Inle ( Innlay ) Lake is the most famous scenic spot in the Shan State.It is about 30 km south of Taunggyi, capital of the Shan State. The Lake is 22.4 km long and 10.2 km wide, shallow and extremely picturesque. It is studded with floating islands formed by the growth and decay of vegetation.
Sheltered among the hazy blue mountains, the Lake is about 900 metres above sea-level.The Lake is very popular with foreign tourists. It is famous for its unique leg-rowers, floating villages and colourful markets and festivals.
Even when it is not festival time, it is very interesting to observe the Inthas living on the lake with their houses on stills, floating farms and thefloating markets.
The Inthas have become so adapted to the lake environment that they build their homes over the water on stilts, they build floating farms on the lake and villagers row their long, narrow boats with unique way of leg rowing that has made them famous.
While the men are known for their farming and fishing skills and their talents as metal workers and carpenters, women are known for their superb silk weaving skills. Famous shan shoulder bags and longyis are woven on looms there.
Phaung-daw-Oo Pagoda in the Inle Lake is also very famous. It is the shrine of five Buddha images. Phaung-daw-0o Pagoda festival is held every year during the month of Thadingyut (October) with great pageantry.
Economy and Industry
The Innthasfthe Lake-dwellers of Inle) earn their living by farming and fishing, Other products are hand-loom-woven shoulder bags, silk / cotton longyis and various works of handicraft.
Ywama, the site of a daily floating market and Inle Spas are places of interest to visit. Ywama is also well-known for its weaving industry.