This is my second time at Nyaung Shwe, but I’m visiting different areas in town. This day I decided to go on Inle Lake west corridor road from Ostello Bello until the Tofu Palace. It is around 12 km distance that I have done in approximately 1h30.
The street is not so good in Nyaung Shwe. There were several parts where I was carrying myself and the Ympek bicycle by hand as the way is too steep to cycle. There are a few tourists going on the same direction and the ride is totally worthy. On the way, you get several different views from the water channels that connect the villages to Inle Lake, so I was stopping a lot for pictures. I saw lots of water buffalos also.
My first stop was a climb to a temple in a hill, so you can get some view of the surrounding area. You will clearly see it from the road. On this same street, you will find some hot springs. I didn’t visit…
My second stop was at Lwe Nyeint pagoda. The pagoda isn’t so special, but there was any other tourist there, so I found a good view of the mountains and sit there for several minutes enjoying the view and calmness of the place. Then I followed the street and had lunch in a very cozy Burmese restaurant with a nice path to a toilet full of farm animals in sight.
Not so far away is the Inn Tain pagoda, a place totally empty of people. This is an ancient pagoda with several golden stupas. I would compare it to a very small version of Kakku Pagodas not so far away from there. This place stands next to a water channel, so again, I was the only one sitting there and enjoying the mountain view and animal life in the company of dogs, water buffalos and the white birds that ride their heads. What a silent place. And thinking that you aren’t deep in nature… It feels like you have the whole world there for you.
Then, I follow my path until the Tofu Palace. I have heard about this place but wasn’t sure what it is. Well, here you can enjoy a food tour in the village where they show you how they cook and you can also taste what they are doing. When I reached this place it was too late for me to do the tour, as it takes about 45 minutes, and I still have all the way back to Ostello Bello before sunset because the street back has no light. I pity that I didn’t do this tour as I heard really nice stuff about it. Instead, I was sitting there having some tasty snacks the guide had for me. And what a nice guy he is. Always so smiley!!! After a long conversation, I left. The tofu palace food tour doesn’t have a price. It is based on donations the tourists decide to give, but the guy told me usually for the tour, foreigners offer 5000 kyats. This money is for the community so they can improve the conditions in their village.
The way back was easier as it has more downhills, and I was still able to watch the sunset at one of the many water channels that go along the street. This was a very pleasant day, so I advice a bike rental in Nyaung Shwe to go through this path and explore the area on your own. At Ostello Bello Nyaung Shwe they also have organized bike tours, but as my Ympek bicycle is smaller than the other bicycles, I can’t join. I’m too slow on it…