Inle Lake Myanmar has long been celebrated for spectacular scenery, peaceful temple view along the banks, and unique leg-rowing style. Also, it’s fantastic to know that this scenic lake is home to several astonishing trades that are being practiced by the local villagers. In each village in Inle Lake, there preserve the traditional trades that have existed for centuries. Know the top 3 below to see on your Inle Lake tour itinerary!
#1: Go fishing by legs in Inle Lake
Inle Lake belongs to the Shan mountain ranges of 2.000m high above the sea level, 2km long and 11km wide. This natural area protects a variety of birds, fish, etc., with the rich flora and fauna, in general. Besides, this is home to the minority groups of the Pa-O, Shan, Kyah, and more. Go fishing amidst the captivating landscape of the colorful Burmese floating houses, the forested mountains, and the spacious river, the local fishermen create a unique trade of rowing and fishing by legs.
This is an art and the locals are happy to show guests the how-to. They use the right leg to hold the paddle to row while the left leg stands still on the boat to keep balance and the hands throw or pull the fishnet. Boating around the lake, it’s easy to meet some Burmese kids fishing by legs in a skillful way. As the children in this area have accompanied their parents since the early years, they keep the traditions well. The fishermen only catch the large fish while releasing the small one.
#2: Plant tomato on the water
Beside the unique leg-rowing style, the Inle villagers also have the trade of planting tomato and some kinds of vegetables on the water surface. There, you see the earth banks for raising vegetables. Surrounding these gardens are water. As time passes, rows of the water hyacinth (its scientific name is Eichhornia crassipes) become fertile enough for plantation. Often, the boat trip on Inle Lake will take visitors past the lush gardens of the plump tomatoes. The gardens are mostly hundreds of meters in length but only 1 meter in width. In the harvest season, the tomatoes will be transported to the town by the small boats and consumed in many other regions of Myanmar.
#3: Weave to make lotus silk in Inle Lake
It’s quite surprising to know that villagers in Inle can weave the lotus thread to make the soft, thin, and light silks. The sparkling lotus threads are taken from the lake. By traditions, people extract the threads from the lotus trees and weave them to make silks. In particular, Inn Paw Khon silk village is a place to see in Inle Lake, which welcomes you to visit the workshops and see how the silk products are produced from the pink lotus threads and exhibited for sales. For different colors, they dye the silks with various resins.
To make 1 meter of lotus silk, it requires from 10.000 to 13.000 lotus stems. Then, the silk is dyed in a very sophisticated way. For instance, to dye red, people use mango resin; and to dye brown, they use jackfruit resin. On completion, various lotus silks of cloth, scarf, handkerchief, towel, bag, etc., are displayed in the village that attracts travelers to buy. In general, most guests prefer to buy the lotus silk scarves which are lovely, light, and thin. Whether or not you buy the items, the visit to this traditional village in Inle Lake will shower you with opportunities to mingle with the friendly Burmese villagers who are willing to introduce their trading traditions. Advice is to remember to bargain to get things at reasonable prices. Begin a journey to this spectacular, peaceful, and interesting Inle Lake Myanmar soon!
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