After 3 days trekking through mountains, villages and rice fields for over 60km, sleeping on the floors of bamboo houses and showering in a bucket in what turned out to be one of the most rewarding and intense experiences of our lives we welcomed the stunning comfort of Myanmar Treasure Resort – Inle! After having learnt so much about the diverse and fascinating culture of the Shan region of Myanmar as well as seeing the characteristic stilt houses of the lake we were thrilled to find the hotel continues to celebrate these styles and traditions in a relaxing and charming environment that allows you to spend your time at Inle truly on the lake.
A stunning location right on the lakeside
Inle lake is one of the most majestic and breath taking sights in Myanmar and indeed the world. This long and narrow lake is a life source for all those who call it home, heading out on the small canoes fishermen with their traditional leg rowing technique and typical conical nets call this their office space. Villages and communities float above the water in their ramshackle stilt houses much like those we saw in Cambodia. Boats buzz up and down the lake to and from the markets, in and out of the villages and to and from the floating farms. To stay on the lake itself is to really get to know life here rather than in the busy and rather soulless main town of Nyaung Shwe and Myanmar Treasure Resort – Inle is the perfect spot!
Not only does Myanmar Treasure Resort – Inle give you access to 24 hour culture but of course it also provides the most picturesque setting from which to dine, relax and wake up to. Rather than the beeping horns of the dusty road, here you can fall asleep in the cooling breeze of the lake and the soothing tones of the birds and creatures that call this place home too.
A collection of stilt houses in a tastefully cultural style
Another benefit of being on the lake is the style in which you can stay. The local houses, workshops and even shops and post offices are all on the lake, appearing to float above the lily pad covered water on their miraculous stilts. We have been lucky enough to visit a villagers house on the Tonle Sap in Cambodia and its simple style is one that works so well in this region.
Here you can experience the ups and downs of the water and live above the lake as the locals do. The wooden huts use locally sources materials to create a resort that is in keeping with local styles and traditional whilst also managing to blend this with effortless luxury.
A perfect location from which to explore the wonderful lake
From here you are in the perfect location to head straight out to explore the lake. The hotel can easily organise one of their own boats to give you a personalised guided tour of the lake, stopping off at all of the main areas on the lake, slowing down as you pass the fishermen so you can get that perfect photo and dropping you right back off on your door step.
This way you know firstly that you won’t be getting ripped off in town on some rushed tour by someone wanting to get commission from every stop. But instead you can enjoy a relaxing cruise on your own traditional long boat to all corners of this amazing span of water allowing you to take in all the culture, scenery and people that exist here as you weave in and out of the waterways of these floating villages.
An unforgettable place to relax and watch sunset
One of the best things about being on the lake itself is how relaxing it is, just escaping the noise, crowds and dust of the city nearby is a break. But sitting back and tucking into some fine dining, sipping cocktails or just sitting on your balcony over the gently lapping lake is therapeutic for the soul! Mentioning therapy, you can also treat yourself to some amazing spa treatments here too, after walking for 3 days and carrying around our backpacks for 6 months I was over due a good massage!
Add to that the huge windows at the bottom of your kingsized bed and you can fall asleep with the glow of the moon shimmering across the still surface of the lake, after you’ve watched the sunsetting a burning red, dipping below the mountains beyond as the local fishermen take out their conical nets for one last catch of the day.
Get to know the culture of the Shan state from here
Many of the employees of the hotel are local villagers who come from all over the different regions of the Shan state. The hotel gives them a great opportunity to work for a company who genuinely treats them well and gives them great chances to progress, most of the management told us how they started here as porters or even washing pots! They also get involved in community initiatives to improve the lives of the people in this developing nation from donating to orphanages to opening up many thousands of job opportunities across Myanmar.
However one of the great elements especially to Myanmar Treasure Resort – Inle is how they celebrate their culture. Each member of staff wears a uniform tailored to reflect their own tribe or village traditions including their head dress. Each night there are several performances that change throughout the year to reflect various cultural events such as the Water festival. Dances are performed by members of staff from all departments who are proud to teach their guests about their rich cultural heritage. We were even allowed to try on some of the unique tribal dress from the different areas of the state and told of the unique customs each tribe celebrates.
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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Myanmar Treasure Resort- Inle. As always, all opinions are our own!