Inle Lake, beautifully located at the base of steep green hills, is remarkable because of its inhabitants. Thousands of people live around the lake but, most impressively, many live on it. Whole villages rest on stilts surrounded by water, rather like a bamboo and teak Venice where men steer rowing boats through water roads. The men have adapted a unique way to row, wrapping one leg around an oar and standing with the other, their hands are often busy fishing. Tourists can hire a boat and driver to lead them through floating markets and workshops making silks, cigars (cheroots) and jewellery. An impressive wooden temple is also able to be visited; the months are famous for having trained cats to jump through hoops and perform tricks. Visitors first arrive to the town of Nyaugshwe to a host of river side guesthouses and restaurants. Boat hire can be done through hotels or independently at the town’s river. Expensive hotels on the lake can be booked before hand. Depending on season the town can flood making the experience of living on water a little more practical than it first seemed.


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