I really wanted to do this trekking from Inle Lake to Kalaw, but it seems that not many people do it this direction. It is easier the opposite way, from Kalaw to Inle, as you are going down the mountains, and the one I did is going up. Anyway, this was my direction or I do it this way or I just don’t. As during my last time in Myanmar I went from Inle Lake to Thazi on the slow train, this time I wanted to do something different.
Apparently, if you do the trekking from Inle Lake to Kalaw you only have the option 2 days, 1 night, so I did it. And it’s also more expensive than trekking from Kalaw to Inle. I paid 45000 Kyats ( around 25€). All meals and 1 night stay is included. Luckily, there was one other person inscribed for this trekking the same day as me, otherwise, it would get much more expensive, and I’m glad we were just two girls in this trekking with our guide. I did it with Thea, a very nice German girl that I met during this trekking. The Ympek bicycle was sent directly to Kalaw. I paid 5000 kyats extra for this.
We depart from Ostello Bello around 8.30 AM on a “tuk-tuk” ride for more than 1 hour until the village we will start the trek. At this village, we were able to see some black pigs and delight ourselves with the youngest ones. It’s around 10 AM when we actually start walking and this 1st hour is the toughest one of the way. It’s climbing all the way up in the middle of the forest. I’m already thinking that the view is good but it will only get better. For the 1st day, we are walking 6 hours, which destroyed my feet.
The 1st village where we stop is to have lunch. It’s quite a small village in the mountains where our guide is cooking our delicious meal and we get to “talk” with the children from this village. It was so much fun!!! They don’t speak any English at all, so we were exchanging laughs for several minutes. We took so many pictures, which was super fun as they were so excited about the photos. They clearly don’t see many tourists, so they are so excited to see us around and we take this moment for several genuine laughs together. They are so cute and nice!! Being in touch with villagers during this trekking is definitely the best and most fun part of this experience. Get ready to be smiling all the time!
After lunch we continue, not before discovering that our guide’s girlfriend has ended their 2 years relationship that day. He was obviously sad and mad about it, so he spent a lot of time this day on his phone with her. We even heard him crying at the phone ☹ Poor guy, apparently, his girlfriend doesn’t like him enough and tried to end their relationship, but at the end of the day after so much phone talk, they were good. Still, it was fun, and also disturbing to see him in such a mood. We were glad things were fine after all.
The views during this trekking are amazing. Worth of Landscapes Wall paintings we use to see very often. Walking here is just like walking in a living painting. The landscape is unique, and the variety of colors you can get in the same mountain is so beautiful. The dirt is the reddest I have seen and just that makes the walk very pleasant. You get red, yellow, several green tones and browns as a sight in the same landscape with some very photogenic trees, and of course, we are seeing many cows along the way.
Our guide is explaining to us what we are seeing, for example, what they are farming in each field. He also said we are trekking in the best time of the year as in 1 month everything will be very dry, and in December you still get some freshness of the rainy season. Farmers are already harvesting the rice, and we actually saw some men doing it. The women cut it, and the men do the last part that is taking the grains off the plant. Everything is made in a hand process so they don’t break the grains of rice. It takes a lot of work, and it’s fascinating how they grow it there in the middle of the mountains with nothing nearby.
We were kind of late on this 1st day Inle Lake to Kalaw trekking, so by the evening, every trekker we were seeing doing the opposite way was very shocked that we are there at that time. It was clear that we will be trekking during night time and there are absolutely no lights in the middle of the mountains. The thought that we will be walking in the dark is scary and some snakes or whatever animals could show up.
We got to the village where we are sleeping just in time. 5 more minutes and we would have no light at all. It was good cause we could still enjoy the sunset in the mountain. At this time my feet feel like a whole giant blister so I’m not sure if I’m able to walk tomorrow. In fact, I’m not able to walk so much this evening. I even have a blood blister!
The place where we are sleeping is nice. The people are very friendly and the dinner was super good. The toilet is outside and there is no light. Still, it feels so good to have a bed!!! We sat for a while with our Burmese guest to enjoy a few Burmese music videos as they are hilarious.
We are sleeping in a village where Daw Tin San is, and this is where I see the most beautiful sky ever. There are so many, so many stars, that after dinner we came outside to enjoy the sky view. The village has no lights, so the stars were so clear. What an incredible shiny sky!
So far, this trekking from Inle Lake to Kalaw is totally worth it!