As Myanmar’s Inle Lake is one of the largest lakes in the country, locals created a floating garden to grow vegetables and fruits supplies such as tomatoes, pumpkins and many others. Yes, we were not kidding. It’s a floating garden on the lake. It’s really an eye-opener for both of us all this while, we only see people grows on a dry land. We read a few articles which mentioned that from above, certain area such as Ywama Village is so filled with floating garden that it appears more land than lake.
We were made to understand that sea grass or weeds that was collected from the deeper parts of the lake are used by the farmers as a floating beds and then anchored with a bamboo poles. This is where we could really see a very productive ecosystem and how the villagers shown their creativity for living over the years. Very impressive!
Just next to the floating garden, you will then reached the place where all the community stay – The Floating Village which is wonderfully picturesque. Looking at the house structures, some are just a plain wooden huts and some others are built multi storeys completed with a beautiful finishes of window frames, boat parking lots and even a TV satellite dish. The villages are a lot more built up than what we were really expected. You will get to see and experience the whole activities by locals right in front of you. Thinking about this floating village, both of us always wondered and questioned how does the sanitation system goes here? You answer! 🙂
Before we reached the next destination, we came across a big area which are fully gated all around. Looking at the main entrance, we then saw a big signboard of an Inle Lake Resort. To those who might want to stay over at the lake, this is the place!
Our next pit stop was the local blacksmith workshop which sells all kinds of knives, swords, weapons as well as farming tools. We managed to see a synchronized hammering while they worked together in a very traditional way. I whispered to FF that we shouldn’t spend so much of our time here but it really doesn’t works. He was fascinated looking at all the blacksmith products in detailed. I almost forgot that he’s kind of person who collected knives which are locally made. He just loves it! While peeping through our wallet, I guess, he could actually get one. And not to forget, bargain is really a must here! We managed to get a small knives with the quarter of the original price.
LOTUS WEAVING WORKSHOP
Next pit stop was one and only village as well as home of the vibrant weaving community, In Paw Khon which produce lotus silk from the fibres of the lotus plant stem. It was then woven into the finest fabric and we were told by one of the lady that lotus silk are 6 times more expensive than the normal silk. To make just a small scarves, it required an average of 4000 lotus stems meanwhile large scarves will required about 40,000 lotus stems. You do the calculation if they have to do the full length of monk robes. :D. It’s something very rare for us and it’s quite expensive due to the time consuming during the process.
Fibres from lotus stem
The process of making the threads
The complete lotus threads without any coloring
Weaving work in progress
BOAT AND CIGAR / CHEROOT MAKING
We actually made a quick detour here. It’s just a plain boat and cigar / cheroot making shop. There’s a bunch of women who works really fast in rolling up the cigar / cheroot and these small cigars are flavoured too! This really reminds me of our previous visit to House of Sampoerna in Surabaya. One of the lady are kind enough to give a free complimentary cigar in a banana flavour to FF to try on. FF’s told me that it’s way expensive here as the charged an average of 10,000 Kyat for 30 handmade cigars meanwhile you get a pack of it at Nyaungshwe Town for just 800 Kyat.
Cigar / Cheroot Making
* The boatman will bring you to at least 6 local products workshop around Inle Lake. Most find it as a the biggest tourist traps in Myanmar where all this workshop are set up only for tourist. However, it’s best to tell your boatman if you tend not to visit any in particular they will just skip it. And we did skipped a few as well.
We will continue our journey on Inle Lake Discovery – Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Local Products Workshop (Handmade Umbrella), Long Neck Tribal and Jumping Cat Monestary.
Zara AB & FF
ZaraAB Travel #zaraabtravel
Husband & Wife All Around the Globe