Nestled in the highlands of Myanmar lives a community of small towns and villages along, and on, Inle Lake. The never-ending hum of longboats and friendly locals make parts of the lake reminiscent of Italy's Venice canals, but with an obvious provincial flair. What Inle Lake lacks in ornate Roman architecture, it makes up for in lush landscapes and a stunning sky that envelopes you in vivid colors throughout the day.
Our full day exploring the bustling lake started after meeting a lovely restauranteur who connected us to a boatman for a tour. We floated through waterways full of fisherman casting nets and through dense marshes. Eventually we came upon villages of quaint homes teetering on bamboo stilts and farmers working on their floating garden farms. Our stops included meeting craftspeople working the local trades like silversmiths, lotus-thread weavers, and potters. The stops gave us the chance to get a game of carom in with a family, and even try our own hand at some (failed) pottery. The day concluded while we watched the silhouettes of fisherman working into the final moments of sunlight. Spending time on the water let us observe the daily routines of the floating towns and soak in the subtle romance of living life on Inle Lake. ◆