Thursday, June 7, 2012

Heho, Heho, off to Lake Inle

Back out to the huge new airport at Mandalay – a white elephant project initiated by the military government costing $150 million and opened in 2000 – we are off to Heho, only a 30 minute flight.

The transfer from the Heho to the town of Nyaung Shwe took just over half an hour. We were transferred to our longboat and headed off to our hotel which was an hour boat ride down the lake. The hotel was established by a collective the local Pa-O people with funds/business concessions they received in return for signing a cease-fire with the government back in 1991. The profits go back to the Pa-O Community.

Golden Island Cottages_thumb[2]

Arriving at the steps of our hotel we were greeted by staff banging drums and cymbals as we glided in. We appeared to be the only guests there at that time, (by evening 2 other couples were at dinner) and the staff moved a dining table out of the dining room and we had lunch (Lemon chicken & fried rice 15k)on the deck of the reception area.

Food at the hotel was very good and tasty. This was good as we were in the middle of the lake we couldn’t just walk off and have meals anywhere else. The food, while not cheap, was reasonably priced. Beer on the other hand was outrageous at nearly NZD$ 5 per bottle.

In the afternoon we sat on our verandah and watched the boats and people go by and there was no shortage of passing traffic. Large motorised long boats transported people and produce to markets and other destinations. Fishermen propelled light flat boats silently past.

inle_thumb[1]

The fishermen on Inle Lake have unique technique of leg rowing. Balanced on one leg the fisherman wraps the other leg around an oar and uses a circular movement to propel the boat. By doing this he has a better view and his hands are free to deal with the nets.

fisher

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