Episode 25: Yangon & Inle Lake

Myanmar: Yangon & Inle Lake

Myanmar! We expected to come to this country for so long. After have met many travellers selling us the beauty of the country and the kindness of its inhabitants, we are finally here!
After our pit stop in Kuala Lumpur we landed in Yangon. The city is not as big as we thought and we could easily manage either by foot, by public bus or by taxi eventually. For us, Yangon city looked like a mix of Bangkok and Hanoi. A few colonial buildings remain and add to the interesting atmosphere of the city centre.

Yangon, the Shwedagon Pagoda

Yangon, the Shwedagon Pagoda

The main attraction is the Shwedagon Pagoda located some North of the centre. This is an incredible complex of Buddhist temples and stuppas. One of the most or the most beautiful site we saw since we left home. A visit during the day and under the sun is great but we would recommend coming back at night (using the same entrance ticket).
As usual we took our time and take a few rounds of the big golden stuppa first (clockwise according to Buddhism) and then sat somewhere to watch visitors and devotees.

Nyaung Shwe is the village where people who want to discover the area of Inle Lake are based. We were a bit off season so it’s not too touristic for now but looking at the restaurants or the accommodations possibilities we could easily imagine how this place fills up from November to March.
We rented bicycles and rode for an entire day, even crossing with our bikes on a boat at some point! We also went on a boat excursion. Waking up at 4:30 and be able to see the fishermen in the sun rise was absolutely rewarding.

we did specifically enjoy

  • Yangon: the Shwedagon Pagoda, Buddhism in a storm of gold and precious gems.
  • Yangon: the Kandawgyi lake and the Karaweik Palace, symbol of the Myanmar draught beer.
  • Inle Lake (Nyaung Shwe): the lake is magnificient in all his corners. Sipping a glass of wine at the Red Mountain Estate with a stunning view of the lake was an added bonus!
Inle Lake, fisherman at sunrise

Inle Lake, fisherman at sunrise

accommodations

  • Yangon: Check-in @ Downtown hotel. This is one of our preferred accommodation in our entire trip. The small hotel is located a few streets from Chinatown. A lot of restaurants around and the unique atmosphere of old Yangon. The staff, and specifically, Linda, were extremely kind and very knowledgeable. She helped us planning our next stops in Myanmar, giving us a lot of tips and references. The room was nice and overlooking a quiet side street.
  • Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake): Remember Inn , a mid-range hotel located in a quieter street very close to the village center. The bungalow room was large and comfortable to take shelter during the showers pouring out in late afternoon each day!
Inle Lake, village on the water

Inle Lake, village on the water

restaurants

  • Yangon: we ate a few times in the street in the 19th street in Chinatown specifically. The place was OK but a little bit too touristic to our taste.
  • Inle Lake: the Lotus, a small family restaurant to taste the local curries.
  • Inle Lake: Live Dim Sum House , beautiful dim sum and refreshing salads.

best kept secret tip

This tip is actually not from us but from Le Petit Futé french guide book, we are happy to rely this information here.
To have a wonderful view of the Shwedagon Pagoda and the Karaweik Palace in Yangon, head to the Esperado Hotel and its Goya restaurant on the roof. We would suggest to have drinks at the end of the day to enjoy the view at its best.

Yangon, view from Esperado Hotel

Yangon, view from Esperado Hotel

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