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Inlay Lake is situated eastern part of Myanmar in the Shan state; the second largest natural lake located 3000 ft above the sea level. It is located in the middle of Nyaung Shwe valley. Inlay is one of the main tourist destinations in Myanmar. The Lake is 24Km long and about 12km wide and famous for its scenic beauty. The population is about 160,200 and most of people in lake are live on the floating island of vegetation specially growing tomatoes plant. Most of Inthar races admit Inlay lake as their hometown and spend their whole-life in the way of fishing, planting and weaving. Most of them are live in stilted houses that elevated over the water and 6m deepest from the water level. Formally they harvest vegetables on floating islands. The Inle lake is famous because of unusual feature of its extraordinary “Leg-Rowing Fishermen” who are eccentric method of rowing their small boats with one leg. They are skillful for their rowing skills in having one leg locked along the handle of the paddle, the other just standing of the stern of the boat while keeping a perfect balance. Over the water on stilts, there have villages, farms and monasteries. Visitors may observe cottage industries of weaving, netting and cheroot making.
Restaurants in Innlay
Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda
Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is one of the famous shrines in Myanmar. The pagoda has five small Buddha images. The Lights Festival of Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda held from end of September to early October once a year. In this festival, only four Buddha images are procession around the Lake in a colorful barge for worship of Inthar people while fifth Buddha image left resided at PhaungdawOo pagoda.
Nga Phe Kyaung
Nga Phe Kyang Monastery was built for years before the Mandalay Palace. It was a wooden monastery that on the stilts over the lake. Visitors can observe the modest collection of Shan, Tibetan, Bagan, Inwa styles of Buddha images.
Indein is the small village and situated on the western bank of the Inley Lake. The ruin pagodas which hide in the bushes will give visitors an impression of visitors was in the back 12th – 13th Centuries. At the top of the hill, a Buddha image has enshrined as a whitewashed stupa. Cluster of hundreds of ancient stupa are lied around the hill below the stupa. Most stupas are ruins with overgrown bushes and the pagoda hill is peace and calm. The wonder place is at the end of the Indein creek which connected with Inlay lake and next to the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. The creek farmers are dam up the water by bamboo barriers to irrigate the paddy fields. Indein water is useful for irrigation and for bathing and washing clothes. It is worth of watch Novice monks, buffalo boys and village girls wash and swim in creek.
The largest village on the Inlay Lake; its streets are a web of canals. There are some beautiful teak houses built on large wooden piles driven into the lake bed. The main activity and attraction is at the floating market according to the local five day market scheme in the largest canal .On market day it is a traffic jam of tourist boats and souvenir hawkers with a few local buyers.
A large and bustling market where one can find a real local atmosphere with a variety of products from the Lake.
NyaungShwe is a small town at the north end of Inle Lake. Visitors can take a walk to nearby villages and countryside and find the ruins of the old monasteries. The town has a huge market where local produce is sold.
Shwe Yan Pyay Kyaung
Shwe Yan Pyay Kyaung is just outside Nyaungshwe, built with a fascinating wooden monastery on early 19th century. The architecture has traditional motifs such as oval windows and tiered roofs. The interior has exquisite glass mosaic work and panels richly gilded with pure gold leaf.
Taung Gyi is the main capital city of Shan State, hilly station about 4712 feet high above the sea level. It has 205000 population and fifth largest city in Myanmar and it has Shan, Burma, Christian, Sikh and Muslims. In Myanmar language Taung Gyi means “huge mountain”. It is situated southern part of the Shan State and lies on the Shan Plateau. Taung Gyi is very nice to stay and relax. The atmosphere is very hygienic because of the fresh mountain air. The whole year in Taung Gyi the weather is cool and pleasant. From June to November is the rainy season and annual rain fall is 32.68 inches. The trademarks of this town are many pines, cherry and eucalyptus trees covering the whole town is green and peaceful. In this town has five day market place, every fifth day once come to the market day during this market day all ethnic groups and people come to sell and buy products thus why its market is very crowded and colorful. The eastern part of the town there has gem market; the visitors can see so many kinds of gems like jade, rubies and sapphires. Taung Gyi’s delicious food is Shan noodle, tofu and myeshay. These shops can be found everywhere of the town.
