Trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake
Guest post by my good friend Alejandro Ollero, first one of my childhood friends to grab his backpack and come to visit me :)
For those of you who are always looking forward to feel the most authentic experience in the places you visit, trekking could be one of the best activities. Walking across vast fields, forests and small villages fills your senses with all kind of emotions. From the moment you start walking to the last step, the experience is unforgettable… and tough, of course… but at the end it’s always worth it.
Located in the Shan State of Myanmar, the trip starts in Kalaw, a lively and busy town with a pleasant temperature thanks to its altitude (1,320 m above the sea level). In Kalaw you will find many agencies offering trekking activities. Sam’s Family has a good reputation. Sam is a former guide with more tan 30 years of experience and he also runs a restaurant with his family. You can see the passion in his eyes while he explains the planing of the treks in a home-made map hanged in one of the walls inside the restaurant.
There are 2 possibilities for the Kalaw – Inle Lake trekking: the shorter (1 night, 2 days) and the longer (2 nights, 3 days). Normally the guides speak good English and are native from the area. They know very well all the surrounding countryside.
During the trip, you will see the rural Myanmar. Men and women working in the plantations, its inhabited villages during the working hours and cows lying in the shadow of a tree or having a fresh bath in a river. Colourful fields of vegetables, spices and fruits wake up your senses. You will see garlic, tea, ginger, chilli, potatoes and much more!
Spending the night in one of the local teak and bamboo cottage of a hosting family is an unique experience. You will have the opportunity to chat, cook and have breakfast with them. Habits like sleeping in the floor could not be very comfortable, but believe me, your body will have forgotten about it as you wake up with the sunrise, noises coming from a Myanmar traditional farm, and the smell of its burning fields. Before leaving the village, a cold and quick shower and the home made breakfast will give you more than enough energy to recharge your batteries.
Summarizing, you will experience the life of a local family.
As the group approach to Inle Lake, you can feel something special is closer. Locals and tourists mix in the roads and restaurants along the way. The end of the trek, at a river connected to the west shore of the lake, is refreshing after many hours under the sun in a dry atmosphere (if you travel on the hot season). The lake is another more than 3 days worthy trek, but this is another adventure for next time!