The three-day, 50 km trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake was something that we had been excited to do since we decided to come to Myanmar. It was an opportunity to get off the tourist circuit and to see more of the local village and farming life. Well, what an experience it was!
We trekked with Eversmile Trekking Service in Kalaw (run by a woman called Toe Toe), and it cost us 12,000K each per day, plus a quarter-share of 15,000K for the boat at the end of the trek. There were other costs here and there, such as buying drinking water daily and if you wanted Cokes or beers at night-time. Our guide was a guy called Ilias, and he was great. He told so many funny stories and knew a lot about the different tribes that we saw as well as the farming techniques they use, local plants and animals, and so on.
We trekked along goat tracks through the jungle, dirt roads, train tracks, through rice paddies, cabbage fields, bamboo forests, people’s back yards, and finally ended up at Inle Lake. Both nights we slept in small villages at homestays, on the floor (the mattresses were only a centimetre thick!). Shaun got food poisoning on the first night so felt a bit rough on the second day, and I got blisters on the first day so had to wear my sandals instead of trainers for the remaining 34 km. But it was an amazing experience – the local people we met along the way were so kind and generous, offering their houses to us to eat lunch in and to sleep, and the kids we met were so cute and excited to receive some of the small gifts we brought (bouncy balls, colouring in books and crayons, bubble liquid, etc.). It was really a humbling experience, seeing how these people live with no power and no running water, working their fields all day and just scraping enough together to keep on going. It was definitely the highlight of our time in Myanmar so far.
I took about 600 photos over the three days trekking, and it was hard to choose which ones to put up in this post – sorry about the overload!
Enjoy – P&S xx