Inle lake is a collection of communities that live around and on the lake (their buildings are on stilts). I don't think that the lake is ever more than 5 or 10 feet deep, but its loaded with fish and farms. Many people are hydroponic farmers, creating 'soil' (scooped from the lake bottom) on floating water plants. On these floating gardens, they grow flowers, tomato,squash, maize (corn) watercress and a host of other vegetables. The cool thing here is that their fields are staked to the bottom of the lake with bamboo poles, and can be moved around (and sold).
A few towns, and a hydroponic field.
Like everywhere else in Myanmar, there are monks and monasteries. One gets merit by applying gold leaf on holy things -- stupa and statues of Buddha. As you can see from the Buddha statues that look more like Mr. Peanut Heads, even though gold leaf is really thin, (between 0.1 and 0.125 Ám) it does add up. We visited both active and temple ruins. You can tell by the last photo, that some of the monks have lots of free time!
We took a day long boat trip to a lake south of Inle -- recently formed by a damn on the Bilu Chaung (Bilu Canal). The damn supplies most of the power for the national grid . We got to see another market (the village might be Saga) and flooded ruins --- pretty cool.
The standard tour packages include visit to a pottery village - the whole village is pretty much dedicated to making pottery wear. One of the more disturbing aspects of this industry are the piles of ground up lead batteries used for glaze. And of course there's the obligatory visit to the silk factories (during break time) and the local sake still (note the double walled pots filled with water used as the condenser).
We really liked visiting the markets (might be at Nam-pan village in south Inle)....
All markets are accessible by boat... lots of boats.
Judy and Don walk, others take a ride around the neighborhood water buffalo
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