Inle Lake: Weeds; Nampan Market; Village Arts; Phaung Daw Oo Paya; Padaung Women; Stupas; Canoe Race

Collecting Weeds


gathering weeds

Farmers collect weeds from the lake bottom to use in maintaining the floating beds of their gardens.


Nampan Market


women in canoes

Two elegantly attired ladies approach the market at Nampan. This market rotates among 5 villages on a 5-day cycle; shoppers and traders (along with tourists) come from miles around to participate, as the crowded boat parking lot attests.

vegetable seller
vegetable seller

The traders and customers are of many ethnic groups. The woman at right, above, is of the Pa-O tribe.




Village Arts and Occupations


boat and hyacinths
stilt houses

Leaving the market, our longboats take us (often right through the abundant beds of floating hyacinths) to In Phaw Khone, another village near Nampan that is famous for its weaving workshops.

weaving workshop

We stop at a weaving workshop where fabrics are woven from silk and lotus fibers. The man below demonstrates how lotus stems are broken to extract the silk-like fibers.

worker with lotus
worker with lotus

woman spinning
woman spinning

woman with loom
woman with yarn

family in canoe


Moving on, we visit a blacksmith shop and a cheroot factory, all on stilts. A cheroot is a type of cigar that is clipped at both ends.

making cheroots


Phaung Daw Oo Paya


pagoda detail

The Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is considered to be the holiest religious site in the southern Shan State. We make a brief stop to admire its architecture and observe the faithful applying gold leaf to a Buddha image already so heavily gilded that its shape is unrecognizable.

applying gold leaf

Padaung Women


Padaung women
Padaung woman

The Padaung are a sub tribe of the Kayan people, famed for wearing stacks of copper rings to elongate their necks. Originally a ploy to make Padaung women unattractive to raiders from other tribes, the use of neck rings today is a novelty carried on mainly to attract and amuse tourists. Many shops around Inle Lake (at Ywama in this case) keep a few Padaung women in residence for this purpose.

Padaung women

Leaving Ywama, Stupas



Leaving Ywama, we pass by tranquil scenes and a collection of old stupas, now in various degrees of decay or preservation.



Canoe Race at Ann's Place


race continues
race begins

A well-known lady who just goes by the name of Ann has a place at Myan Ni Gone Village on the western shore of the lake. She seems to have a hand in many things, including a hotel and restaurant, and an extensive orchid collection. Through Ann we have sponsored a canoe race between two parts of another village: Upper and Lower Lethit Village. Each canoe has 30 rowers.

race nears end
canoes leave
prize awarded

After two heats one team is victorious; a prize is awarded by Chris Kogut, and the villagers depart. That's Ann on the right side of the left photo above.

sunset behind cottages