30 captivating images from Myanmar’s Inle Lake

30 captivating images from Myanmar's Inle Lake

Turning right off the road from Yangon to Bagan, Modern Traveller spent several awestruck days absorbing the astounding surroundings of this natural and cultural oasis.

WORDS & PICTURES BY CHRIS ROWLANDS

Increasingly popular with travellers venturing deep into Myanmar’s midlands, Inle Lake is an idyll of stilted shelters and lakeside communities, where a day’s boat trip tour can only scratch the surface of what makes this freshwater lake – and those who call it their home – so special.

From artisans to fishermen, market merchants to – more recently – tour guides, Inle Lake supports thousands of inhabitants in the Nyaung Shwe township upon its banks, providing, in one way or another, the food, farmland and fabrics which sustain this Shan State community.

As of 2015, the lake has been a designated Biosphere Reserve, as part of a UNESCO initiative intended to protect important natural areas and encourage sustainable development. Whilst such protection offers no guarantee as to the security of Inle Lake’s future, it’s recognition much deserved by this uniquely astonishing ecosystem.

 

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