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From Kalaw to Inle-Lake Myanmar

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From Mandalay I’m taking the minivan to Kalaw. After a beautiful, but also nauseating winding road through the mountains, I arrive in relaxed Kalaw.

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Kalaw and surroundings

In Kalaw I immediately book a number of walks with the guide Aa and his girlfriend Oma, beautiful names! Aa is focused on the local people and which is something that appeals to me.

I book the following treks : Day 1 to different villages and tribes, day 2 toward the Buddha cave, day 3,4 and 5 from Kalaw to Inle-lake while sleeping at the locals during this trip. I’m stoked to get started!


Fresh tangerines

On the first day we start of with an easy walk, but soon enough it’s more creeping and crawling.

The guide has to clear the path using hands and feet. I sure hope that there aren’t any spiders living in Kalaw…
Walking (crawling) is almost impossible, but it’s definitely fun!

Aa knows something about everything and the first few hours in the trip, our conversations is about buddhism, very interesting.

On the way we buy fresh
tangerines and green tea

The second day we walk over pretty and quiet paths, we barely run into people and no tourist at all.

We come across different tribes and the crops they cultivate. 

At a small place where the people hang and dry garlic, we eat a chick pea salad, absolutely blissful.

Chickpea lunch

We visit a cave with many many buddha sculptures, just crazy how this buddha cave is build.

On my bare feet (holy grounds) I slip and slide through this wet stalactite cave. Because it’s the full moon festival, a lot of Burmese people don’t have to work. The cave is a pilgrimage and therefore full with Burmese tourists.

Myanmar consists out of more than 130 different ethnical groups (tribes). Along the road we meet several tribes like the Palaung and Paoh.

See the faces of #Myanmar on Instagram.

The trek to Inle-Lake

Day 3 we make a nice walk through the protected rainforest, and come across a 100-year old dam, tiny lakes, open fields and small winding paths.

The walk is variably and pretty. In the end we even walk a bit on the railroad tracks. Aa ensures me that we have enough time to step aside in the case a train would approach. Okay!

This morning we bought presents for the kids we encounter on the road, what a succes!

The kids are so happy with a pencil, banana or tangerine. We also bring some schoolsupplies to a local school.

I’m enjoying this a lot.

Once we reach the homestay, we wash us with a bowl of water and the toilet is situated around 50 meters from the house. Right after we arrive, we have a meal, it almost feels a bit hurried.

At 19:15 everybody is in bed, including our hosts of the home. Okay, than we go to bed early today for once 🙂

Homestay bathroom

Because of a wet misty start in the morning, we first stop for food a a small foodshack at the trainstation. The breakfast is excellent as usual, an avacado, boiled egg and fresh bread rolls.

A small and cute girl receives a blue umbrella from me and loves it, which I really enjoy. 15 photos and 3 videos later, we start our walk.

Uphill, downhill, I’m sweating, sweating and sweating.

Homestay kitchen

Along the route, we have a fantastic view over the valley and the mountains. In  the afternoon we walk between pretty fields of flowers and see a magical colored sunset.

At the homestay we have nice food, I join the prayers with the lady of the house and we make small conversation. I have a small cozy bed in front of the altar and Buddha watches over me.

Toasted bread for breakfast

At 5.00 AM the music starts in the entire village, what a laugh. Really loud, even with earplugs I can’t get back to sleep. Today we go to Inle-Lake. After a morning walk we take on open car on the next bit.

An extreme amount of dust, I’m covered with it and so is my bag. The inside of my nose has the same colour as the road, yuch it’s dirty.

The final part we navigate with a longboat (with the long engine in the back) to our village Nyuang Shwe, which brings a nice relaxed closure to these last few days.

I really have to scrub in the shower. After a while without modern facilities, I can really enjoy some luxury.

I drop my dirty laundry at the laundry service, clean my bag and feel clean and fresh again.


Traditional fisherman is paddling with one leg

The Inla-lake is among others famous for its traditional fishermen. I do the touristic boattrip and visit to weaving shop, gold smith and market. I especially enjoy being on the boat. The lake is situated between the mountains and you can see floating gardens with fruit and vegetables everywhere.

Tommorow I’ll explore the area by bike and then it’s time to travel on to Bagan!

Floating gardens

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