Inle Lake is remarkably different from the three key tourist destinations of Myanmar: Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay. It is significantly smaller compared to the aforementioned main cities. It does not have as many attractions, but it is an established tourist centre in the country. This is because Inle Lake presents its visitors a different side of Myanmar; it is an example of a rural countryside town that is calm and peaceful, perfect for a vacation of relaxation. The views are also amazing. Tourists get to see the diverse landscape of Myanmar through the areas that surrounds the lake.
Just like in other places in Myanmar, most of the attractions in Inle Lake are pagodas. The Inthas, the inhabitants of the area, are devout Buddhists and places frequently visited in their area are proof of their religious beliefs. One monastery is also a popular attraction, mainly because of the interesting performance of in-house felines. Lastly, Inle Lake is home to a different kind of garden, something that visitors from all over the world delight to see.
Alodaw Pauk Pagoda
The Alodaw Pauk Pagoda is one of the 84,000 pagodas built by the famous king Thiri Dhamma Thawka. When King Anawrahta arrived in Inle Lake, he rebuilt the pagoda because the only thing that was left was the foot of the original. The pagoda was originally named the Innphaya Pagoda, but it was changed into Yadana Pagoda before assuming its current name. The Alodaw Pauk Pagoda is home to the gem-encrusted Shan-style Buddha stupa. Location: Nampan Village, Nyaung Shwe Township.
Inle Floating Gardens
Inle Lake has a unique style of aquaculture. The Inthas live on the lake and also live off of it, thanks to their floating gardens. Intha farmers grow flowers and vegetables such as tomatoes and squash on long strips of floating land. The land is formed through the collection of tangled water hyacinth, weeds and reeds that accumulate on the rim of the lake; the Inthas tie the land down to the bottom of the lake with long bamboo poles. Location: Nampan Village, Nyaung Shwe Township.
Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery/ Jumping Cats Monastery
The Nga Phe Kyaung is the biggest and oldest monastery in Inle Lake. It is a beautiful wooden structure that was built on stilts over the lake at the end of the 1850s. The monastery is home to a collection of ancient Bagan, Shan, Tibet and Ava-style Buddha images. However, it’s most famous for the jumping cats. An abbot at the monastery has trained the cats to jump through a hoop like in a circus. Location: Nga Phe Kyaung Village.