Taung Gyi does not have the airfield so have to flight Heho and then take by car to Taung Gyi. From Yangon to Taung Gyi there has direct road trip it takes 16 hours. It is far about 456 miles and road trip is more chance to see the beautiful mountain range and green tea field beside of the mountain slope. The others way is train, which is firstly reach to Nyaung Shwe and then to Taung Gyi by car.
Hot Balloon Festival
In November the balloon festival is held and celebrates in Taung Gyi. This festival is traditional and celebrated annually since last over 60 years. This festival has two kinds of fire balloon competitions there are day festival and night festival. In the day festival the fire balloons are making with many shape and designs like elephant, snake, horse, ox, buffalo, bird, pig, fish, owl, parrot and butterfly shape. The differences of night festival are multi colored light and fireworks which are attached with main balloon. It flied to the sky and these fireworks are booming in the air. This scene is very exciting and wonderful. During this festival, the ground is very crowded and full with people and shops. So many visitors come to Taung Gyi to see this festival.
Taung Gyi maintain ethnological museum
The others interesting place is Taung Gyi museum. In this museum displayed the cultural objects, ethnics’ traditional dresses, musical instruments, farm equipments, paintings, sculptures, arts and crafts of many national races and ethnics group.
It was displayed the same things with ethnological museum but different is Hawnan residences which is the Shan sawbwar used to live at there, it is well maintained. Now it can be observed.
This festival is also known as the hot air balloon festival. It is celebrates by Pa O and included many ethnic groups. At the festival people are enjoyed and cheerful by booming the firework competitions.
The pagoda is located far about 33 miles from Taunggyi and takes 3 hours drive, near Mway Taw village in the southern Shan state. It is an ancient and spectacular monument and relic pagoda of Pa O people. There have over 2000 stupas packed into the ranks, the main stupa is large about 40 meters high. In the legends, this first stupa was built by King Alaungsithu in 12th century of Bagan dynasty. All of the stupas are really individual masterpiece. Each of the pagodas’ top has “Hti” which is making with gilded metal like others Myanmar pagodas. This pagoda was hit by earthquakes but so much of the pagodas are still exist as original. The external design of this pagoda is very simple.
The villagers annually celebrated the pagoda’s festival takes about one week. During full moon day of Tabaung (mid march) is the festival day. In this festival thousand of the villagers and pilgrimages come and joined. The pagoda’s decoration is built with tradition art and architecture and also included the religious devotion of Pa O and others ethnic minorities. In ancient times the Pa O peoples are lived very peaceful, they cultivated their land to make money and they donated their wealth by building the pagodas and monasteries. Around the Kakku district is covered with so many Pa O villages, along the main road from north to south. Stupas which are sitting post are decorated with fine glass mosaic and some are fine plaster carvings. Nowadays, the Kakku pagoda is one of the most tourists attraction place in Myanmar. During the rainy season the temperature is 10-20 Celsius and summer season the temperature is 20-35 Celsius, the average rainfall is 200-400 centimeter. The visitors can see the bullocks’ carts for transportation.
Most of the Myanmar people are familiar with King Ashoka’s donation of monumental works and charity. He donated 84000 wells, 84000 ponds, 84000 pagodas. He is the one who carried the Buddhist religion for future from the Indian empire to Myanmar.
Another famous King in Myanmar history is King Alaung Sithu from bagan dynasty. Because of his nation, he builds endeavors and dedicates propagation of Buddhism in Myanmar. He is very famous for Thit Ka Net royal barge, in the war he control and mere direction with his finger. During his royal trip to Shan state he founded this beautiful and peaceful location and built this pagoda and named “Phaung Daw Site” meaning where the royal barge berthed.
In the Kakku pagoda have two kind of architectural presentations. One is designed with “Yun” this is the one of the dominant things of Shan nationalities. The characteristic of this structure are tapering spires. This Yun sector which is stands at the eastern part of the pagoda. This pagoda is also known as Ashoka pagoda, Shwewet Ku pagoda and Kakku relic pagoda.
