Just a short plane ride away from Yangon are the cool green highlands of Shan State, yet seemingly worlds apart from the rest of Myanmar, lies Inle Lake in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The lake itself sits at a pleasant 1300 metres above sea level and is famous for its leg rowers, floating markets and prolific birdlife. In this unique wetland environment, whole villages sit on floating islands on the lake. Colourful hill tribes inhabit fertile valleys and forested mountaintops and their hand-woven silks are a specialty of the region.
The native Intha people who inhabit the lake regions send their village leg rowers to compete each year during the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival in September/October. Nyaung Shwe is the starting point of the trip into the Inle Lake.