In, on, and around Inle lake
1st 2nd 3rd march
You know how sometimes annoying stuff like delayed buses can turn into a blessing in disguise? Well the bus from Hsipaw to Inle Lake was 3 hours late, sitting at the bus stop sucked, but it meant I got to Inle lake at 8.30 am instead of 5.30 am, bonus!
Got to the hostel I booked by tuk tuk for 1000 kyat, the song of travel hostel is awesome, expensive as hostels go, (although that seems to be the trend in Myanmar), but great Wi Fi, good facility’s, HOT SHOWERS!!!!, lovely staff, and most importantly, unlimited coffee. Day one (1st) was pretty chilled, the little town by the lake is small and easy to get around by bicycle, so I checked it out in the morning, organised a cooking class for dinner, that was kinda fun, it was just me, so would have been nice to do it with company, but I enjoyed, it was great to learn what ingredients are used here, and the methods used in cookery, I took lots of notes, so I can take some inspiration home.
Day two, (2nd) I did the boat tour, I booked it through the hostel, 5.30 am start, got back at 4 pm, sunrise on the lake was lovely, then we did the usual, like the market, visited some local industry, the lotus silk weaving was interesting, as was the cigar making, they make sweet cigars, basically they put aromatics like star anise, tamarind, and honey in them, and they’re rather lovely, and don’t contain any nicotine, I bought some, who new Myanmar would get me smoking?!
It’s pretty touristy here, all the usual tourist traps and souvenir sellers, hiked up prices one expects everywhere else in south east Asia, I have kinda become used to not seeing this stuff elsewhere in Myanmar, so far Bagan and Inle lake are by far the most travelled/touristy places in the country. Sadly, several resorts and/or huge hotels are being built here, and all waste is dumped the lake, so the tourism here is far from sustainable, and frankly I think the pushing tourism here is going to destroy the lake, which happens to be the only reason people come here! This place will eventually self-destruct me thinks……
Oh and there’s a winery here, HUH?… yep that’s what I said, I tried a glass, not great! But I’ve had worse to be honest, lovely sunset view though, and only 10-minute cycle from the hostel, cycling back in darkness was interesting, but made it alright, good crowd at the hostel, they [the staff] had an awesome little projector, and we had movie night in the rooftop bar, watched a western, eaten popcorn and smoking cigars, and generally just having a prime evening! That was basically day three (3rd), kinda a nothing day, but I needed that, it was a good atmosphere, super chilled, nice to just relax, drink crappy coffee, hang out, catch up on internet stuff, explore the local market, and had a lovely sociable evening with my fellow travellers, hostellyfe4lyfe…. hahaaa