Activity of the Day

SOT's very own one day trekking

Did you just done the trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake but want more? Or, you didn't do the trekking but wish you did? Then you simply shouldn't miss the one day trekking we offer at Song And Travel Hostel! 

Sign up at our front desk one day in advance. The trekking starts at 8:00am after breakfast. Make sure you leave the hostel with stomach full. 

After 30mins walking among local houses and farms, you will reach a dam. From there you will start the climbing. About 40mins you will reach the meditation cave. (We also organize a separate trip to the cave every Sunday afternoon - https://www.songoftravel.com/blog/2018/5/6/sunday-cave-day).

After the cave, the real adventure begins as you will hardly see any tourists or humans :D. Our guide will show you interesting things along the way and some culture facts. Most of the roads are really narrow with cliff next to you. That's where the breathtaking views are at. If you want to take some pics, just tell our guide he will stop. 

There is a resting place by the mountainside where you can sit down for a bit. Depends on the guide, but if you are lucky you might witness a magic - how to make bubbles out of a leaf. 

You will reach the village where you have lunch at around 12:00pm - 1:00pm depends on how fast do you walk. It's your choice of how long you want to rest after lunch. 

After lunch, the road back is mostly downhill. You will have the amazing view of the lake and Nyaung Shwe town along the way.

We also fixed broken water pipe along the way. According to our guide, the pipe goes to the winery (https://www.songoftravel.com/blog/2018/5/16/wednesday-winery)

You will reach the hostel in about 2 hrs. 

Well done!

The total trekking is about 20km. The cost for the trekking depends on how many people that day. Ask our front desk for more information. 

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Get a traditional tattoo at Inle Lake

Apart from the famous lake, Nyaungshwe has a lot more to offer. If you are like me who love to get a tattoo everywhere you visit, you can not miss the traditional tattoo here at Inle Lake. 

I'm sure you know the famous bamboo tattoo at Thailand. Myanmar offers another kind of authentic tattoo done by bronze needles. 

The tattoo shop located in the north of the town Nyaungshwe, not far from the market. You can ask our front desk for the exact location. If you have maps.me, you can easily find the location - "Inle Lake Traditional Tattoos". It's hardly a shop as it's located at the tattoo artist's house which is very similar to any other houses around. Pay attention to the small sign - "Inle Traditional Tattoo"

Once you walk in, the family will welcome you with Shan tea. They will lay the design books out for you before you ask. The design books are all hand-drawn and pass down generation to generation. Note that part of the tattoo (mostly related with Buddha) can only be done on the upper body. If you want a tattoo on your legs/feet, you can communicate with the tattoo artist's daughter. She will show you which ones can be done on the lower body. 

Once you make your decision, the tattoo artist will bring out the tools - needles, ink, etc. The needle will be sterilized by boiling water. The tattoo artist works really fast. It will be done before you realize. After the tattoo, you will be given a small bottle of coconut oil. Different with other tattoos, you shouldn't put any cream on it but coconut oil. You can go swim or be in the sun after.

Q&A you might have:

1. How much does it cost?

My one-line tattoo costs 20k kyats (4mins). And my friends' tattoos cost 40k kyats (7mins) and 50k kyats (12mins). Depends on the size you want and the time will be spent. It's not the cheapest tattoo you can get in Myanmar but it's more meaningful. 

2. Is it painful?

Yes. It's definitely one of the most painful ways to get a tattoo. But it's bearable. And it's way faster than a machine tattoo and bamboo tattoo.

3. Is it clean?

Yes and no. No to western standard. The artist is not wearing gloves and you will get the tattoo at the floor in the living room.

But it's safe. The needle will be sterilized by boiling water. 

If you have more question, you can either drop us a message or email (SINGINGTRAVEL@GMAIL.COM). Or ask our front desk if you stay with us - https://myallocator.com/booknow/G6Pf0gyVeQCK_p-XWBmrlg

 Design and needles

Design and needles

 Tools

Tools

 Work in Process

Work in Process

 Choose a design

Choose a design

 Work in progress

Work in progress

 Appreciate the art 

Appreciate the art 

Wednesday Winery

Winery is a popular spot here at Nyangshwe. Different with other wineries, this winery is famous for its stunning sunset view over the mountains. 

The winery located around 4km east of our hostel. It takes about 20 mins on the bike ride.

The winery opens daily. You can go directly to the sunset terrace order by glasses or bottles. If you are not sure what you want, or if you'd like to taste more Myanmar wine, you can pay 5000 kyats per person for a wine tasting. You will have 4 different kinds for wine tasting - 2 white wine and 2 red wine. 

Note that the wine tasting place is facing south which is separate from the sunset terrace. Once you done with tasting, quickly go to the sunset terrace to take a table with good view. It can get busy and crowded from 5:30pm - 6:00pm. My personal suggestion is stick with the right side tables (facing sunset direction) to avoid trees block the view. 

Once the sun is fully set, you should prepare to leave. Ride bicycle in the dark in the dark is never a good idea. 

At Song of Travel Hostel, we organise trip to winery every Wednesday. It's perfect if you just arrive in Nyangshwe and don't know anyone. If you can't join the hostel activity on Wednesday, no worries, you can still get there by yourself. We offer free bicycles to our guests. Our staff can point the direction for you. 

Hope to you will join us for the next Sunset Winery activity - https://myallocator.com/booknow/G6Pf0gyVeQCK_p-XWBmrlg 

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Sunrise boat trip

You can't leave Inle Lake without been on a boat to the Lake. 

Here at Song of Travel Hostel we organise sunrise and sunset boat trip. This time I'm going to talk about 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 have to 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 you probably not photo friendly. 

Our boats will stop in the middle of the lake for you to have breakfast and watching 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 one. You will be explained how each tobacco is made 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 the workout time. You get to tryout canoeing in traditional boat. It's harder than you imagined. :)

We continue the journey to the Indein Pagoda. It was quite 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 at. 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 15000 kyats per person. Sign up at our reception.

Below are some pictures from the trip:

Wednesday Market Day

If you come to Inle Lake, make sure you have a morning free for the Five Day Market. Five Day Market is a market that held in 5 different villages/towns over a 5 day period. 

The origin of the Five Day Market can be found in our "Ask Locals". 

Most products you saw in the market are fresh vegetables or cooked food. At Nyang Shwe (Inle Lake) the market is being hosted at Mingalar Market in downtown. Mingalar Market is already a busy market which opens everyday. But during five day market, people from nearby village all come to Nyang Shwe. The price drops significantly. 

If you don't like grocery shopping, that's not a problem. Five Day Market offers more than just food. Just look carefully enough, you will be surprised. Our lovely guest got these amazing silver rings. 

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Sunday Cave Day

Here at Song of Travel, we offer different activities everyday. Today is the Sunday Funday. We went to a cave.

In Myanmar, there are many meditation caves in the countryside. They usually tend to be really long, and at the end it gets narrow. You can find many Buddha statues sitting along the cave. The deeper you go, the thinner the air becomes. 

From our hostel it takes about 45 mins walk to arrive at the nearest meditation cave. Don't worry we always have a lovely staff to go with you. He/she will give you a brief intro of the things you encounter along the way. 

We will leave at 3:30pm from the reception. And be back around 5ish pm. After a cozy shower, it's the perfect time to catch the sunset and enjoy a happy hour drink at our rooftop bar. 

 

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