Located in western Shan State, Inle Lake is famous for its floating villages and its unique local life driven by agriculture, fishing and traditional handicrafts. Over 70000 people live on this lake of 22 km long by 10 km wide. The scenery is quite iconic. The lake sits in a valley between mountains, wooden houses are built on stilts and fishermen steer their boats with a specific rowing style by wrapping one leg around their oar.
Sightseeing wise, renting a bicycle is the best way to get around the temples and caves surrounding the lake. A boat is the only option available to explore the multiple villages settled on the Lake. These boat tour experiences are more or less correct.
While Inle Lake is one of Myanmar’s most popular destinations for travelers, I think that the area is extremely overrated. In opposition to the Kalaw to Inle trek which is absolutely stunning, Inle Lake itself felt dull. The views are not that much impressive, Nyaung Shwe is not a pleasant city, the whole area is touristy as hell and all these handicrafts felt staged. Think about a remote village with wooden houses built on stilts that you can only access by boat. You step out of the boat to explore this village. First thing you spot on this cute little house is a mastercard, union pay and visa logo. The whole experience felt being on a shopping tour which was quite awful.