Cycle and trek through the incredible beauty of the mysterious Shan Mountains to ethnic villages where time stands still.
- See skillful “one-legged” rowers, lush floating gardens and stilted villages on Inle Lake
- Trek through stunning rolling countryside to isolated monasteries and ethnic hill tribe villages
- Venture into deep Pa O territory to experience rural life and sweeping views of lakes and mountains
- Cycle through dense forests to discover the Intha tribe, visit their houses and sample their cuisine
Day 1: Explore Inle Lake & a winery
Inle Lake, located in Shan State, is a beautiful and mysterious place surrounded by misty mountains and rolling green hills. Spend a relaxing day on the lake observing the skilled fisherman using their one-legged rowing technique. Visit the floating gardens, an Intha village and a monastery. Then round off the day in style with a visit to the Red Mountain Winery to sample locally produced wine. Overnight in Inle Lake.
Day 2: Trek from Indein to visit ethnic villages
A short boat ride takes you to the village of Indein to see the temple complex. After a walk around the village, follow the covered stairway to the beautiful Alaung Sitthou area where dozens of ancient stupas stand among an overgrown jungle-like setting. From here we start the trek to Kyar Tun village, home to Pa O and Taung Yoe ethnic tribes where you can observe their way of life. The trek continues up the foothill of U Daung Thaung for about 45 minutes to a monastery from where there are panoramic views of the whole southern lake area. Visit U Daung Thaung Monastery and the burial site of a famous monk, venerated in this region for his meditation and devotion to the Sasana (the spreading of the Budddhist teachings). If we are in luck we may get the opportunity to meet Pa O ethnic tribes who come to take part in Sabbath day offerings or other religious ceremonies. Enjoy a picnic style lunch, then descend U Daung Thaung and continue back to Indein temple complex (approx. 60 minutes). Visit adjacent Sae Ma village and then transfer back to Inle by boat. Overnight in Inle Lake.
(Total walking time is 4 hrs and 30 min.)
Day 3: Trek through the Shan Mountains
The day’s trek takes you deep through Pa O territory in the Shan mountains, passing small settlements and villages along the way. After about 1 hour trekking you will reach Dong Ta Khawh village where you can experience scenes of rural life, see how the villagers produce cheroot leaves and how they tend to the land. Another hour of steep climbing will bring you to the hilltop village of Hti Ne from where there are sweeping views of Inle Lake area and the surrounding villages. The final leg of the trek takes about 90 minutes and passes through rolling hills and fields.
Travel by vehicle to the Kakku temple complex, a collection of over 2000 Buddhist stupas dating from the 12th and 13th centuries concentrated in the space of one square kilometre.
After lunch, drive back to Nyaung Shwe via Taunggyi with a short stop to visit the large, local Taunggyi market. Return by boat to Inle and overnight.
Day 4: Boat trip to Sangka
Travel by boat to Sangkha, a picturesque town on lower Inle Lake, inhabited by Pa-O and Intha people. Explore this hillside village and observe the traditional culture and lifestyles of these ethnic groups. Visit the market at the Sahn village of Kyauk Taing. Overnight in Inle Lake.
Day 5: Cycle to Intha Villages
Board your bicycle and cycle to the Taung Chay Taw Ya Monastery where there are beautiful views of the surrounding area. Carry on through dense bamboo forests, and after 1 hour cycling stop at Than Taung village to explore the lifestyle of the Intha ethnic tribe. Carry on cycling for about another 30 minutes and then stop at an Intha village house in Nwar Dhama village to sample a traditional Intha lunch. After lunch walk around the village to observe village life and see how cheroots are made. There is the option to take a canoe to Kyae Sar Gone village, a floating garden, and visit a typical stilt house.
Return by boat to Inle lake.