Inle Lake is the second largest lake in Myanmar and it is located in the Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State. As the country’s first designated place of World Network of Biosphere Reserves, the lake contains a number of endemic species and its surroundings are home to over 70.000 people (predominantly Intha).
The local fishermen are well known for their technique of leg rowing, a distinctive style in which one leg is wrapped around the oar to drive the blade through the water. This allows the rower to see beyond the reeds and floating plants that cover the lake. In addition to fishing, locals use large floating gardens to grow fruits and vegetables. These floating garden beds require substantial manual labour and are resistant to flooding as well as being incredibly fertile due to the constant availability of nutrient-laden water.
Hand-made goods are an important source of commerce, particularly the weaving and silk industry. There are also a number of floating hotels, restaurants and monasteries on the lake that are worth visiting.