Inle Lake - Getting There & Where we Stayed

Today I'm sharing more with Inle Lake with you: how we got here because getting anywhere in Myanmar is always a big huge adventure / annoyance & where we stayed while we were at the lake. 

How did we get to Inle Lake? 

For starters the lake is in another state up in the mountains, far far away. You can get there by taking an overnight bus, which is ideal to me, but we were on a time crunch so we knew we needed to fly. 

Booking a flight should be easy but when I got on-line to book and pay I couldn't pay because of sanctions on Myanmar, meaning they won't allow my American card to pay for something in Myanmar on-line. Super annoying. 

Remember water festival? Well we were trying to book our tickets during water festival which meant everything was closed! We knew we would have to go to the airport to try and buy a ticket. Dave and I got up super early one morning and made our way to the airport. The first airline told us we had to go to a hotel which was across the street because their offices were located there. We got there and they told us we would have to wait another 2 hours ... nope! 

We went back to the airport and went to a different booth and said we needed tickets to Inle Lake. Their reply "We don't know our flight schedule for the next 3 days because of Buddha's New Year" aka water festival. My thought was "How in the world do you not know your flight for the next 3 days?" 

The next booth? Yes, they had tickets! They would type in 'Inle Lake' on the computer and then we all stood there and waited and waited for it to load. Then each time they had to go to a new screen we would all wait together. I was so annoyed you guys but thankfully we finally got tickets!

2 days later and we arrived at the airport for our flight. Now, we paid for 3 flights but I assure you we could have taken 4 people on our flight. This is the ticket they issued us (see picture below). They opened our passports, "glanced" at them, and gave them right back. Security check? That's funny and not really existent. 

I wouldn't have snuck a 4th person in because that would be wrong on so many levels but I was just so surprised at the no security / screening. 

After we got our tickets we just walked out to the airplane. Guys, I feel bad for the locals. These airplanes are running full blast with loud loud noise and the workers have no ear plugs. I'm sure they will have hearing loss and I can relate because you all know about my hearing loss story

Now, I will tell you that KBZ is also sanctioned by the US government but it was our only option. I was nervous to fly with them but it was one of the nicest airplanes I have been in and the staff was so kind!

I did find this picture funny because only in Asia would you find that in an emergency you must remove your shoes. Everyone takes their shoes off for everything over here.

The flight up to the lake was lovely. It was beautiful and it was so refreshing to see green and to see land instead of city.

We arrived at the Heho airport near Inle and the staff from Golden Island Cottages was there to pick us up. It is about a 45 minute drive from the airport to the lake and I would recommend arranging with a hotel to pick you up at the airport. 

The shuttle took us from the airport to a town called Nangshwe. At the town there was a boat that took us for a beautiful 45 minute trip across the lake to our hotel. 

The hotel was right on the lake and the little bungalows are made from bamboo. They were lovely and charming and the views were stunning. 

The staff greets you with music upon arrival which is super thoughtful of them. They are very friendly and will also arrange for a boat trip to see all of the shops on the lake. I highly recommend staying on the lake at least for one night. It is more expensive but is worth it. 

The view!

I will be honest and say finding our way up to the lake was a big pain but it was worth it! Inle Lake is one of my favorite places I have ever been and if you are visiting Myanmar I'd say this is a must see place. I'm actually going to back there in September! When my parents come to Myanmar I'm taking them up there for a couple of days and I'm so excited to show them this beautiful part of the country.

If you are reading this blog and are planning on visiting this area please e-mail me and I'll share all the little details and helpful tidbits.

Stay tuned for more of Inle Lake! I have a mulberry paper farm to show you, a lots and silk weaving farm, the markets and a few other really neat things!

If you live abroad is traveling around easy or hard for you? 
Would you visit this lake? 


  1. This is an outstanding venue, with great and thoughtful staff, and a fantastic chef. The location is well situated. We has been delighted to host our annual event at venues San Francisco for the past few years, and the space has been perfect for our group of roughly 300.

  2. eToro is the #1 forex broker for newbie and pro traders.