Field House

Houses on Inle Lake range from the multistoried fixtures of the main waterway to modest little field houses like this one, set in the middle of the aquaculture beds. I’d love to learn how they sink the piosts and maintain the structures.

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Inle Waterways

Inle Waterways

I don’t think I’d ever tire of how beautiful that valley is.

Running the Fence

Every so often you have to run a heck to get where you need to go, even when you’re afraid it’ll keelhaul you.

Dockworkers

The docks around Inle lake are hectic affairs, especially during the annual monastic examinations. This was one of the quieter moments.

Exams continue. Not dead yet!

Inle Daydream

Sometimes living in a magical floating silver lake house is just so dull.

Just down the canal in a house not so very different from hers, was the most beautiful man I have ever seen. His cropped hair matched the silver of the lath against sun-worn leather skin. He was watching the children’s school canoes returning from their classes on land. Although he wore no expression the fine lines engraved on his face told a lifetime, and would have shamed a king among men.

Click on the image for a much better view!

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.

Shan Market

Every day is market day somewhere in the region of Inle Lake. To keep things fair, the principal intertribal market rotates daily through the five major towns in the lake region. This particular market was spread out on the streets of Aung Ban, each clan decked out in their particular headscarf and trading everything from medicinal orchids, cloth, and electronics to potatoes.