Tuesday, February 24: At 1:00, after a busy morning in Nyaungshwe, I hire another long-tail boat to take me to Inthein. To get there, we head south from Nyaungshwe, through the middle of Inle Lake, then into a narrow foliage-choked canal on the southwest corner of the lake.
In the wide part of the lake, my boat driver, who is kind and noble, takes me up close to some of the famous Intha fishermen who are famous for their technique of leg-rowing — in which one leg is wrapped around the paddle to move the blade through the water in a figure-8 motion. Getting close to the fishermen makes for some interesting iconic photos.
As we enter the canal, we are surrounded once again by the floating gardens and the stilt-house villages.
We even pass a congregation of golden stupas along the way.
We pass under numerous little footbridges along the way.
Much of the time, we are in the wild, with jungle-like tropical foliage on each side of the winding canal. Lonely Planet Myanmar describes the trip as having an Apocolypse Now ambience; I’ve even heard the trip compared to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. This might be the case on a cloudy day, but today, it’s sunny and warm and utterly delightful.
At about 2:30, after an hour and half in the boat, we arrive at a number of ruined stupas, where I get out of the boat to explore and come back with a bag full of souvenirs! 🙂