Inle Lake - the Land That Time Forgot - One of Sam's Exotic Travels
Located in Shan State, about an hour's drive from the small airport in Heho, is Inle Lake - Myanmar's most serene community. Inle Lake, amazingly located on the summit of a mountain 3000 feet above sea level, contains a complete ecosystem. The lake and scenery presents an enchanting view; hazy in the mornings, the sun peering through beautiful clouds in the afternoon and alive with color at sunset. Visiting Inle Lake is leaving the world, its hustle and bustle and its frantic pace, far far behind -- like stepping into another time and place -- indeed a paradise of peace, tranquility and harmony.
The people of Inle Lake, some 70,000 of them, live in four cities bordering the lake and on the lake itself. Most live in simple stilt houses of woven bamboo and are largely self-sufficient, living much as their forefathers did in the 19th century. In addition to fish caught by their picturesque "leg-rowing" fishermen, they actually raise vegetables and fruits on gardens floated on the surface of the lake and carry on small industries with hand labor using neither electricity nor modern tools to produce goods for local use and trading. Their five-day markets, which rotate between different places around the lake on a five-day schedule, allow them to buy and sell their products to locals and tourists from boats on the lake. But it is the fact that neighbors help fellow neighbors in time of need that reminds me of more innocent days in the U.S., before drugs, before rampant crime and before fears of security. They are simple people, living simple lives, with boats as their only means of transportation. True there are some motor boats, but these are mostly for the tourists and there is electricity in some homes. Cooking and heating are still done with wood. Step back in time when you view these pictures -- then put Inle Lake on your short list for places to visit.
Click below to view my impressions.
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