and listening to the ringing of the bells that hang from the tops.
Must Read → 2 Week Myanmar Itinerary
Shwe Indein Pagoda – Things to do in Inle Lake
#3 HANDICRAFT WORKSHOPS IN YWAMA VILLAGE
Next on the list of things to do in Inle Lake is to visit the floating Ywama village in the very south of Inle Lake and boat-hop your way around to all the different handicraft workshops and markets.
In the traditional craft village, you will find gold and silver jewelers, boat makers, cigar rollers, weaving workshops and woodcarvers.
It was incredible to see all of these artistic villagers getting creative and producing a high level of quality products and souvenirs.
Put your bartering skills to the test amongst the market owners trying to sell off their hand-made goods!
Textile weaving workshop – Things to do in Inle Lake
Cigar rolling workshops – Inle Lake Tour
Inle Lake boat tour – Inle Lake things to do
#4 KAYAN WOMEN – LONG NECK TRIBE
I remember as a kid seeing these long-necked women on a National Geographic documentary and I was very intrigued. To see the Kayan women in the flesh was an unforgettable experience and I highly recommend adding this to your list of things to do in Inle Lake.
The Kayan women are very welcoming to tourists and will most likely spend the time to get to know you and tell you all about their long neck tribe, so bring with you an open demeanor. The Kayan tribe women are also happy for you to take photos of them, an exotic experience you can save forever.
The significance of the golden brass rings around the Kayan women’s necks is a sign of beauty. They begin putting the brass rings on their necks at the age of 5 and by the time they are old women they have up to 25 brass coils weighing approximately 12kg.
WANT TO SAVE $$$ ON AIRBNB? GET MY AIRBNB MONEY SAVING GUIDE
The long neck tribe – What to do in Inle Lake
The long neck tribe – Inle lake things to do
#5 INLE LAKE MARKETS
Last but not least on the list of best things to do in Inle Lake is the famous five-day market. The Inle Lake markets work on a five-day rota system, moving between the Nyaungshwe, Heho, Taunggyi, Shwenyaung and Minethauk villages.
There is no official schedule for where and when these Inle Lake markets will be, though your hotel receptionist or boat driver will for sure know what is happening and where.
You can expect to see a mix of locals and tourists at the Inle Lake markets, jumping between the vendors for hand-made carvings, ornaments, textiles and food products.
Must Read → 2 Week Myanmar Itinerary
Inle Lake Markets – Things to do in Inle Lake
The five-day market – Inle Lake things to do
WHERE TO STAY IN INLE LAKE
Inle Lake has dozens of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Inle Lake to suit the needs of luxury travelers, budget backpackers and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Sofitel Inle Lake
Mid Range: Serenity Inle Lake Resort
Budget: Joy Hotel
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN INLE LAKE, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
HOW TO GET TO INLE LAKE MYANMAR
There are a few ways of getting to Inle Lake and that is either by bus, train or plane.
Whether you are on a budget or not, I recommend traveling by bus throughout Myanmar. The main bus companies (JJ Express, Elite, Ok Express) are very efficient and will get you comfortably from A to B.
The cost of bus transportation between cities in Myanmar is on average around $10 to $30.
GET YOUR BUS TICKETS:
Yangon to Inle Lake / 10 hours / $22
Bagan to Inle Lake / 8 hours / $22
Mandalay to Inle Lake / 6 hours / $15
GET YOUR PLANE TICKETS:
I search and book all of my flights on Skyscanner.com which is the best online flight directory to find the cheapest and most convenient flights in Myanmar.
Search All → Flights in Myanmar on Skyscanner.com
INLE LAKE MAP
INLE LAKE WEATHER & BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Inle Lake is between the months of October and February in the cool/dry season.
As Inle lake is 880m above sea level the temperatures can get quite cold in the night though you can expect an average of 30-degrees celsius during the days.
BEST MYANMAR TOURS
MORE MYANMAR TRAVEL GUIDES
Myanmar Guide: 2 Week Myanmar Itinerary
Bagan Guide: 5 Things To Do In Bagan
Mandalay Guide: 10 Things To Do In Mandalay
Inle Lake Guide: 5 Things To Do In Inle Lake
Hpa An Guide: 5 Things To Do In Hpa An
LONELY PLANET – MYANMAR
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Myanmar Travel Guide!
BUY NOW ON AMAZON → LONELY PLANET MYANMAR
Another option for accommodation in Inle Lake is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals!
WANT TO SAVE $$$ ON AIRBNB? GET MY AIRBNB MONEY SAVING GUIDE
JOIN MY FACEBOOK TRAVEL TRIBE
Do you have any questions about things to do in Inle Lake?
Join my Facebook Travel Tribe and send a message at any time for a quick response!
WHAT TO PACK FOR INLE LAKE
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 years worth of content.
ONLINE ENGLISH TEACHING
Do you want to travel full-time and get paid along the way?
Teaching English online is one of the easiest and most flexible jobs out there! Become a Digital Nomad, choose your own hours and work remotely from anywhere in the world by teaching English online. All you need is a laptop, good WiFi connection, a TEFL certificate and you’re good to go!
Before you go from this things to do in Inle Lake post, don’t forget to check out My Online Shop!
I’ve got a wide range of digital products for sale and I’m sure you’ll find something that will come in handy during your travels!
SEE MORE → MY SHOP
FINAL THOUGHTS OF THINGS TO DO IN INLE LAKE
Thanks for reading this article an if you have any questions about things to do in Inle Lake please leave me a comment below.
PIN IT FOR LATER