Leaving Rangoon for Nyaung Shwe
Leaving Yangon on an overnight bus we begin the long and arduous journey to Inle Lake. We travel on the VIP express bus (JJ Express) which has a seat configuration of what is known as 2+1, basically means 3 seats to a line, so much bigger seats and a lot more comfortable than a standard bus. I bought tickets for this in advance from ticket agent in Rangoon and all went without hitch. They were very communicative and professional in their dealings. You can find them at this linkhttp://myanmarbusticket.com/ The bus station itself is a good hour’s taxi ride outside the center of Rangoon but can take a lot longer depending on time of day and traffic. If you need a driver in Rangoon then I can heartily recommend a chap called San a wonderful chap with a winning smile great local knowledge and very reliable. I only have his email address but I found him very responsive via email: email@example.com
The bus station, a noisy, crowded, chaotic and hectic place in itself. As for the bus journey I would love to be able to say this is a great way to travel, and it might well be if it wasn’t for the bus operator’s insistence on having the air con turned to artic cold conditions. I seriously mean it’s so cold even the provided blanket will struggle to keep you warm, moral of the story if you intend to catch the bus bring warm clothes. But hey it’s a lot cheaper than the overpriced internal flights, and given the travel is overnight means you are not wasting a day on travel. Our destination for discovering Inle Lake will be Nyaung Shwe where we will stay for our 5 day stay in Inle. We stayed in Princess Garden Hotel which cannot be booked online, but you can book directly via email. firstname.lastname@example.org
To read more about this place check out the reviews on trip advisor
The only other downside of the bus is arriving in Nyaung Shwe at 5 am in the morning meaning a 6 hour wait before we could check in as all the chalets were fully booked
Nyaung Shwe, Inle Lake (post 3 of 7).
Bustling main street
If you are taking a boat trip on the lake (of course you are, otherwise why are you here) you will most likely board at one of these jetty’s but this is also a working lake as the picture shows so you will most likely share it with locals as they go about their daily business.
The market moves to a different location every week, being held in Nyaung Shwe once a month. If you are fortunate enough to be in town for market day its well worth a visit and is the perfect opportunity to mingle with the locals as they do their shopping.
The Tea Seller
A colorful assortment of fruits and spices
Fresh coconuts and Turmeric roots
The coconut seller
The Flower Seller
Bunches of banana
Although there are many accommodation places along the lake the village of Nyaung Shwe probably offers the best freedom to explore the area as it’s within easy reach of the lakes and boat trips. Most of the lakeside accommodation is miles from anywhere, thus will mean you are stuck to the resort at night times, and most likely their arranged tours. That said the accommodation around the village is not great and some of the top ranked food places we found sadly lacking. This will probably change with time, but in the meantime I can recommend a Dim Sum place which we visited a couple of times and found to be very good and very reasonably priced. You can find further info at this link. Live Dim Sum House Trip Advisor