The current exchange rate is about 1500 Kyat to $1 USD. There are numerous banks now in town as well as at the airport. There are now ATM kiosks as well now around the city, allowing you to withdrawal 300,000 Kyats ($200) 3 times a day. Some hotels and high end restaurants accept credit cards.
These two simple phrases, paired with a smile, will get you very far with the locals:
- Min-gala-bar – Hello
- Ta-tar – Goodbye
- Hote-dal – Yes
- Ma-hote-bu – No
- Kyay-zuu-bar – thank you
- Kyay-zuu-amyar-gyi-tin-bar-dal– thank you very much
Unlike other destinations in Myanmar, boats are the main mode of transport in Inle. If you stay on or on the lake’s edge, getting around can be less convenient. However, you can arrange for a water taxi from your hotel and if you do have road access, you can rent a motorcycle taxi or bicycle to get around the lake. Most boat drivers speak a little English and will understand you when asking to go to popular sites, markets, hotels, etc. Your hotel will surely be able to assist you in acquiring one. Always negotiate the price before getting into the boat and take a hotel card with you so that you can give them the information if needed when you want to return.
Tip: Ask your guide and/or the hotel staff in advance what the maximum amount you should pay.
RESTAURANTS AT INLE
The Shan Restaurant (At the View Point Lodge Hotel) – This restaurant specializes in traditional Shan cuisine. This restaurant located on the edge of the canal in NyaungShwe boasts western standards with a laid back vibe, making it an ideal location for lunch or dinner. The tasting menu is recommended. T: +95 (0) 81 20 90 62.
Golden Kite (Indien Village)– If you desire Italian food, then this is the place for you. It has actually been considered one of the best restaurants in Nyaung Shew. Known for their pizzas and pastas. Please ask the hotel or your guide call and make a reservation. T: +95 (0) 81 20 93 27.
Green Chilli(Nampan Village) – Green Chili is located just next to one of the most popular boat carpenter workshops in Inle Lake. This restaurant is known for its authentic local cuisine & extensive Thai menu. Tables on the balcony offer great views and a relaxing dining experience during the day. . They also have a second location in Nyaung-Shwe. T: +95 (0) 949 58 99 58 /+95 (0) 9 521 4101
InThar Heritage House (Inpawkon Village) – The restaurant was designed and built with the culture of Inthar art and tradition. This restaurant offers authentic traditional Inthar cuisine and uses the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables from its own organic garden. It is also well-known as “Cat House” between local people for its Burmese cat sanctuary on the ground floor. T: +95 (9) 528 1035/ +95 (9) 4931 2070
Thanakha Garden Restaurant (Nyaung-Shwe) – This family run restaurant was created by sisters, SweSweOo and Lwin May Oo. It has become praised for its local and western cuisine, ambience and friendly service. T: +95 942 83 71 552
NOTE* There aren’t many choices for dinner while staying on Inle Lake as it is not safe to travel on the lake at night time. If you are staying on the lake we recommend having dinner at either your hotel or at a restaurant close by. However, if you stay in Nyaung-Shwe, there are many restaurants offering variety of cuisine. Ask you guide or hotel staff for their additional recommendations.
ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES
Cooking Classes at Bamboo Delight – If you love traditional Shan foods and want to take the local cuisine back home after your travels then we recommend taking a this cooking class. The class will include a trip to the local market where you can learn about local herbs and produce used in the cuisine and instruction on how to make some of the more famous dishes. Another reason to visit is that Bamboo Delight donates 15% of every class fee towards supporting the education of local children!
Ph:+95 9410 10433
For night life, if you are staying on the lake, it is best to feel the peaceful breeze coming through the lake with ice cold Myanmar beer or cocktails of your choice available at bar of your hotel.
For night life at Nyaung-Shwe, there are plenty of restaurants where you can enjoy your drink among the locals and observe their way of life.
FIVE DAY MARKET
5 days market is a market that rotates between 5 different locations over a 5 day period. It’s a great place to come and observe local people from all over the Taunggyi area who come to buy and sell local products and goods. In addition to an extensive fresh market, you can also find handicrafts like lacquer ware, longyis, textiles, etc. Talk to your guide or hotel about the location of the market during your stay.
If you assume that the production of wine is not possible in Myanmar, these two vineyards (Red Mountain vineyard and Myanmar Vineyard) will prove you wrong!
RED MOUNTAIN ESTATE
The winery, located outside of the northern part of the lake, was created in 2002 by a Myanmar businessman. You can enjoy wide ranges of varietals from Sauvignon Blanc to Pinot Noir. Their restaurant offers local and western cuisine with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. +95 081 209 366/+95 081 209 554
Aythaya Vineyard This winery is located off the western slopes of Taunggyi City, approximately 30 minutes from the northern shore of the lake. Sample their wines and brandy at the Sunset Wine Garden Restaurant.
+95 81 20 8653
Even though internet is becoming more available throughout country, it isn’t as accessible in and around Inle Lake. Internet should be available at least in your hotel lobby if not your room hours a day but be warned that it will be slow and can cut off unexpectedly.
To give you a rough idea of the standard in town, here is a list of tip ranges (although if you receive great service, please feel free to adjust these prices accordingly):
Guides : $5 – $10 total per day /Drivers: $2 – $5 total per day / Boats: $2-$4 per round-trip
Restaurants : 10% for local restaurants; 15–20% for high end European or Western restaurants.