Leaving Inn Paw Khon we had a good chance to take a closer look at these buildings, which were really quite large and well constructed in spite of being on stilts. This is such an interesting place!
We were soon back out into the lake, though, and were in a part where there were a few men working in small wooden boats fishing something out of the lake and piling it up on their boat. Sanda described is as seaweed, which isn’t quite accurate but I think I knew what she meant. These plants are gathered together to form floating islands which at tethered with a long bamboo pole.
So that’s what we’d seen earlier.
The farmers tend to their crops from the small wooden boats, sailing in between the rows.
All kinds of crops are grown this way, but mostly it’s tomatoes – 70% of the tomatoes eaten in Myanmar are grown in this area and it’s easy to see why, once you’ve got the idea!
The beds are neat and well cared for, some having wider channels of water in between the rows than others.
One area was growing squash, which needed a more elaborate structure to hold the plants up.
But mostly it was line upon line of tomato plants, doing rather well from what we could see.
Having seen the floating gardens, then, there was just one last thing on the programme for today. Formerly known as the Jumping Cat Monastery – because the monks taught the cats to do tricks – it’s now referred to as Nga Phe Kyaung.
It was fairly quiet today, though there were a few young monks here doing what young monks do – taking photos of themselves by the Buddha.
Cats were most definitely not of the jumping kind.
But the Buddha was grand and had a kind expression.
Having walked around (clockwise) and peered into a few dusty corners, we felt we could tick that one off.
Time to get back in our boat and head for wherever home was for the next three nights.
As we did, we couldn’t help but take so many photographs of interesting things – if ever I was glad I’d bought my new camera with the fantastic zoom lens, this was it!
Soon, we were approaching the entrance to our hotel. Since these boats are so noisy, each one has to stop at this gatehouse and take on board someone to row us quietly in.
The young man who delivered us to the door – or should I say, jetty – used the leg rowing technique which is unique to Inle. It’s a strange yet effective technique and seems really odd! After the racket of the engine, what bliss to quietly float into the lotus lagoon where the Inle Princess Resort lay waiting for us.
One of those end bungalows was going to be home for the next three nights.
Mostly made of wood with a woven bamboo lining, it was peaceful and yet noisy because it creaked every time we so much as breathed!
We had a warm welcome awaiting us with hibiscus blooms on anything that didn’t move.
An “interesting” bathroom arrangement…
complete with outdoor shower. I always had to check if something was looking to share it with me before I turned on the tap – and I never was brave enough to shower in the dark!
The grouting wouldn’t be easy to clean…but who would notice?
So, for the next three nights we slept soundly…or otherwise…but snug inside our mosquito net, until the call of the extraordinarily loud birds at dawn. Oh, and if I tell you the outdoor restaurant offered an insect repellent spray on each table and an anti mozzie incense stick under each table you’ll guess there were quite a few of the little blighters about.
Nevertheless, it’s a grand place to be.