You can't leave Inle Lake without having been on a boat tour of the Lake.
Here at Song of Travel Hostel we organize sunrise and sunset boat trip. We highly recommend the stunning sunrise boat trip.
The trip start at 5:00am at our lobby. So make sure you be here before that. You don't really have to bring anything, but a scarf or longyi is recommended as we do visit a pagoda on the way.
A tuk-tuk will pick you up at 5:00am from our hostel to go to the port. From the port you will go through a long canal to reach the lake at around 5:30am. It's okay if you see the sunlight before reaching the lake. The sun still have to climb up the mountain. You will see the sun at about 6:00am. The "fish men" at the opening of the lake is one of the first things you see. Note that they are actually "models". They wear traditional clothes and pose for you to take pics. You are expected to tip them after (500 kyats - 1000 kyats per person is reasonable price). If you don't want to pay please don't take any pictures). You can still see real fish men during the whole trip but most time they are preparing so are probably not photo friendly.
Our boats will stop in the middle of the lake for you to have breakfast and watch the sunrise. It can get a little chilly on the lake at this time. We will provide you with blanket. After breakfast, we continue the journey to the five day market. We will pass by floating gardens, tomato farms, etc. You will spend about 40mins at the market. Remember to bargain if you do find something you like to buy. I've purchased 2 silver rings for 3000 kyats each.
We will go to blacksmith, lotus weaving and tobacco rolling after. At tobacco rolling house you get to taste all different flavor tobaccos. My personal favourite is the banana cigarette. They will explain to you how each tobacco flavor is mixed with the ingredients.
We will head to lunch after at one of the villages. The lunch is included in the total price so there is no extra cost. If you are lucky you get to taste the fresh fish which is from the lake. Depends on the people you are with. You can either have a chill chat after lunch or take a short nap after. The lovely family will also invite you to try the secret to Burmese beauty - Thanaka. What is Thanaka? We explained here - What is Thanaka?
After lunch is workout time. You get to try canoeing in traditional boat. It's harder than you imagined. :)
We continue the journey to the In Dein Pagoda. It is a climb to the top of the hill but totally worth it.
The last stop of our trip is Maing Thauk where the 1km wooden bridge is located. You can have a cold beer at one of the floating bars.
You will be back to our hostel at around 4ish.
The cost for a sunrise boat trip is 16,500 kyats per person. Sign up at our reception.
Below are some pictures from the trip: