Nyaungshwe (Inle Lake)
- Accommodation: Mingalar Inn ($30 for a triple with fan) – When we were in Yangon, we asked the people who worked at Motherland if they could call ahead for us and book a room at the Mingalar Inn in Nyaungshwe. We found this to be the best way to book accommodation: have your current guesthouse call ahead and make reservations for your next destination. The room was very clean and had 3 twin beds. I don’t think our room had A/C, but it was cool enough that we didn’t need it. Like everywhere else in Myanmar, the room had to be paid for in US dollars. The rate included a huge free breakfast with banana pancakes, coffee, tea, samosas, eggs, toast, fruit and lemonade.
- Star Flower: They served better than average pizza. I thought the pesto pizza was the best. It definitely hit the spot after our trek.
There’s not much to do in Nyaungshwe, but it’s a good place to stay for a night or two while you explore the Inle Lake area. We rented bikes from a place not far from our guesthouse and we biked around the east side of the lake. We even stopped at a vineyard and did a wine tasting! And it was shockingly not terrible! I think the winemaker is French, so that must account for it being a kind of legitimate vineyard. It’s called Red Mountain Estate Vineyards & Winery. Who knows, maybe in 20 years wine will be Myanmar’s largest export!
From Nyaungshwe we took a bus to Mandalay. We bought tickets from our guesthouse and then took a tuk-tuk to an intersection about 15 minutes outside of town where the buses stop to pick up passengers en route to Mandalay. I can’t remember the exact time the bus came but it was sometime around late afternoon and early evening and we arrived in Mandalay at a very convenient 3:00am.