Our final trip on the long tail boats on Inle Lake took us through yet another Intha village to visit a school on poles and then some floating gardens before we turned north to retrace our journey back up the river to the dock at the town of Nyaung Shwe.
Before we said goodbye to our new friends the Inle Princess Resort Hotel, we had another delightful breakfast on the deck which provided yet more photographic opportunities.
It was a perfect morning, crisp and clear with great reflections on the water.
A superb red dragonfly gave us a few problems in getting the light just right to film those delicate, gauzy wings.
Our boat journey that morning began with a slight problem when we got snagged in the weeds.
Sometimes a short cut takes sooooo much longer!
Click on the video to share the experience.
Weeds encroaching on waterways between houses make them quite narrow.
This man was painting his house with what appeared to be creosote.
A relatively wealthy Intha family must live in this house with its glass windows and a satellite dish or two!
Several hearts were won by this little chap who blew kisses our way.
Our main aim for the morning was to call in at a local school to leave some books, pens, pencils etc.
There’s no playground here!
Children and teachers (and visitors like us) arrive and leave by boat.
While a small delegation from our group went in to deliver our donation to the teachers,
the rest of us waved to the children who hung out of the windows.
More children crowded into other windows to check out the visitors.
We were waved a cheerful goodbye.
At times like this, we wish we could speak the local language!
Our next visit was to a floating vegetable garden where they grow superb, very tasty tomatoes.
On the way, we saw several long boats full of weeds cut specially from the deeper parts of the lake and brought back to the village to help form the floating gardens of Inle Lake.
The floating gardens are built up of decomposing weed supported on wooden trellises anchored to the bottom of the lake by bamboo poles. These gardens rise and fall with changes in the water level, and so are resistant to flooding.
The Intha farmers paddle up and down between the rows to tend their crops of tomatoes, squash, other fruit and vegetables and flowers. The nutrient-laden water results in these gardens being very fertile.
Produce is collected into bamboo baskets or boxes for transportation to market.
Finally, after a very interesting morning, it was time to go back north up the river to Nyaung Shwe, the town that serves as the vegetable market hub for the lake farmers.
Here, in Nyaung Shwe, the produce is packed and transported to major cities like Mandalay and Yangoon.
At the marina in Nyaung Shwe our wonderful experience on Inle Lake came to an end. I do hope we go back some time.
After a delightful Intha lunch at View Point Restaurant,we drove to Heho Airport for our flight to the famed city of Mandalay.
And we’ll visit that city next time.
All photographs © Jennie Thomas and David Young of jtdytravels