Fishermen on Inle Lake

Inle Lake in Myanmar is one the world’s unique places. It is a candidate for listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Lake is the second-largest fresh-water lake in Myanmar, with an estimated surface area of 104 square miles.

At present, the length of the lake from north to south is 24 miles; its original length was 36 miles. The average water depth is 7 feet (2.1 m), with the deepest point being 12 feet (3.7 m) deep. During rainy season, the lake’s depth can increase by up to 5 feet (1.5 m).

The lake is weed-choked and conventional outboard motors are useless.

One practice that distinguishes Inle from other places in the world is a unique paddling style used to propel small boats through the weeds while fishing. Standing on the left leg while using the right hand and the right leg to manipulate the paddle, leaves the left hand free to handle nets and other equipment. Standing also allows sight through high reeds.

How often one falls in the water while learning the technique is a question not answered.

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