Inle Lake is situated in the hilly Shan State in the eastern part of Myanmar. With an elevation of 900 meters above sea-level, it is one of the main tourist attractions in Myanmar. The lake, 22 km long and 10 km wide, has a population of some 150,000, many of whom live on floating islands of vegetation. Inle Lake, natural and unpolluted, is famous for its scenic beauty and the unique leg-rowing of the Inthas, the native lake-dwellers. Moreover, floating villages, colorful daily floating market and Inle Spa are places worthy of visit. The festival of Phaung-daw-Oo Pagoda in Inle Lake held during October is full of pageantry and colorful splendor.
The most convenient way is to fly from Yangon to Heho, which is the nearest airport to the lake. There are daily flights to Heho which take about an hour. If you are flying from Mandalay to Heho, it takes only 20 minutes. Traveling by car along the uphill and winding road over the Shan Plateau is interesting and well-worth taking although it takes long hours. There is also a regular train service via Thazi Junction to Heho and Shwenyaung, the nearest station to the lake
Ngaphechaung Monastery (Famous Jumping cat monastery). Out in the open lake is a monastery with 157 years` history.Supported by 654 teak pillars of which 200 are gilded in gold,it houses 6 golden Buddha stat-use of varying sizes.
Phaung Daw Oo Festival Once a year the peaceful scenery at Inle Lake is filled with joy and excitement. The famous Phaung Daw Oo Festival which is held at the lake every October. The procession start at the end of Buddhist Lent and it goes on for about 19 days till the Karaweik (water bird), and the four Buddha images are rowed back to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. The procession of the Inle leg-rowers in full pageantry and plendour.
On the Western banksof Inle Lake stands Shwe Indein Pagoda complex, where hundreds of Shan style stupas nestle in the hills. A long covered and pillared walkway leads to the main shrine.Enchanting legends surround this beautifully tranquil place, with no records of when it was built, or who the obviously wealthy patron were.
Ywama is the largest village on the Lake; its streets are a web of canals. There are some beautiful teak houses built on large wooden piles driven into the lake bed. The main activity and attraction center at the floating market in the largest canal.