Burma – Myanmar # 14 Inle Lake Princess Resort

Inle lake Princess Resort is a special place right on the edge of a very peaceful arm of the lake. It was such a delightful place to just ‘be’ that I decided to forgo the next day of exploration in favour of a quiet day in the gardens of the hotel – and I had a massage!  So good.

View from Inle lake Princess Resort (P1100750

(P1100750 © JT of jtdytravels)

After long days of travel, this place offered peace and quiet.  It was somewhere just to have a lazy day!  David had time for a quiet walk with me before he set out on another day of exploring.

Individual cottages by the water (P1100822

(P1100822 © JT of jtdytravels)

Individual cottages are spread out along the waterfront. Ours was the very last cottage meaning that we were about a kilometre from the central area with reception and restaurant. But the walk was delightful with water on both sides of the long peninsular like dyke on which the cottages were built.

Cheerful lady gardeners  (P1020618

(P1020618 © DY of jtdytravels)

Along the way there was always someone to stop and chat to – even in sign language. We stopped to say thank you to these lady gardeners who make the gardens a delight. Their wheelbarrow was a wooden dray they pulled along with them.

The inner pond (P1020598

(P1020598 ©  DY of jtdytravels)

Some larger cottages are built over an inner pool that’s filled with waterlilies.

Water lily reflections (P1020973

(P1020973  © DY of jtdytravels)

There was no shortage of water lily reflection photo opportunities.

Beautiful water lilies (P1020978

(P1020978 ©  DY of jtdytravels)

Beautiful water lilies are like a magnet to a photographer.

The gardeners keep the lily pond in good condition, using one of the local dug out boats to negotiate the weeds.

The weeds were taken out and added to the field that lay between the hotel and the village.  In this way, arable land is added to the village fields.  A stand of corn was growing in the field while we were there.  All the vegetables we tasted were really very good.


(P1100768  ©   JT  of jtdytravels)

Cattle egrets found the newly added earth and weeds a good place to look for food.

Restaurant deck (P1100752

(P1100752 © JT of jtdytravels)

The deck of the restaurant was bedecked by flowers such bougainvillea in large pots.

Breakfast on the deck (P1100641

(P1100641 © JT of jtdytravels)

The long walk was rewarded by the pleasure of joining others to enjoy a delicious breakfast on the deck.

Watching a leg rower glide silently by (P1100776

(P1100776  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

The deck is a great place to watch boats go by and in the early morning the reflections were a delight.  No boats are permitted to use engines in this zone so it’s all very peaceful. This long tail boat was coming in to the hotel dock to pick up guests for a day out on the lake – hence the blue chairs.

A local dugout boat (P1100778

(P1100778  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

No engines, no noise on the local dugout boats – just ‘person power’.

There’s no rush or hurry for those using these boats.

This boat is bringing people who work at the hotel.  They come from the nearby village – no chairs for them.

Wood carved 'statues' (P1020952

(P1020952  ©  DY of jtdytravels)

The edge of the deck was decorated with a delightful array of wood carvings – something for which Burmese craftsmen in Mandalay are famous.

Another beautiful wooden carving (P1100784

(P1100784  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

Every few metres along the deck there’s another fascinating wood carving.


(P1020958  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

 This wooden lady in a hammock looks as relaxed as I felt.


(P1020986  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

The roofs were adorned with beautifully carved end pieces.


(P1100690  ©   JT of jtdytravels)

Back near our cottage, a bridge crosses the lily pond.


(P1100704  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

That bridge leads to the massage rooms. I did enjoy my massage later in the day.


(P1100692  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

In the pond beside our cottage I found this beautiful lily surrounded by air bubbles. Perhaps a frog was nearby.


(P1100724  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

I know there were frogs around. I heard them in the evenings and I found several clusters of eggs.


(P1100739  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

Next to our cottage was a rather romantic fairy tale cottage covered in purple /pink Bougainvillaea.


(P1100711  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

And finally – our cottage right at the end of the path.


(P1100628  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

The deck with its tranquil view was most welcoming for a rest before that massage.

It was such a wonderful, restful day.


(P1100735  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

Birds wandered around and foraged for food below the deck.


(P1100681  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

Our cottage had an outdoor shower area, the privacy walls painted with yet more waterlily motifs.


(P1020582    ©   DY of jtdytravels)

The bedroom, bamboo lined of course, was simple but very clean and comfortable.


(P1100608  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

Before dinner at night, we enjoyed a wine tasting in the “wine cave”.  A long boat formed the table. The ceiling was painted with murals and the walls were just clay with holes to hold the wine bottles.


(P1100615  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

The wine was kept cool in the walls of the “cave”.  A great idea.


(P1100614  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

These marionette puppets were used as decorations in the wine cave.  We’ll talk more of the importance of puppets in Burmese culture later, but these puppets are just decorative because they have golden faces instead of white as in the traditional “working puppets”.


(P1100627  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

And when we’d had a delicious dinner and wandered back to our room, there was the bed ready for us, draped in a mosquito net, even though we hadn’t seen any of those pesky little insects.  Still this is a malaria area so it was good not to take any risks.

