Our third and final day of trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake.
Morning came and we had noodles, egg, 3 in 1 coffee and fruit to start the day. For this leg of the trek my SD card had managed to corrupt the lot so there really isn’t much to show you. Never Buy Cheap SD Cards No Matter How Appealing.
We set off and visited a few more villages where we’d met a woman making bags on a loom. The usual stunning vistas and interesting nature facts flowed from Mo. We stopped at what I believe was a sort of maple tree where they collect the sap from to make a vapor rub to clear you sinuses. It really strong when it comes directly off the tree.
Sap being extracted from the tree.
Mo had also decided to teach us about Thanaka. The yellow paint you often see on the faces of the Myanmar women and children. She spent the time to put it on all of us. The only photo that isn’t corrupt of me with Thanaka on is this one…. Got the full trekking unkempt look going on. On this leg of the trek we passed many other groups as it seems it’s the one and only way to Inle Lake.
My serious trekking thanaka face.
Our last destination was Toriele Village. Just before you enter you reach a check point where you have to pay a 10,000 Kyat fee to enter the lake. This money apparently all goes in to conservation of the lake and no what so ever to the government.
After our rest we walked down to the lake where we had to say goodbye to Mo and take out hour long boat ride. The cheapest places to stay at Inle Lake are in Nyaungshwe. We stayed at Aquarius Inn, by no means the cheapest but very reasonable for Myanmar, at 10,000 Kyats ($10 USD) each a night. We didn’t get chance to look around as we had to book a place to get our bags sent to. However, I can’t recommend this place enough. The staff as incredibly helpful the rooms are immaculate and the breakfast is great. I’ll 100% stay there again if I revisit the lake. The owner even helped us plan our trip from Nyaungshwe to Bagan via Pick ups.
Waving goodbye to our guide Mo.
Should you trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake.
100%. It is a very easy trek that requires no experience what so ever but some of the views are just incredible. Personally I’d wished we’d paid a little more and gone with Mr.Jonny. His name came up a number of times and each person said fantastic things about his company. Our trek was good, great in fact. Mo was an extremely good guide but I feel the routes that Uncle Sam has planned for you are very different from what he sells to you. It feels like they are becoming the beaten track. Many other people that I’d met who had also trekked from Kalaw to Inle Lake had really fantastic stories about their experiences. One couple even told us they paid an extra 1000kyats each to their guide and got to visit an opium farm. They had pictures to prove it. This may have just been a ‘The grass is always greener’ type of thing.
Overall I’d strongly recommend doing the trek, even with Uncle Sam, as it is very fun and extremely affordable. If I was to go back I’d spend a lot more time speaking to people and getting better recommendations on where to go and who to go with. If you get the chance I’d go sooner rather than later as the development along the way for guest houses is really starting to take shape and it won’t be long before it’s overly populated.
Make sure you check out.