A town that has a genuine “Old West”/anything goes feeling… one main road with a few off shoots where the pedestrians, bikers, motorcyclists, tractors, cars, cows, pull carts, and horse and buggies share the same space. We sat at street cafes and bars watching the commotion, breathing in a little too much dust and tractor exhaust.
One day was spent being driven around Inle Lake observing the fishermen who balance on one leg at the tip of their teakwood boat, paddling with their other leg so they can cast their nets with both arms. The activity on land and in the stilted homes as we passed by was just as intriguing. We learned how lotus flower fabric was made (painstakingly), local cheroot cigarillos were rolled, and Mik made besties with the local long neck women.
We biked to a hot spring and spent the day lounging…resting up for the next day’s 22 km trek in the mountains surrounding Inle Lake, guided by a sweet man named Kantu who happened to have a really fast pace up the sometimes 35 degree incline. It was one of the harder things we have ever physically done, but we were able to pass by remote villages, peek in on a one room schoolhouse, and eat a homemade meal in a bamboo hut at the top of the peak. We finished at the winery (our second trip there) and I cried I was so happy it was over. We try to push ourselves and expand our boundaries... its good for the soul.