The times of King Anawratha, the second presentation emerged during the golden age of pagoda building. The King Alaung Sithu was popular by building pagoda at this location where his royal barge berthed during his royal tour. From stating at that times many pilgrimages donated others small pagodas around the two large stupas from ancient times so nowadays there have so many pagodas into the compound.
From ancient times, Myanmar literature was enumerated to memorize by word of mouth. So Rhymes were emerged during those days. One of their features was to encode with Myanmar alphabet letters; it is combining with five letters in each. Then, each word is linked with days of the week and a numbers was assigned to each unit. All of these are linked with astrological method. Example. Taung Thu Kun Hnyat, its means Taung is 7, Thu is 6, Kun is 2 and Hnyat is 3 then totaling is 7623 pagodas.
Pindaya is located about 48 km away from Taunggyi and it was the above sea level of 3890 ft with cool and pleasant weather. The local meaning of Pindaya is "Winning a Big Spider" and cave laid between the feet of Mene-Taung mountain range. The main sight of Pindaya town was the cave and it is a picturesque place and peaceful town. And locally known as Shwe Oo Min Cave and there has Shan traditional umbrella making works.
In Shwe Oo Min cave, there are many Buddha images that are decorated with "Kyaukset Panswe". It was famous for its cave in which thousands of Centuries of Old Buddha images are seated. The limestone caves contain a maze of chambers more than 8,000 images. These images are made from alabaster, teat, marble, brick, lacquer and cements. The images are at various sizes and some are carved in the face of rock and some images are deposited in riches in the wall. The small chambers in this cave serve as meditation. The cave was supposed to be 2 million years old and since ancient times they have place of worship and veneration.
The majority of the population is Taung-Yoe, Danu, Taung-Thu, Shan, Palaung, and Intha people. Local handicraft such as-Shan Paper and Parasols made from mulberry bark can be seen. Visitors can trek to Danu, Pa-O, and Palaung hill tribe's village from the top of the cave near the lift. In front of the cave was Pontalok Lake. The lake is huge and landmark of the Pindaya. And also the old and giant Banyan and Jackfruit tree that show the beauties of the town. In Pindaya, visitors can observe a lot of natural things and the traditional life of Myanmar Ethnic people.
Kalaw is situated in high on the western edge of the Shan Plateau and it is a popular hill station in the British times. Kalaw is located 1,428 meters above sea level and from west of Taunggyi, it is far about 78 km. It is a peaceful summer resort lie down a warm and soft place in pine-clad mountains. The environment of Kalaw town was peaceful and quiet place. The Kalaw area still remain the atmosphere of the colonial era and this place is a favorite place for holidays. Many of houses and English gardens of colonial days are still remain. The cool regular pattern of weather conditions of a particular place is perfect for flower and paradise place for spring and summer. The roads are lined with thickly flowering crocus. Kalaw was a perfect resort for the European and rich local people whom used to avoid summer heat of lower Myanmar.
The ethnic minority tribe’s people such as Pa-O, Palaung and Danu homes are located along the surrounding mountains of Kalaw. That people are still wearing their traditional colorful costume and headdress. So, when people visit their places, visitors can see the way of their living and cultural style of their traditional things and so on. The traditional of some long houses that made of Bamboo and wood houses still exist in this area. Outside of Kalaw, visitors can have a short trekking trip to the tea leaves growing villages in the mountains and can visit the home of the Palaung ethnic people.
The Palaung families are staying together in this long traditional house from grandparents to their grand children. The Kalaw have routinely five days market with their colorful traditional customs and that make the quiet attraction of Kalaw. The most people in the town are Buddhist; the ladies wear beautifully woven costumes of deep red, green and black. There also have reversal enchanting pagodas and temples around Kalaw. The other small population is peculiar mix of Shan, Indian Muslims, Burmar and Nepalese. Kalaw is the starting point town of shan state and first peace and quiet pleasant for the exciting Journey.
Hnee Paya Pagoda (Bamboo Image)
Hnee Paya pagoda was situated the south part of Kalaw and it takes about 10 mins drive from Kalaw. The stupa was built by "Hnee" (bamboo strip). This large sitting stupa image in Kalaw was made long years ago. The image used almost forgotten technique in which strips of bamboo are woven to the shape of original shape and covered with cloth dipped in lacquer. Finally, the image was gilded with real gold.