After three days of walking from Kalaw to Inle Lake and having dust and dirt everywhere, arriving at our hostel (Song of Travel — Highly Recommended!) in Nyaung Shwe and taking off our shoes and enjoying a refreshing shower felt like heaven on earth. With an overwhelming Feeling of freshness, we planned our next days at Inle Lake.
Of course besides the kind of mandatory boat tour, there are bunch of other activities possible like cycling tours, wine tasting, more hikes, cooking classes, visiting a hot spring and so on. We decided to rather have a laid back time and didn’t stack too many activities in our schedule.
The day of our arrival and the next day we mainly enjoyed ourselves at a place called Chillax (highly recommended) and let our hungry stomachs eat through the menu. Just two words: Chocolate Cake! In the evening of our second day we took our bikes and drove to the nearby winery. The winery is situated on the ridge of a hill and offers an amazing view on the surrounding area. While the wine itself is not mind blowing, the whole atmosphere during late afternoon hours is astonishing.
The next morning, we hopped onto a small boat together with other travelers, we met in our hostel, to explore the lake area. There are several kinds of boat tours available, some more or less go from one handicraft store to the next one. Some are more focused on cultural aspects and you visit the pagodas and some villages. If you want something in particular, ask in advance what the schedule gonna be. We had a mixture of everything, we drove through some villages, ended up at two handicrafts stores, visited a pagoda and in general a lot time on the lake. Just be sure to bring a lot of sunscreen.
After a long day on the boat, we participated in a cooking class (Bamboo Delight Cooking School) to learn more about Burmese cuisine. The cooking class started with visiting the local market in the morning, where we bought all the things we gonna need for our lunch. Afterwards everybody got assigned a dish, she or he needed to prepare. With, of course, a lot of instructions, we actually managed to cook an amazing lunch!
During our days at Inle Lake and the surrounding area, it became somehow one of our favorite places on our trip. The laidback atmosphere between traditional life and backpacker lifestyle in Nyaung Shwe made us to enjoy our time a lot. It is not overrun by backpackers (especially not the party/drinking kind of backpacker) or other tourists, but still offers some really nice places to hangout.
In the evening, we left Inle Lake and to explore the new capital of Myanmar and ghost town Naypyidaw.
How to get there
Buses from Mandalay, Yangon, Bagan around $10
Flights to Heho then bus to Inle around $100
Accomodation & Activities & Food
Song of Travel Hostel — Excellent and new hostel in Nyung Shwe
Chillax — Nice Restaurant / Bar
Red Mountain Estate Vineyards — Winery with Wine Tasting
Bamboo Delight Cooking School — Very friendly cooking classes $20