Inle Lake

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Inle Lake is an enchanting place. Not only were we there during the full moon (its reflection at night on the lake was magnificent), but we also witnessed the sacred Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival. Once a year, 4 Buddha statues (who reside in the aforementioned pagoda) are ferried around the huge lake to visit various neighboring pagodas over the course of about 2 weeks. These Buddhas are so encrusted with gold leaf that their current state is more akin to amorphous blobs. Ensconced in ornate, gilded barges, the Buddhas are pulled along by the distinct Intha leg rowers, an ethnic group indigenous to the lake who manouver their boats with one leg, sort of like canoe ballet. We stayed on the lake for 2 nights and, in addition to the festival processions, we were able to see some beautiful pagodas, very remote villages, and a lot of interesting tribal people.

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