What to Expect During an Inle Lake Boat Tour

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  1. I almost went to Myanmar when I was in Cambodia a few years ago, and have been itching to go ever since…particularly because all of your posts make me really want to go! I never knew lotus flowers were actually useful…they are so pretty!

    Though I could definitely skip those temps in Bagan…oof.

    • Alana Morgan says:

      You can also eat the lotus stem and seeds! I can’t believe it took me so long to get to Burma after living right ext door for years – I definitely want to go back! The temperatures in Bagan were pretty crazy though…we were quite proud of ourselves when we made it through a long day of temple hopping without getting burned, completely dehydrated or short with each other!

  2. Martha says:

    I am so interested in seeing the process of spinning lotus silk, I have read so much about it. It seems so magical that silk can come from the stems of a plant. I’m hoping to visit Burma in September for my birthday. Thanks for the great recommendations.

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Silk is just magical all together – who in the world thought, I know, I’ll use this cocoon which is actually just one single thread and make it into something??

  3. Adam B says:

    Superb blog post – really informative and some absolutely banging photos! We are going this November, and will try and book your guide if at all possible. 🙂

  4. lex says:

    Hi Alana
    This is such an informative post. I’m planning a Myanmar trip this coming March and I was wondering if i could pull off booking the boat ride without the need for travel agency. Did you pay 15K kyats per person or that’s for the entire boat, guide, driver and lunch? How long would you say one should stay in Inle? My main goal is to experience the boat ride, see the unique way of fishing and take lots of photos during sunrise and sunset. Prior to Inle, I will be in Bagan for 4D3N already. After Inle, I’m heading back to Yangon. So I’m thinking if I should cut a day in Bagan so I could spend 3D2N in Inle or 1 full day is enough?

    Thanks!

  5. Rob says:

    Helpfull post,
    We are going to do the trip tomorrow. Seeing your pics, we are really looking foward for it.

    Thanks.

    But I think that tipping as much as the price you paid, seems for me unnecessary. This is how price increase, why asking 15 when people can give you 30 without being asked. It s like going to a restaurant, paying 65euros and leaving the same for the waiter. Don’t you think? What other think about it? I ve never found easy to know how much we should tip, even more in countries where they are not used to it. I would like other opinion on this, that would be appreciated and helpfull 😉

    Thank you.

  6. Josie says:

    Hi

    We just returned from Myanmar including a trip to Inle Lake. We had our guesthouse book the boat driver recommended on this site. He came to meet us in the morning at 8am, walked us half way across town to another jetty and ‘sub-contracted’, gave, or perhaps otherwise ‘sold for commission’ our boat trip to two very young teens who did not speak a word of english. There was some bantering among them and a clear rediriction to a different boat. We did not realize Nyunt Pe was not himself going with us until the boat was being kicked off the jetty and he wasn’t on it with us.

    We had explained to Nyunt Pe with help of pre-translated passages that we did not want to be taken to the variety of shopping opportunities on the lake as we did not want to buy anything and were interested in specific sites on the lake. He agreed and said he understood, but the two kids that took us tried relentlessly to take us to every silversmith and shopping opportunity on the lake (for the commissions of course) even after I showed them the translated requests on my phone.

    When we were taken for lunch (which we paid for) we noticed a few guides with others speaking or at least attempting some english, eating with them , looking at maps, etc. A genuine experience.

    In the end we were dropped off at 2pm having only been taken to 2 sites we were interested in. When we returned they told us they wanted 20000, and given Nyunt was nowhere to be found to discuss the matter, we paid them. They both laughed gleefully and started a boisterous conversation about this, and i got the impression they felt they’d gotten away with something. Now of course they were essentially children and we don’t blame them for their shortcomings as guides. They are obviously being brought into the game going on at Inle Lake by their parents, people like Nyunt, and ultimately the increasingly huge number of tourists like us who go there.

    So what we got was:

    Driven around in a boat by two young teens mostly to places we specifically asked not to go to for 20000, plus 12500 for lunch ( the cost of lunch in itself not being unreasonable given the location).

    I think this post perhaps has helped Nyunt get too much work…perhaps it’s gone to his head? Perhaps he was just being nice to two young kids, as he has more work.
    However you consider what happened it must be said that this post is now misleading to the extent that it suggests you will have a quality tour with him. Ours certainly wasn’t. At any rate, I would recommend you take the recommendation for him off, and instead consider encouraging people to carefully look around and ask for a committed guide who has attempted at least a few paragraphs in english so you can get the most out of the day. And to ask to ensure you are going to end up in the boat with who you think you are.

    Thankfully we are very experienced travellers and found ways to enjoy ourselves and the beauty without them. Basically we hiked off in other directions up to beautiful views and stupas. After all, they couldn’t take us shopping if they were stuck in the boat waiting for us. They seemed content to nap during these times, so a good day was had by all.

  7. Hello thanks for your nice post this post is very helpful. hope that you will continue your writing .thanks

  8. Michal says:

    Hi,

    first of all let me thank you very much for good reference and contact information. We were at Inle in December 2017. We called Mr. Nyunt Pe from our cell phone but I didn´t understand a word so we let our reception to call him – definitely better idea – trust me :), It started in very same way as Josie´s. In the morning young guy came to our hotel to pick us up – one of the sons we learned later. We walked through the town to the jetty where we met Mr. Nyunt Pe with other son – boat driver. We had no strict requirements where to go or not to go – just wanted Indein Pagodas to be part of our trip. It was very nice experience – just one stop at every point of interest, no double stops – Silversmiths, rotating market, weaving, paperwork, pagodas, temple, long neck women, floating gardens.
    Again it was very nice experience and our guide, son of Mr Nyunt Pe was amazing guide, very friendly.
    Thank you very much for the reference. And apparently Mr Nyunt Pe is well aware about his references as asked if we know hom from internet 🙂
    Price was 20000Kyat + tip. Definitely worth of it.

  9. Clay Kramer says:

    We highly recommend th nyunt pe. We went on a sunset boat ride and he took us himself for 12,000 and the next day his son zoza who spoke better English was our guide along with a boat driver. This was ideal as we stopped at many places and Zoza came with us to explain everything in English while the boat driver stayed with the boat and some of our belongings. We did the day tour including indein which on the day we went had the rotating market at indein. Indein usually costs a little more since its further down a long canal. For lunch zoza took us to a great meal that wasn’t too expensive. The tour does show you some touristy stuff – women with the long necks and their store, the lotus string textiles and store, the silver maker and store. You can skip whatever you want but we thought most were interesting at least. We didn’t feel any pressure to buy and although we looked heavily didn’t buy a thing and didn’t get any pressure about that. We loved seeing the lotus string making of textiles from a big factory on the water and the floating farm/garden where they grow tomatoes. We also stopped by a pagoda where locals put gold on the Buddhas. Yes there’s a bit of a touristy vibe but overall it’s very beautiful and zoza was a great guide. We happily paid 25,000 plus a small tip.

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