The fishermen at Inle Lake are a must see on your trip to Myanmar. One leg paddling, team work, nature, peace… it’s a unique combination in Shan State.
Inle Lake fishermen have a curious and unique rowing style, which consists of standing on one leg on the extreme of the boat and wrapping their other leg around the the oar.
The reason for this way of paddling is because there are many reeds and water plants in the lake, and if they row sitting down in the boat they can’t see them.
Standing on the end of the boat they have a great view and can lead the way better. Also, they have their hands free to collect the net whilst propelling the boat.
The fishing boats are traditionally carved teak.
The fishing method they use here in Inle Lake is very interesting. First, the fishermen hit the water with their oars.
Then they put their boats together and put the cone-shaped net contraption into the water.
The cone-shaped nets are made from bamboo or cane, have a small net inside and are opened at the top.
This fishing technique is possible because Inle Lake is not very deep. In dry season the average water depth is about 2 meters and the deepest 3,5 meters approx.
Fishermen trap the fish by throwing the cone-shape nets into the water, pressing on it with their feet so it sinks to the bottom where the fish are.
Then, with the cone sank and the fish trapped, they spear from above through the opening at the top of the cone.
Spending a day on a boat trip around Inle lake is a must do in Myanmar. As well as fishermen, you will see their floating villages and floating gardens, as well as some interesting workshops.