This vast lake is located in the heart of Shan State which
shares borders with Thai & Laos. And it climbs up to over 900
metres above sea level and outrageously beautiful. Inle Lake is
located in the mountains so it is cooler than other areas. More
than 30 hill tribes are living in the mountains.
This vast picturesque lake, 900 metres above sea-level, is one
of the main tourist attractions in Myanmar. The lake, 22 km long
and 10 km across, has a population of some 150,000, many of whom
live on floating islands of vegetation. Inle Lake, natural and
unpolluted, is famous for its scenic beauty and the unique
leg-rowing of the Inthas, the native lake dwellers.
Inle Lake, natural and unpolluted, is famous for its scenic
beauty and the unique leg rowing of the Inthas, the native lake
dwellers. High hills rim the lake on both sides. The lakeshore
and lake islands bear 17 villages on stilts, mostly inhabited by
the Intha people
Attraction: Phaungdawoo pagoda
One of the famous principal shrines in Myanmar, this pagoda
houses five small Buddha images. Once a year, in end Sept-early
Oct., there is a pagoda festival during which the five Buddha
images are rowed around the Lake in a colourful barge.
Situated in Inle Lake, one of the most dazzling and magical
places in Asia. It is held on a grand scale for 18 days, usually
falls in October (sometimes in September). Four Buddha Images
out of five from Phaung-daw-oo Pagoda are carried on royal barge
and conveyed around 14 villages on the Lake. The barge is towed
by the boats of leg -rowers and hundreds of boats follow the
procession. The large crowds of people gather on the lake-shores
to celebrate the occasion. It is really a splendid sight.
Among the dance shows and fun-fairs, the most interesting event
of the festival, especially for foreigners, is their boat race -
due to their unique leg rowing. It is the one and only place in
the world that one can see such marvelous act. This year
Phaugdawoo Pagoda festival will begin on 22nd September and end
on 9th October 28th of September and 2nd of October are
special recommend for taking photographs.
One of the famous principal shrines in Myanmar, this pagoda
houses five small Buddha images, which are much revered by the
lake-dwellers. Once a year, in late September - early October,
there is a pagoda festival during which, four of the five Buddha
images tour around the lake in a colorful.
Shwe Inn Dein
It is one of the small villages of Inle Lake located on the
western bank of the lake. A Buddha image has enshrined at a
whitewashed stupa, which is on the summit of a hill. Below the
stupa around the hill are cluster of hundreds of ancient stupas
most are ruins overgrown with bushes. The pagoda hill is quiet
and calm. One could feel the pleasant cool breeze with the sweet
rings of the bells hanging at the umbrella of the stupa.
Mesmerizing view from pagoda hill release the fatigue and
refresh everybody who ascend to the peak.
This mysterious place is at the end of the marvelous Indein
creek, which connected with Inle Lake just after the Phaung Daw
Oo Pagoda. The creek is narrow with many twist and turns. Since
the both sides are paddy fields you can see the farmers
ploughing and harrowing by water buffaloes. At the lunch time
while groups of farmers having lunch the water buffaloes enjoy
themselves dipping in the creek. At many places in the creek the
farmers dam up the water by bamboo barriers to irrigate the
paddy fields. Indein water is not only useful for irrigation
also for bathing and washing cloths. It is compulsory to see
Novice monks, buffalo boys and village girls wash and swim in
It will take a 45 minute boat ride. The pagoda and stupas built
in the 8th century and rows of shops are famous. Trekking
enthusiasts can climb up Mt. Shwe U Daung, 3000 ft above sea
level, in 90 minutes.
Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery
This is an attractive wooden monastery built on stilts over the
lake at the end of the 1850s. Aside from its collection of
Buddhas the monastery may be of interest to visit because its
monks have taught a few of the many cats living with them to
jump through hoops. 25 minutes boat ride to visit and ancient
monastery built on huge pieces of teak wood with traditional
architecture and see the popular jumping cats leap through the
Taung Gyi is situated in the sourthern Shan State and is the
capital town of Shan States. It is 4,712 feet above the sealevel
and has a moderate climate. It is situated on a high plateau
surrounded by high mountains.
Taung Gyi lies on a hill region, the atmosphere is conducive to
good health especially by means of the salubrious mountain air.
It usually rains in Taung Gyi from June to November and average
annual rainfall is 32.68 inches.
Taung Gyi can be reached by road, rail or air from all parts of
the country. The distance between Yangon and Taung Gyi is 456
miles and can be reached by road directly. The road to Taung Gyi
is full of bends and zigzags and, seen from above, resembles a
snake. One can have a good view of the surrounding area while
travelling along this road. As soon as you enter Taung Gyi, the
magnificent Sao Sam Htun Hospital can be seen first and further
on there are the Taung Gyi Department Store, the market,
Dhammayon (congregation hall), Agricultural Bank, cinemas and
shops and stores, restaurants, churches, Shan State Cultural
Museum, Taunggyi Degree College, the golf course and residential
buildings. There are pines, cherry and eucalyptus trees growing
all over the town and the whole area is green and pleasant. The
busiest part of Taung Gyi is the Myoma Market, a place where
people from the environs used to flock only once every five days
to buy and sell their regional products. Now it has become a
daily market and is constantly crowded with people. It is also
the gathering point of different national races residing in
Another interesting place to visit in Taung Gyi is the Cultural
Museum where cultural objects, musical instruments, traditional
dresses, household and farm implements, paintings, sculptures,
arts and crafts of the different national races residing in Shan
State can be seen. There are also 'Hawnans" (palatial
residences) where the Shan Sawbwas (Shan Chieftains) used to
live can also be observed. The most significant festival in
Taung Gyi is the Tazaungdine Lighting Festival. During this
festival, hot-air balloon competitions are held. In such
competitions, balloons with dangling fire-works, multicoloured
lights and parachutes are released. This traditional festival
has been held annually for the last 60 years or more. The beauty
of Taung Gyi and its environs can be viewed from top of the many
mountains surrounding the town. There are two pagodas on the
mountains: the Myaseintaung and Lwan Zedi. The beauty of the
surrounding area can be viewed from Myaseintaung Zedi. A
souvenir of the region to take home is the famous Shan bag.
