Inle Lake Travel Answers

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First timer...Two Days at the Lake...what is a must around the lake...

by Lassy123 Online Now Aug 11, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Hi,

I will be arriving at Inle Lake in a couple of weeks. I just have two days at the lake. I land at Heho at 9:15 in the morning. I am staying at the Inle Princess Resort.

So I only have two days. I want to avoid tourist traps, but want to enjoy the lake life, seeing people, visiting major temples..


On day two Should I go to the Southern part of the lake Saga2? My understanding is this will take all day, and sounds wonderful, but I will miss other things.

Thank you

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7 Answers
  • earthflyer's Profile Photo

    Re: First timer...Two Days at the Lake...what is a must around the lake...

    by earthflyer Online Now Aug 11, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    I have plenty of photos of Inle Lake and surroundings on vt page, guess that will give you some idea what you can see.

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  • bangdong's Profile Photo

    Re: First timer...Two Days at the Lake...what is a must around the lake...

    by bangdong Online Now Aug 12, 2010 at 12:16 AM

    Honestly, if you want to meet people and see interesting sights in the area, you should change hotels. Those lakeside resorts are fine for seeing the lake, but not for much else. They are too far from town (Nyaungshwe) and a bit isolated. I love exploring the area in and around Nyaungshwe by bike. You can see lots of old ruins (some of them close to the center of town, others on remote dirt roads), monasteries, and beautiful rural scenery. The morning market in town is also very colorful and interesting and a great place to take photos.
    As for Sagar, yet it can take up nearly a full day; about 3 hours one way to get there and it may longer nowadays with the lower water level in the lake. If you are pressed for time I'd give that a miss for now and go as far as Indein on your lake tour. Also, try to take a canoe trip on the canals around Nyaungshwe. Very interesting and far more leisurely than the speedboat trips on the lake itself.

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  • Re: First timer...Two Days at the Lake...what is a must around the lake...

    by Lassy123 Online Now Aug 12, 2010 at 4:15 AM

    Nice pictures,

    Thanks

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  • Re: First timer...Two Days at the Lake...what is a must around the lake...

    by Lassy123 Online Now Aug 12, 2010 at 4:18 AM

    Bangdong,

    I think you are right. That taking the time to go so far probably is not the best use of time. Although I am sure it is beautiful. This is a rushed trip. I am assuming there are plenty of wonderful sights not so far.

    Is the lake still low?? I thought this time of year was the monsoon, and it would be full of water.

    By the way, I lived in Bangkok for two years. LOVED IT.

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  • albaaust's Profile Photo

    Re: First timer...Two Days at the Lake...what is a must around the lake...

    by albaaust Online Now Aug 13, 2010 at 6:12 AM

    I am probably going to recommend what you would regard as "tourist traps" but for me still worthwhile sites to visit. Have a look at my pages for where we visited. On the other hand....some thoughts...
    Have you organised some one to pick you up from the airport? If not, you could test your luck and ask the driver who does offer to take you to your hotel to organise a boat and guide and show you around. Have in mind what you might want to see. What we discovered is that the hotel you stay at (and we stayed at one similar to the one you are staying at)have their own boat guides and so it is very hard for the local villagers to get a look in unless they are connected to the big hotels. Only problem is that Heho airport is a long way from Inle Lake and so you might not have a taxi driver who is willing to take you all that way. Do check when and where the big market day is held. As well please note my tip about Heho airport and our long waiting time for the flight out of Heho.

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  • Mique's Profile Photo

    Re: First timer...Two Days at the Lake...what is a must around the lake...

    by Mique Online Now Aug 20, 2010 at 12:01 AM

    The only real tourist trap at Inle is that the boatmen usually drop you off at all the workshops and other places where they get commission.. (understandable since it increases their pay..). Some are very interesting, some are not. The best way is asking the guy beforehand where he plans to stop, cut out everything you don't find interesting and agree with him on a slightly higher price (to compensate for the income loss). Also make clear that if he stops somewhere you didn't ask for you don't pay that extra money). Works like a breeze..

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  • bangdong's Profile Photo

    Re: First timer...Two Days at the Lake...what is a must around the lake...

    by bangdong Online Now Sep 1, 2010 at 12:13 AM

    Mique (as usual!) makes another good point. Those boat drivers always hope to get commissions from taking tourists to souvenir spots and restaurants on the lake. On one trip I had to insist that I did not stop for lunch and the boatman looked like he wanted to throttle me. So yes, maybe paying them a bit more might save you from having to stop at all those workshops and other tourist traps. Whenever I have taken a lake trip I tell the organizer (either someone at your hotel or a good travel service like Golden Bowl) exactly where I want to go and what I want to see on the lake. Hopefully that also prevents you from being taken to places you don't want to see.
    The lake trip can indeed take up a full day, just from having to criss-cross the lake and see different places. But don't forget the shorter but equally scenic canal trips around town. I enjoy those as much or more.

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