And that was my day at the hotel. David’s day of exploring will be covered in the next episode of this armchair travelogue.

Jennie Thomas

for jtdytravels.com

All photographs © JT and DY of jtdytravels

Burma – Myanmar: # 13 Villages of Inle Lake

Leaving the weavers village of In Paw Khon, we retraced our journey by long-tail boat, at a much more leisurely pace, back through some of the water villages of Lake Inle.  The impact of tourism became more obvious as we went by several restaurant cum guest houses lining the wider water ways.

(P1100505  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

Now we had time to look at the many different styles of pole houses and to go slowly along some of the smaller waterways. Even for those whose economic circumstances have improved because of the new growth of tourism, the Intha people choose to stay living on their lake. They just build larger houses.  They are born, raised, live and die on the water.  It’s their life.  The only life they know.

Born to a life on water (P1100531© JT of jtdytravels)

(P1100531© JT of jtdytravels)

Children are born to a life on and by the water. There are no protective railings anywhere on these houses. A sense of personal responsibility is learned very early in this country.

(P1100523  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

Children are born to water life and are very used to getting around in the local dugout boats. This is just the normal way of getting to and from school! Some of the houses here are built more substantially with bamboo timbers rather than plaited bamboo matting.

( P1020555  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

The kids were always just as interested in us as we were in them.  Smiles and waves were the order of the day.

(P1100521  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

It seems that children are never too young to help Mum paddle the boat.

One never forgets how o paddle one's own canoe! (P1100516 © JT of jtdytravels)

(P1100516 © JT of jtdytravels)

One never forgets how to paddle one’s own canoe!  No driver’s licence is required here – and no tests that might take away your independence when you get a bit older.  She’s been doing this all her life.

(P1020562  ©  DY of jtdytravels)

Construction of a local boat.

Imagine having a blacksmiths – and that most necessary very hot fire – in a pole house style building. At least they don’t have a thatched roof!  The fire is kept red hot by pumping mop like bellows up and down in a chimney like structure. The men’s rhythmic hammering of the iron was a real tourist drawcard!  But it also helps them to make lighter work of a hard job.

One type of prayer bell  (P1130362

(P1130362 © JT of jtdytravels)

These blacksmiths don’t make horse shoes – there’s not a lot of call for those on the lake!  They do make metal objects needed by the lake people. And, among other things, they make traditional, flat, personal prayer ‘bells’ rung by hitting with a wooden ‘donger’.

Another type of traditional prayer bell. (P1130365

(P1130365 © JT of jtdytravels)

Another type of small traditional personal prayer bell is made to have its own donger inside.

(P1100529  © JT of jtdytravels)

Floating through these villages in the golden glow of late afternoon was a delight.

(P1100539  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

A coconut frond thatched mat covers this fisherman’s store house. The next door neighbour has used rather a fancy plaited bamboo for the walls.

Different styles of houses (P1100519

(P1100519  © JT of jydytravels)

Although the houses were all made of wood and bamboo, there were many different styles of houses. This larger house had a matting privacy wall around the kitchen platform and the toilet.  With more and more tourists up and down these waterways, that’s probably a good idea!

 A golden afternoon (P1100528 © JT of jtdytravels)

(P1100528 © JT of jtdytravels)

It was a peaceful, golden afternoon after the rain.

There never seemed to be an end to the village waterways.

(P1100541 2  © JT of jtdytravels)

It was a surprise to see that this rather fancy building was the village library. Education is so important, even here on the water. I’d love to have a look inside. Next time maybe I can have a chance to read to some children there. They do learn English at school.

(P1100548  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

The village festival boat is a prize community possession and is kept in a protective mooring.

(P1100544 ©  JT of jtdytravels)

Wherever we floated in that golden afternoon light, there were abstract water refections. I loved them.

(P1100562  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

It was getting late and time to return through the main lake to our hotel.  It was not this pole house hotel – but it did look interesting.

(P1100567  © JT of jtdytravels)

Darkness falls quickly in the tropical countries.  As we hurried down the lake, the skies kept our interest, changing constantly against the deepening blues of the hills.

(P1100573  ©  JT of jtdytravels)

Eventually we turned from the main lake towards the hills and to our hotel on the lakeside shore.  To get there, our driver had to navigate through narrow, hyacinth choked waterways. From our seating, low in the boat, we could often only see the plants. We trusted that he knew his way via the wayside poles and the odd white flag or two.

(P1100580 © JT of jtdytravels)

As we neared our hotel, “The Inle Princess Resort”, the noisy engines were cut and a leg rower joined us to take us into the hotel jetty. This is a much more peaceful, if slower, way to travel on Inle Lake.

(P1100588 © JT of jtdytravels)

Arriving at the hotel dock after a long day, a very friendly welcoming group of men greeted us as we pulled into the jetty.

(P1020590   © DY of jtdytravels)

It was all but dark when we finally arrived at our hotel room which was really a lake side cottage.

T’was a very peaceful evening view from our balcony at Inle Lake Princess Resort

We would enjoy this delightful place for the next two nights.

Jennie and David

Photography  © Jennie Thomas and David Young of jtdytravels