Inle Lake (July 12)

During my trek, I met Avi from Israel and Lyvia and Ivan from Switzerland. We agreed to share a boat the day after trekking for an all-day tour of Inle Lake, which cut down the cost and provided good company. I had just spent my last three days of being 28 years old trekking the Myanmar mountain countryside, and now I would spend my 29th birthday with Chris and some new friends on a boat!

Some photos around Nyaung Shwe, the town we stayed in:20140713_062011 20140710_092427 20140711_090215 20140711_091414

The five of us boarded the boat and departed the pier a quarter until 8am. Between 8am and 4pm we visited various shops and sights along the lake, learning more about the locals who live in the stilt houses along the canals.

20140711_075647 20140712_07533220140712_09162920140712_135721

My favorite excursion on the lake was Indein Village Pagoda. The entrance was lined with antique shops.20140712_100401IMG_5648

Detailed artwork were created and sold by the disabled. Incredible talent.20140712_095814 20140712_095847 20140712_100023

Indein Village Pagoda:20140712_102145IMG_563720140712_102754 20140712_103151 20140712_103329 20140712_104017 20140712_110050  IMG_5636

Stilt houses and neighborhood canals:IMG_5653 IMG_5663 IMG_5664 20140712_144803

Boat making: IMG_5656

A local painting his fingernail pink: IMG_5654

Vegetable garden in the lake: IMG_5668

Local leg-rowing fisherman: 20140712_152956

By late afternoon on our journey back to the pier, we fortunately came across a traditional Intha fisherman who was happy to perform a balancing act for us. Everything about his mini performance was a work of art, from the brilliant half-day sun brightly shining upon his orange trousers and boat, to the dark clouds pouring rain onto the rolling green hills in the distance. 20140712_154435IMG_5680

Toward the end of our boat tour, Chris told Lyvia and Ivan that it was my birthday. They were incredibly sweet—when we arrived at the pier, Lyvia told me that they wanted to pay for my share of the boat tour as a birthday present! It was a sweet ending to a memorable boat tour of Inle Lake. Chris and I ended the day with a yummy pizza, chocolate cake, and red wine dinner at a French restaurant. It’s funny how insanely “fancy” a $20 dinner costs in a country where we normally would spend $1-$2 on meals, but it was my birthday, so fuck it, why not?

I am looking forward to my last year in my 20s!

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