Inle Lake, Myanmar

March 31
We took a night bus from Bagan to Inle Lake. Bus travel here is the worst I have ever experienced. The bus quality is ok but the whole service is very strange. They literally think, “hmmm how can I make this bus experience worse for locals and tourists. I have an idea. Let’s make an overnight bus leave at 4:00 pm and get in at 2:00 am in every city. Hmmm. That’s not enough, how about we play music the whole time, loud music, throughout the entire trip, especially at night! Oh and we can play terrible movies and videos of local terrible singers! Yeah!” In the middle of the night, it isn’t uncommon to wake up from characters in a shitty tv show talking too loud or yelling and maxing out the decibels that camera microphones can handle and record, resulting in a screeching sound. And this is after editing and publishing of the shows, so no one seemed to care when filming or editing these clips. “And let’s not change anything even though another way makes perfect sense!” That is Myanmar travel, my friends. And the music videos are so weird. They are all about people getting sprayed with water with industrial sized hoses. I don’t get it. And the local music isn’t good or “beautiful” like in some countries here. It is terrible. It sounds like three different shitty bands are playing different songs with different tempos with out-of-tune instruments and singers who would have been kicked off of American idol in the first round, but still shown on tv because of how big of a joke they are. Yeah, those people! Anyway, we arrived in Inle Lake at 2:00 am after a miserable bus ride, and shared a taxi with this kid from Argentina because he heard if a decent place with a reasonable price. We drove to the place and booked some rooms. Matt and I slept for 8 hours because we were exhausted. We woke up and asked our hotel front desk worker to book us a bus to Yangon for tonight. Inle Lake isn’t very big and once you see the lake, there is nothing else to do. So we decided we would see the lake all day, and then just bus out to have more beach time later on. We booked a boat around the lake for right now and a guy walked us 20 minutes to a boat driver, who then brought us to his boat. We rode through the canal next to the town for about 6 km until we got to the lake. The lake was pretty big and took about an hour to get halfway down the lake. It was very hot in the sun all day, so four hours on the boat tour was plenty. We saw some cool sights of local fisherman with nets made from bamboo. They all ride on these small boats that were only inches off the water. We rode through a water village and got off a couple of times to see different shops that sold handicrafts. We saw a longneck woman who had gold rings around her neck, but it’s hard to tell if it’s all a show or legit. It may be real since tourism isn’t as developed here yet. We rode the boat through small sections of water next to long grass and small huts. We rode back across the lake and back to the town where we started. We ate lunch at this western food place and then went back to our hotel. We showered and then got picked up at 4:00 pm by a tuk tuk that took us to the bus station. Our bus wasn’t until 6:00 pm so we had to wait two hours for no reason. He could have picked us up later and it would make more sense. Myanmar bus travel is so weird!

mikepsilve'sInle Lake album on Photobucket