Boat of the Inle Lake
Inle Lake is one of the Myanmar highlights. The 30km long lake is majestic, surrounded by forested mountains and dotted with villages and floating gardens above the water. The main way of transportation is by boat and people are famous for their unique style of leg-rowing, standing on one leg, and using the other to push the oar, leaving them with one arm free. The small towns are constituted of raising houses in bamboo separated from each other by streets of water with boats for traffic.
Locals living on the lake are called Intha (“sons of the lake”), descendants of Mom. Pushed away by other tribes and laking land of their own, they decided to settled on the water and to adapt their way of living using the lake’s resources.
Fishing is one of the main economic activities, and you will see many fishermen in their long narrow boats with a large conical hooped net.
Many vegetables (the lake is one of the main producers of tomatoes), fruits, or flowers are grown on floating lands; the soil is laid down on a bed of weeds that is anchored with bamboo sticks.
There are also many workshops/industries around the lake including silver/gold/iron smiths where tools (such as fisher knives) and jewelry are made, boat factories, cheroots makers, lotus-fiber, and cotton wearers.
While one generation ago it was possible to drink the water, sadly the lake is nowadays suffering from pollution. This is coming from an expansion in motorized vessels, litters, and chemical usage that is impairing the quality of water and the size of fish stock.
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