Cheap way to see Inle lake from boat
If you are short on money at Inle lake, but you still want to see the villages on water, there is an option.
If you are willing to pay 15 000 kyats for the half day trip to Inle lake, you will see much of it. To break it down – for the private boat, guide, driver, (sometimes lunch – we didn’t get it for free) and tour that lasts from 6:30 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m. it cost 15,000 kyat, or about $15 USD total.
Around Inle Lake there are many small villages which connect to the main lake by means of narrow canals. Once out on the lake you may see the fake leg-rowing fishermen. These stand up on their boats to give them a bird’s eye view of the fish in the very shallow waters. You visit some of the villagers in their homes above the silk and cotton weaving looms where they work.
The sad truth is, that you can’t really experience, or even see the lake without doing a boat tour. Well, unless you’re staying at one of the few guesthouses or hotel actually built right on the water. However, there is an alternative. For sure you understand that you will not see that much as if you buy the half day boat trip. But still you can have a nice experience. Perhaps, even more quieter and romantic.
How to see Inle lake for (almost) no money?
First of all, you should find a long wooden pier on the eastern part of the lake. See the map here:
You can get there by bicycle, or veeeery long walk.
If you walk at the and of the pier, you will see many of the gardens on the water and as well part of the village. And for sure, you will find somebody who will offer you small trip around the village. It is usually for some 20-30 minutes and cost some 2-3000 kyats.