Inle Lake, a vast, picturesque lake is one of the main tourist attractions and second largest lake in Myanmar. It is also one of the highest lakes in the country, which results in a cool climate and exceptional flora and fauna. The population consists predominantly of Intha tribes, with a mix of Shan, Taungyo, Pa-O, Danu and Kayah ethnicities, many of whom live on floating islands of vegetation.
Though famous for its scenic beauty, it’s main attraction is the unique leg-rowing of the Inthas, the native lake dwellers. This unusual style of rowing requires remarkable balance and definitely takes some practice! The standing technique allows the fishermen to see obstacles on the reed-filled lake and frees up their arms to handle the cone-shaped fish baskets they use to trap large fish.
The unique local market is called the “5 Day Markets” because the hill people rotate between 5 different village locations over a 5 day period. Locals unerringly seem to know the market schedule by heart, despite it’s complexity! The market calendar is lunar, and full moon and black moon days have no markets at all; days before said moons will then have two markets… in other words, ask when you get there!