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Doing the Garden Digging the Weeds

Inle Lake is much more than the tourist trap that you’re likely to see in a guidebook. Like the rest of Shan State, it’s an important agricultural resource. All of Myanmar’s tomatoes are grown in its extensive aquaculture beds. While these superficially look much the same now as in the past – pole frames supporting acres of crops, each threaded by a network of canals to allow tending by canoe – the overapplication of pesticides is a real problem. There is no healthcare system to pick up on the extent of the human effects, but it isn’t difficult to imagine, when the people rely on the lake for fish, drinking water, and bathing.