of the Asia's largest and most spectacular ancient monuments is
a wonderful Pagoda named Kakku. It contains over 2,000 stupas
with origins dating back many centuries. Its exists not only as
an outstanding example of tradition art and architecture but
also as a testament to the religious devotion of one of
Myanmar's many ethnic minorities, the Pa-Oh. For many centuries,
the Pa-Oh has lived in peace, cultivating their land and
devoting much of their energy and limited wealth to creating
monasteries and pagodas.
Kakku is in the territory of Pa-Oh people. There are over 2000
stupas packed closely together in ranks and covering an area
perhaps a square kilometer. The main stupa is around 40 meters
high, the mass of the spire surrounding it uniformly. But each
one is an individual masterpiece. The particular remarkable
about the whole site is its good state of preservation.
Originally each one must have been topped by a gilded metal hti,
the multi tiered umbrella-like feature, which is typical of
Pagodas. Many of these are tilted on fallen. External rendering
of mortar and stucco has crumbled away on others, exposing the
brick core while trees have established themselves in a few,
threatening to split them apart. But so much of the originals
still exist that this site must be free of the destructive force
of earthquakes, which have periodically ravaged many of the
Myanmar's other monuments.
External decoration on many of the stupas is simple, almost
sparse, the builders, having concentrated on pure grace and form
for effect, but other features elaborate decoration. Traditional
motifs weave intricate patterns of arabesques and stems, to
create a delicate tracery of the highest artistic merit.
Even more fascinating are the many figures, carved in stucco and
apparently originally brightly painted, which adorn corner or
pay silent homage beside the niches in the base, many of which
still contain antique Buddha images. Angels, musicians, dancers-
all created with consummate skill.
legend says that the first stupas were created by King
Alaungsithu, the 12th century King of Bagan. The decorative
sculptures and figures are 17th or 18th century but some of the
structures are clearly much older.
remoteness of the site and reluctance of the local people allow
visitors has helped to preserve its sculptures and artistic
treasures to a degree, unknown in other ancient monuments in
Kakku is a priceless piece of mankind heritage, a truly splendid
example of the creative talent of remarkable people.
Kalaw stands high on the western edge of the Shan Plateau. It is
70 km west of Taung Gyi, about halfway along the Thazi-Taung Gyi
road. This was a popular hill station in the British days and it
is still a peaceful and quiet place. At an altitude of 1320 m it
is also pleasantly cool and a good place for hiking amid gnarled
pines, bamboo groves and rugged mountain scenery. You can make
interesting excursions around Kalaw. The population is a mix of
Shan, Indian Muslims, Bamars and Nepalis (Gurkhas retired from
British military service), many of whom are missionary educated.
Places of interest are Thein Taung Pagoda, Aung Chan Tha Pagoda,
Su Taung Pyae Pagoda and the King Church.
Pindaya is a small quiet town perched on the bank of the palcid
Botoloke Lake. Pindaya cave is a huge cavern where hundreds and
thoundsands of Buddha images in various size and shape are
installed since the 11th century. The winding galleries and
nooks and corners are ideal places of insight meditation since
the olden days. Huge monastery compounds with numerous pagodas
and temples in different stages of dilapidation are much
respected by such ethnic groups as the Shans, Danus and Paos
living in the environs of Pindaya.
ancient caves are about one mile southwest of the town, and can
be reached by taking a horse-cart, or motoring there by jeep or
just walking along on foot. Except for the young and energetic,
the best way is to go leisurely be horse-cart to the foot of the
hills, reserving your energy for the 200 steps up the covered
stairway leading to the cave entrance and for exploring the huge
meandering maze made up of numerous caves. The caves are
supposed to be 200,00 million years old and since ancient times
they have been places of worship and veneration with 8,094
Buddha images made from various materials like teak wood,
marble, alabaster, brick, cement and lacquer, and all enshrined
in the nooks and corners of the winding caverns. At the entrance
to the main cave thee is a pagoda 50 feet in height. This pagoda
is called Shwe U-min Hpaya or the Golden Cave pagoda. The
tazaung or prayer hall was built by the famous hermit U Khanti
who also built many of the religious edifices on Mandalay Hill.
The entire length of the cave is 490 feet. The numerous
stalactites and stalagmites in these limestone caves, from
fanciful shapes and have given rise to such names as the "Fairy
Princess Loom", "Posts for tying horses and elephants" and so
on. Some of the smaller caves used meditation chanmers are
accessible only if you crawl in on your knees and elbows.
Visitors should plan to stay for one or two nights in Pindaya to
explore the natural beauties all around; the tranquil lake, the
limestone caves, the ancient pagodas and images and the lovely