You sail by boat from Nyaungshwe to the Inle Lake. On the lake you'll pass "leg rowers'', fishermen from the Intha tribe, who keep their boat moving in a typical way. Standing with one leg flat on their boat, they move their narrow vessel forward by rowing with their other leg. You also see fishermen fishing with large cone-shaped nets. They look beautiful in the often smooth waters. There is much activity on the water, many boats are sailing in and out. In the villages and the lake are various craftsmen at work, you can optionally visit a silversmith or a cigar factory.
You'll sail through ditches and creeks, past houses on stilts with wooden bridges, you see purple water hyacinths and numerous waterfowl. Then you come to the 1000+ temples in Thein (also written as In Dein). Some of the beautiful monuments are partly covered with vegetation, vines and bamboo. It looks like a bunch of turrets. It is assumed that the pagoda is approximately 500 years old.
In the afternoon you'll explore it further. You will view the floating gardens (kyunpaws), where the population mainly grows flowers and vegetables, like tomatoes and eggplants. These kyunpaws are narrow strips of land, pinned down to the lake by bamboo poles.
The most striking building on the lake is the Phaung Daw U Paya, a pagoda where five small buddha images have become shapless blobs of gold, due to all of the donated gold leaf. These figures are from the 12th century. Only men are allowed to approach and touch these gold nuggets. Women may watch from a respectable distance.
Along the way you undoubtedly stop in Ngahpe Kyaung, a teak monastery on stilts in the middle of the lake and from the 19th century. It is also known as the ''Monastery of jumping cats" because of the multitude of cats that live there. Monks train the animals from an early age to jump through a hoop on command. It seems very difficult to get cats to learn tricks, you would describe this type of task as drudgery! In the monastery there are some beautiful Buddha statues. After the tour you will sail back to Nyaungshwe.
Included: transport by boat
Not included: meals, drinks