Another short flight, and we arrive in Heho.
We’ll be staying at Nayaungshwe township, on the bank of Inle Lake, a 2 hour drive away.
Another refreshment stop.
Several people had commented on Kay’s parasol. She takes us to visit this guy, who makes them.
The entire intricate mechanism is made on this foot powered lathe.
We’ve got free time in the afternoon, so Kay recommends the Red Mountain winery.
Sounded like a fab idea, so Kay organised a chap to take us and wait until we were ready to come back.
We get a tour of the winery and its beautiful grounds. It must be said, the climate here isn’t ideal for red wine, but the owners (from France) are convinced of its viability.
Whatever the quality of the wine, the grounds were incredibly beautiful.
We were shown around the production facility and then we did a wine tasting, including a tasting board with 4 red wines.
Kay had also recommended somewhere nearby to eat.
The Inle heart view had spectacular views across the valley and the food was superb.
Back to our hotel (which was superbly fitted out and practically brand new).
A gin & tonic before bed, and a good nights rest.
In the morning, we wonder to the rooftop restaurant for breakfast.
As I look out on the view at the back of the hotel, its not nearly so lovely as the view at the front.
Things are improving, but many of the local people are living in poverty.
We head for the lake moorings and set off.
It’s 4 people to a boat and we take it in turns to sit at the front (the boat operator, sits at the back).
These things fly along at an exhilarating speed.
This picture gives an idea of the size of the lake (when it was my turn to sit at the front).
The lake is famous for its fishermen, who stand up to get better visibility of the fish, while rowing with their feet.
It has to be said, this has more to do with tourism these days, and whenever you photographed one, the hand was out straight away (and there didn’t seem to be many fish in his boat).
Indein on the western banks of the lake. An intricate pagoda complex with hundreds of Shan style stupas clustered together on its hillside.
Funny how a walk to a major site of interest usually involves walking through a market of some kind.
We reach the hillside and there are literally hundreds of small Stupas to explore
Following years of decline, and with the forest reclaiming the site walking amongst these hauntingly beautiful ruins has a very Indiana Jones feel.
Inn Paw Khone village.
A community of buildings on stilts.
Inside, entire industries making Silverware and Lotus fibre weaving.
They also have a restaurant and I have lunch of crinkle cut chips, egg fried rice and a bottle of the local beer.
We head deeper into the lake.
Although some people make their living through tourism, others do so, from subsistence farming and literally live on the lake in huts.
Not sure I’d want to spend a night in this particular hut, it seemed like it was about to fall down.
Exploring the floating garden.
Located on the lake, the famous Jumping cat monastery.
The previous person in charge had been famous for training cats to jump in the air and this had led to the name of the monastery being changed.
He has since died, nobody does anything with the cats, so there’s not much there to see (although its considered an iconic must-see sight in the area).
Finally, on our way back, were shown how traditional boats are made.
After a shower and change of clothes, we decide to head into town and see a bit of the place.
We find this friendly bar, and I’m delighted to see on the menu “chip butty”. I’ve been away from home for a few weeks now, and can’t rest it.
So when it arrives, I’m a bit surprised. It’s basically, some oven cooked chips, in the sort of pancake you use for crispy duck.
Didn’t matter, I ate it anyway, but I’ve never seen a chip butty with so much salad 🙂