Inle Lake is one of the most popular places to visit in Myanmar, and was one of favourite destinations of many visitors during their trip to Myanmar with kids. There are so many things to do and see in here. Let’s find out with us.
Take a Long Boat Tour
It kind of goes without saying that you should take a long boat when in Inle Lake – after all there is no other way to get around as there are no roads or pavements! But just taking a long boat around the waterways and watching daily life unfold in the water villages is a fabulous way to spend the day.
You can watch the local fishermen at work, famous for their conical baskets and one-legged rowing (this technique developed so that they could see their way through all the floating plants on the lake); visit the floating gardens where the local farmers grow all their crops, and stop off for lunch in one of the many overwater restaurants. There’s also the famous Jumping Cat Monastery to visit, although the cats stopped being taught to jump many years ago.
Visit the Local Artisans
One of the highlights of an Inle Lake tour is to visit the local artisans at work. There are many different co-operatives of artisans with studios around the lake, and they are all welcoming to visitors to come in and learn their craft (and hopefully buy a souvenir or two!). Inle Lake has long been a famous weaving centre of Myanmar, and so visiting one of the weaving workshops to see how this is traditionally done is a must-do in Inle Lake.
Make Shan Paper
Learn about how Shan Paper made is a fascinating visit and one of the most fun things to do in Inle Lake with kids. The kids loved getting involved with the process. First they took paper dough made from the mulberry tree that had been soaked for several hours and got to beat it with a wooden mallet. Next they got to give it a good stir in some water, before laying it out on a wooden frame to drain, and decorating it with flowers and leaves.
Visit the Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp
This was definitely one of the highlights of our visit to Inle Lake with kids. The Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp is a family-run elephant sanctuary, where they look after elderly and disabled elephants, rescued from the logging industry.
Importantly there is no riding the elephants here – just the opportunity to join in with the daily care program – including feeding and bathing the elephants and giving them a cuddle of course! The kids (and the parents!) had a brilliant time.
The elephants are well looked after, and the owners of the camp also help with an educational program for the local village. In addition to the elephants, the camp also runs a reforestation program, and all visitors are encouraged to plant a tree during their visit.
Inle Lake is a popular spot with tourists in Myanmar. But it doesn’t take long to get off the beaten track and a trip down to Samkar is a great way to do this. Samkar blew us away with its beauty. It is a good two hour-long boat ride from the bottom of the lake, but so worth it to get into the countryside and get a glimpse into rural Myanmar life.
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