The next day was boat-assisted bike ride “around” the lake. We rented bikes from a shop near our hotel for 1,500 kyat a day or about $1.50. We rode down the eastern shore towards the village of Maing Thauk, riding pass a winery, small shops, restaurants and farms. All done without the use of steroids.
Half of the village of Maing Thauk is on land and other half is on water. We disembarked from on our bikes to cross the long wooden bridge that connects the two halves together.
Walking the bikes on the bridge, we got to see how villagers pick tomatoes from the floating gardens. Harvesting is a serious adventure when done from a canoe. The lady we were watching came dangerously close to falling out of her canoe several times.
We also got a closer look a the village on stilts which could only be accessed and maneuvered by boat.
The funniest thing we saw was a little boy swimming from one house to another with his clothes and shoes held high over his head to keep them dry. If this is normal, they really should take up water polo. I bet they would be awesome.
We then turned back where we boarded a long boat that took us across the lake to the village of Khaung Daing. From there we rode up the western shore back riding pass some hot spring, more restaurants and villages to Nyaung Shwe.
This was fun way to see Inle Lake and would highly recommend it. Although we stuck to the standard route there are many dirt roads that cut inland and allow one to explore a less touristy area.