Locations: Southern Shan State - Inle Lake

Inle Lake MonasteryThe picturesque Inle Lake is a narrow expanse of water and reeds twenty-two kilometer long surrounded by hazy mountains. Its cool clear waters are thick with dancing weeds, and the calm surface of the lake dotted with drifting vegetation, fishing canoes and floating gardens. The Intha people who inhabit the lake live out their lives on the water rarely having to step ashore. Numerous lake-bound villages are of multiple story wooden houses on long stilts, with great monasteries with expansive hardwood floors on artificial islands. They grow their crops on fertile masses of floating marsh grass and soil that are cut into long strips and anchored to the bottom of the lake with long bamboo poles. Due to the thick weed on the open lake the fishermen use a rigid cone shaped trap. Watching the surface of the lake carefully for signs of movement, then they quickly thrust the trap into the weeds and with a harpoon chase into the net any fish that swim into the space created inside the cone as descents amongst the weeds. It is the floating gardens and leg rowing fishermen that are symbols of the lake. However, the lakeshore too is a magical place inhabited by many hilltribes each with their own distinctive dress and thriving markets. PaO, Danu, Shan and Palaung tribes each occupy different parts of the lakeshore and surrounding mountains.


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