Welcome to the view from the top of the world...

Our Blog

Welcome to Mountain Kingdoms travellers’ tales! Here is the place to share your stories, to pick up travelling, walking and trekking tips and to gain inspiration for future adventures.

Mountain Kingdoms are worldwide walking and trekking holiday experts with 29 years of experience in running trekking holidays as well as select trekking peaks, cultural tours and cycling holidays. Whether you’ve travelled with Mountain Kingdoms before or just love to travel, we’d love to hear your tales. Email us your Travellers’ tales

Search for your next adventure

Like us

Follow us

Gems of Burma – Inle Lake

By Jude Limburn in Southeast Asia - 12th June 2012

No comments

Inle Lake. Photo courtesy of A Palmer

While holidays to Burma bring a wealth of new experiences and jaw-dropping sights, Inle Lake often stands out to travellers as a place like no other – almost a world unto itself. Home to the Intha people, it has a distinct culture and way of life unique to its inhabitants, whose name means ‘Sons of the Lake’.

At 22 km long and 11 km wide, Inle Lake is the country’s second-largest lake, and, at 880 m above sea level, one of its highest bodies of water. On holidays to Burma, the first glimpse of it is always breathtaking: tranquil blue waters scudded over by narrow fishing boats, with stilted houses and floating farms. The Intha people have developed an ingenious way of rowing, standing on one leg and controlling a single oar with the other – always leaving the fisherman with one hand free to scoop fish from the lake. Their farming techniques are also unique to the lake. Vegetables and flowers are grown on woven beds of seaweed and water hyacinth, creating floating gardens that are secured to the lake bottom with bamboo poles.

On our holidays to Burma, we take a motor-powered longboat across the lake to reach our hotel. From this base we set off to explore the lake including: Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery – the ‘jumping cat’ monastery. Ever-popular with visitors, this monastery on the lake’s western shore is a sanctuary for cats, whom the resident monks have trained to perform jumping tricks. Also worth a visit is Phaung Daw U Pagoda, at the southern end of the lake, where the Buddha images are so deeply encrusted with gold leaf that they look like glowing balls of gold.

Comment on this article