Hiking in Myanmar – Inle Lake
I can highly recommend the travel hiking agency Uncle Sam in Kalaw. The owner gave detailed information about the hike and was genuinly friendly. After the introduction I booked a three days hiking and the price was 40 000 Kyat with everything included as a guide, accommodation, food and boat ride on Inle lake. The only thing I had to pay for was the entrance fee to the national park, 10 000 Kyat as well as extra beverages. Worth mentioning is that the size of the hiking group is never larger then seven people.
Happy to join french, german and swiss hikers in the group. We had an excellent guide, name Winwin that been working for Uncle Sam the last two years. She was professional and friendly, looked after us to make sure that we were happy. And yes indeed we were.
Our first day of hike was around 20 km, starting at 8 o’clock in the morning. It was easy going with some small stops along the way. For example at a lake and the ever green forest. The longer stops was at a tea house were they served tasteful crepes and fruit. Later we had a break at a train station enjoying tea and orange cookies.
The beautiful landscape with the mountains as a background is beautiful. With plateu’s of rice fields with farmers working on their land and the buffalo’s is a scenic view. Even more, the women carry their child on the back while planting the rice is a wonderful thing.
When reaching the small tribe village on the hill side we were ready to take of our hiking shoes and relax. Before dinner we had a straw through the village with only a few houses. We saw skilled locals playing beach soccer with a wooden ball that was entertaining. On the other side of the street a family outside their house were playing on instruments. Clapping bamboo sticks, a drum and an old gasoline tank used as a drum. We joined in as spectators, taking photos and the kids were excited looking at the result.
Our accommodation was simple, with outdoor toilet and the shower was a bucket to pour over yourself. The sleeping room was covered with mattrasse’s and warm blankets. It’s getting cold when it’s dark so bring warm clothes. It’s great going back almost 100 years in time. Craving for wifi, forget it, just imagine it’s 1995 again.
A table was brought to our sleeping room were we had a well tasting dinner with many different dishes. At 8 pm we began yawning and went to bed.
The name of the tribe at the village is Danu. They are speaking their own language. Our excellent guide Winwin knows different languages and could communicate with them. There is only solar electricity and a few lights while the sun gone down. The mountain villages has a shortage of water and we were recommended to not waste to much. You can charge your mobile during the night but it’s a good idea to bring a power bank. to spend the night we were hungry and ready to
There are 135 tribes and more then 135 languages in Myanmar
On our second day we had lunch at a family house and as always it’s impressive to see all the food on the table. The restaurant was closed because of the full moon market at the next village. After a quick nap we once again hit the road. On the way we found simple shops built as a shack were we could buy water as well as beer. We reached our village and spend the night with the Thaungthu tribe family. On the ground floor was the room for the water buffalo and we settled in at the second floor. Every tribe has their own language and colors on their clothes. It’s fantastic to see the women proudly working in their colorful dresses.
Waking up early drinking coffee, eating toast and pancakes we got ready for our last day. A dog followed us during the full day. We gave him the name lucky becuse he almost got hit by two different cars. He is lucky to be alive. Finally we reached the river were we could strip to our underware and go into the fresh water and clean of the dirt. At the end we reached our goal, the Inle lake. We jumped on the river boat and had a new experience speeding on the water towards Nuang Shwe.