Most guidebooks list their three must-see tourist attractions in Burma as the Shwedagon Pagoda, the temples of Bagan, and Inle Lake. The latter was the last stop on our whirlwind tour through the country. As we visited off-season, water levels in this freshwater lake were low. The views from the boat were nonetheless extremely pretty.
Nga Phe Chaung post office on stilts
The lake is plagued by environmental issues, the most pressing of which is pesticide use in the floating gardens. Here, mainly tomatoes are grown on partly-reclaimed land. In many parts, the lake has become a maze-like network of canals between these fields. Fish levels have decreased significantly, threatening the livelihoods of the Intha fisherman. This article here is a great longread on the subject for offline reading pleasure.
The floating gardens as seen from the lake
The morning scenes are probably the most famous images from Inle Lake. Getting up before sunrise is definitely worth it.