We leave behind the bustling piers that leave for the Inle Lake fromNyaungshwe. Many say that the only option to see the lake is to take one of those large barges that leave south of the lake. But if you want to access less tourist spots, villages that are born in the mountains and end up on the shore of the lake or simply if you want to end up in a hidden monastery or in a winery of questionable quality, the only option is to make a route in bike.
East of the lake
When we spoke the first time about Inle Lake, it was to show you the best known side, its fishermen and the boat routes. By its extension we decided to tell later how to make a bike route, easy and combining it if you do not have the strength or time with the boats of the lake, because these boats are capable not only of transporting you and your bicycle, but also the cattle, to crowd of villagers and supplies for the spectacular floating villages from the lake.
Bicycle route and return by boat
After touring the Inle Lake for a whole day, we decided to see it by pedal, by bike, to discover new villages and to savor the vineyards that house these hills so green and full of vegetation.
We recommend making the route tofirst hour in the morning, when the sun is less crowded and the less traffic there is outside the large populations. The route we will explain below is frommidday, but if you want to surround the entire lake you will need at least a whole day, good legs and patience with the Rolls Royce of bicycles :). Let's see how it goes.
The next morning of doing the boat trip we went to rent a couple of bicycles inNyaungshwe, the city we were staying in. Whether in the hotels themselves or near the market, renting a bike is around 4,000 MMK, less than € 3 per day. The bike is not a wonder but at least it has gears and a small basket to leave your backpack.
Nyaungshwe, Inle Lake
The quintessential route is to start touring it through the east shore to see some winery, small villages with their bustling schools and the occasional lost monastery in the mountains. The road has no loss, it is the only road that leads south of the lake along the east bank. Is paved, narrow and you have to be careful, especially when the trucks pass at full speed.
This route leads to one of the wineries most famous in the region, Red Mountain State, a popular "kills rats" in the region, which is well worth the visit for its views, its wine is still of poor quality. Right there it is possible to make a tasting for 2,000 MMK, where you get to try 4 wine buzzers but that make you have a good time. It is amazing to see that they can order up to 29,000 MMK for these wines ...
Red mountain State wineries
Red mountain State wineries
Further on, just after seeing a part of the lake shore in the distance, you reach the village of Maing thauk, where if you turn left you reach the forest monastery along a fairly steep dirt track that can get you off your bike. From the town is about 3km. Regarding the town, it stands out because half of it is on land and the second on the water. The floating part is accessible from a beautiful teak bridge where are the boatmen to take you to the other side of the lake.
For a while we could not travel the west bank, but in one day it is possible. Let's keep in mind that only up to 16 km are the teak bridge, so from the west bank toNyaungshwe Calculate twice. Whether you want to go to the west bank or return toNyaungshwe the price of the boat is around 8,000 MMK.
A route like this is worth it, since you look more closely at inland villages and the hidden monasteries in the hills. It is one of the samples because you have to spend more than two days in Inle Lake during your visit to a country with as much charm as Myanmar. Javier Blanquer
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