By Carla White
I awake in the pre-dawn hours in the town of Nyaung Shwe, about a mile north of the famous Burmese landmark: Inle Lake. I have such anticipation for the day ahead. My trip to Myanmar is nearing its end and we have finally arrived at this long-awaited discovery. Departing our hotel, we quietly make our way through the streets to the edge of the canal where our boat awaits. Here we witness the flurry of activity as local fishermen and guides compete for mooring space. Our guide helps us into a “long-tail boat” — a type of motorized canoe — and we set off amidst the thick morning fog that hangs heavy and mysterious. We are dressed in sweatshirts and jackets with blankets wrapped around us to ward off the early morning chill.
The early morning boating on Inle lake is incredibly serene, the sight of lighting dancing in the still-dark sky before the sun comes out is completely gorgeous. The mist on the lake surface is soothing, and then we witness the magic of the fishermen’s traditional single-leg canoe dancing. There are no words that can match my pleasure to see it!
If you ever find yourself near Inle Lake, take it from me that it is 100% worth the effort to get up before sunrise for an excursion across the water. You need to experience the majestic beauty for yourself!
Carla White is Cross Cultural Journeys’ Group Operations Manager. She travelled to Myanmar in January of 2017. To experience Inle Lake and many other wonders of this beautiful country for yourself, check out our exciting new itinerary MYANMAR | Full Moon Festival, Temples and Waterways (December 29, 2017-January 10, 2018).