Inle Lake is spectacular, surrounded by distant hills which make for a beautiful backdrop to the hustle and bustle of the life on the lake. The area is home to the Intha people, who live both in towns around the lake and on the lake itself. Many local houses and temples are built on stilts in the shallow waters of the lake, and floating islands are built from water hyacinth and water weeds. These gardens allow the farmers to grow fruit and vegetables - the sight of floating apple orchards are certainly something different!
The local fishermen are renowned for their distinctive rowing style, where they stand at the stern of the boat on one leg whilst the other leg is wrapped around the oar. This style of rowing developed so the fishermen could get a better view and allow them to navigate through the shallow and plant-dense water - something that is far harder to do whilst more traditionally seated.
Tourism has become an important part of the local economy, and traditional crafts such as the weaving of Shan–bags, silk longyi (sarongs) as well as cheroot rolling, carvings and work from black and silver smiths are now produced for the tourist trade as well as local use.