Another amazing experience was the trip to Inle Lake. From the village of Nyuang Shwe, I boarded a boat which was my chief means of transportation on the lake. There are no cars or roads, so boats are the only way to go. I stayed at the lovely Inle Princess Hotel right on the lake. I highly recommend this property. The music for the Full Moon Festival wafted through the night and early morning air.
I spent the afternoon exploring the large lake which is surrounded on both sides by high hills. I saw the famous Intha fishermen and their floating gardens, I stopped at a weaving village and visited several Shan temples, including one where the monks had trained all of the cats to jump through hoops. Sunset on the Lake was amazing. The villages were all built on stilts of wood and bamboo.
Of particular interest was how the Intha propelled their flat-bottom boats. They stand on the stern on one leg and wrap the other leg around the oar. They then row with one leg. The next day I visited a local tribal market which was a great spot to see the various ethnic minorities. I saw people selling and buying produce and of course their betel nut leaves. Saw many women smoking cheroot cigars. Even saw some of the women, who had come down from the hill tribe villages, bathing in the river near the market.