The best way to get to Inlay Lake from Kalaw is not the bus or the super slow train! It is walking down. You can choose how fast you want to go. It is possible to do it in two days but why do you want to do that??? Plan at last 3 days and two nights. So you can stay a bit longer in every village you will pass on the way down to Inlay Lake.
There was only one street to cross on the entire trip so you are away from noise most of the time. Great landscape and super friendly locals on the way. We did stay in monasteries and gave donations the next day.
We had one guide that did speak English very well and a cook with us. The dinner he came up with in the middle of nowhere was the best of the trip.
I did the walk a few times now. Down to the lake and up from Inlay Lake to Kalaw. If you do not trek usually you should do the easy one down to the lake. Keep in mind that you will walk a few hours every day so it is not the same as strolling round a temple in Bagan and bike to the next one.
The trip is worth the extra energy you spend. If you have more time try to do a wider arch down to the lake and extend it to 3 or 4 nights!
A few Pictures from the first Day hiking down to Inlay Lake
This is chili country! The fields are full of the rec crop and the harvest season is close. The farmers here are under heavy competition from China. One year they try chili but it is possible that the Chinese do the same and they can transport cheaper and have larger fields. So no chance to export the goods. The year before the farmers did try Ginger but the Chinese did flood the markets since they had a really good harvest so most of the farmers had to sell under production cost. I hope they make up for it this year with the chili.
Since there are no real roads all the transportation is still done with Ox carts. I guess that will be change very soon.
These guys make nothing than bamboo baskets – smoke, chat and laugh. At last it was like that the last time I was here and this is years ago!
Sesame field after harvesting
Our cook in the temple kitchen
After another 5 star meal washed down with Chinese beer, and a few tea n’ rum later we went to bed – no power anyway and what to do in a monastery??
Waking up at 5 in the morning to the monks chanting. It still was too early to do anything else than dream away again. At sunrise we got up and had another very good breakfast!
This is the view from the main prayer hall where they put a few bed sheets as a wall and made little sleeping rooms for us in the corner.
Since there where almost no tourists trekking all the locals where very interested from where we are and what we do back home. Since our guide spoke good English we had many interesting conversations in the small villages and some at the fields we passed.
Two girls work together with their grandmother. Separating the hull from the seed and grinding it.
The highlight of every day – people and nature. Down towards the next monastery for the last night before we arrive at Inlay lake