Day 10/11/12: KALAW to INLE trekking 3 days 2 nights
The bus left Bagan around 7AM and arrive around noon at Kalaw. Just make sure you ask the bus driver to call your name because there is no indication and if you miss the stop, well you’ll arrive straight to Inle, so don’t fall asleep!
A clean accommodation to refuel your energy before the trek.
Pyi Taung Su Road, Kalaw
Tel: 95 81 50025 / 50279
Kalaw is a slow paced little town with not much to offer. Most travelers gather here for the popular trek to Inle lake. There are few travel agencies operating the trek but none were as professional as Sam Family. It was an authentic experience but most importantly, their success will benefit to the community. They offer English lessons training and decent wages to their employee.
Sam’s Family also runs a restaurant with a savoury selection of Burmese, Indian, Chinese or Western food. Try the vegetable curry with chapati…yum!
SAM’S FAMILY RESTAURANT/ TREKKING SERVICE
3 days 2 nights
6 people max per group
Total = 40 USD (including luggage transfer to Inle hotel, food, accommodation, guide service, boat ride to Nyaung Shwe)
The owner helped us to book a hotel in Nyaung Shwe so we could get our bags in time once we arrive.
A guide and a cook stayed with us during the entire trek. Amazing fresh food, lots of different dishes and…. guacamole fresh off the tree!!
Tips for the trek:
1- Carry a head flashlight, you’ll thank me when you’ll try to find the toilet in pitch dark coutryside….
2- Wet wipes or baby wipes for shower
3- A silk sleeping bag
At the end of the trek you will take the boat and pass through the fascinating floating gardens.
– Lunch + Dinner: 3,200 kyats
– Kalaw hotel single room 1 night: 25 USD
– All included 3D 2N trek to Inle : 40 USD
– Nyaung Shwe hotel: 15,000 kyats
Day 13: INLE LAKE (Nyaung Shwe town) – Boat ride
Nyaung Shwe is a developing little town in the North East end of Inle lake, where you could find plenty of good value accomodation and food options.
No 13, Lanmadaw Main Road, Myo Lae Quarter
Nyaung Shwe, (Inle) Shan State
Tel: +9581 209249, +959 5148918
Sam’s family recommended this new motel and it was just what I needed after 3 days of napkin showers!
Clean, big room, laundry service, delicious breakfast, boat booking service.
Book a full day boat trip for 45,000 kyats per boat. You can share the fees with up to 6 people.
- Nam Pan Market: This bustling local market is fascinating to watch in the morning. Have a seat at a local coffee shop near the pier and watch the shop owners unloading the boats. You could find all kind of souvenirs there…bargain hard, fancy some ox teeth hat? creepy!
- Silk /Lotus fiber weaving: Very surprising technique to collect lotus fiber by cutting the stems.
- In Dein pagoda: It’s actually the stunning boat ride to the In Dein pagoda that makes the trip worthy.
- Ywarma floating market. Very popular stop where you could see the long neck on a show. A bit sad from a personal point of view.
- Floating Gardens. An ingenious technique to farm using bamboo poles. Floating tomatoes, squash, cauliflower, fruits…my dream!
- The pottery making village (Kyauk Daing) wasn’t entirely opened to the tourists when we visited. Frankly speaking nothing amazing. It’s far South of the lake, the locals will invite you for tea and teach you how to make pottery. Expect to buy some small souvenirs to thank your hosts.
1- Jump on the boat early, around 5 AM, you’ll be surrounded by a surreal morning fog and leg rowing fishermen.
2- Take a heavy jumper/ blanket / portable heater if you would like to survive the icy cold wind before the sunrise.
3- On the way back, you could feed the seagulls from the boat by throwing bread in the air. The birds will then stay above your head….wear a plastic bag.
Everest Nepali restaurant
Kuaung Taw Annow Street, Nyaung Shwe
Delicious Nepalese curry with fresh juice.
– Hotel: 15,000 kyats
– Shared Boat ride: 4,000 kyats (full day)
– Lunch+dinner+snacks: 5,000 kyats
Day 14: INLE – Red mountain estate, night bus to Yangon
Have you tried Burmese red wine? On the East side of the lake, 20 min bike ride from Nyaung Shwe you’ll find this Vineyard. Located at 1,000 meter above the sea level, the estate was chosen to produce high quality local wines thanks to the region micro-climate (cool nights, sunny days). Started in 2002, the project is supervised by French and Australian experts.
I recommend to order the tasting of 4 wines samples. The view is good and the experience is interesting but not thrilling. The wine is quite average but I’m French, so you’ll judge by yourself.
Red Mountain Estate
Taung Chay Village group
Apparently there is a monastery you could visit, not too far from the estate.
Htoo Htoo Aung
At the crossroad just before the little alley to the Everest restaurant.
A little gem! Excellent service, delicious Burmese/ Shan food in a cozy family-like environment.
– Bike rental: 1,000 kyats
– Wine tasting: 2,000 kyats
– Night bus Inle to Yangon: 14,000 kyats
Mingalaba! Chei zu tin ba de!