One day at Inle Lake: Indein Village and the Shwe Inn Thein Pagoda - Vikingess Voyages

Saturday, November 5, 2016

One day at Inle Lake: Indein Village and the Shwe Inn Thein Pagoda

As a part of our visit to Inle Lake we went on a day trip around the lake to see various parts of the local life style culture, a trip that included among others a stop at a lotus weaving factory and the Jumping Cat Monastery. After our short stop at the monastery our boat driver took us through a long and narrow creek to Indein village. 

There was a lot to see from the boat as we drove from open water to the closed landscape. We passed by bathing buffaloes, people washing their clothes in the river and even other locals bathing in it.
After about 20 minutes or so we arrived at the Indein village where we were free to walk around and take a look at the surroundings.
After getting off the boat we ended up taking a path leading up the rivers towards the Inle Wein dam area. Along the way there was a number of small vendors selling all kinds of souvenirs. We also passed by cute village girls with tanaka sunscreen on their cheeks selling colorful scarves and an old villager happily smoking on his cigar.
At the end of the path laid the Shwe Inn Thein, a cluster of hundreds of pagodas dating back to around the 17th and 18th century. It is believed that the construction of these pagodas began a lot earlier, with the Bagan empire's ancient kings Anawrahta (reign: 1044 –1077) Narapatisithu (reign: 1165 - 1211). As you can imagine hundreds of years have taken their toll on the pagodas (the oldest one with an inscription dates back to the 1400s), and many of the pagodas you can see in the area are slowly returning to nature.
The area of the Shwe Inn Thein pagoda actually starts right by the Indein Village, so it is possible to choose to walk through the pagodas right from the beginning instead of taking the path by the river as we did. There is a 700 meter covered walkway taking you to the top pagoda lined by small stalls where local vendors are selling a variety of souvenirs along with longyi pants, shan shoulder-bags and shirts. By taking the path by the river we got to this walkway about halfway up. There are so many vendors that if you find something of interest they're very likely to sell the same item further up your path, so it's worth checking out a couple of vendors before deciding where to buy.
 At the end of the walkway you get to the main pagoda area where you can find a monastery where you can take off your shoes and enter.
Outside the monastery there are newer stupas covered in gold or white paint.
After our visit to the monastery we walked back down the long stairway towards the Indein village. We didn't explore the Nyaung Ohak pagodas, perhaps that would be something we'd do if we have the chance to come back in the future.
The Indein village was the last stop that we did on the trip around Inle Lake. After the sightseeing was done the boat driver took us to the Nyaung Shwe village to the north of Inle where we continued our trip by night bus to Bagan.

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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