Inle Lake, on the banks • Myanmar

Dive into the heart of Myanmar with our video, slightly over 10 minutes, featuring Inle Lake's breathtaking pagodas and the unique culture of the long-necked Karen women. Accompanied by explanatory text, this visual journey not only showcases the serene beauty of Inle Lake but also delves into the rich history and traditions of its people. From the awe-inspiring Hpaung Daw Oo and Shwe Inn Dein Pagodas to the fascinating lives of the "giraffe women," explore a side of Myanmar that blends ancient heritage with living culture.

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Myanmar • Burma (EN)

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Reading the text below will help you better understand the cultural context of the images in this video.

00:58 • Karen women (giraffe-women)

03:11 • Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

07:28 • Shwe Inn Dein Pagoda


Inle Lake

Inle Lake is famous for its freestyle fishermen, stilted villages and floating gardens that can be found on the surface of the lake, but its shores are just as interesting.

the shores of the lake

As the lake welcomes more and more tourists, many traders and artisans have settled on its banks. The shops sell many handicrafts made in the surrounding area and provide work for locals. Among them, there are some women of the Padaung ethnic group, who have been nicknamed "giraffe-women" because of their elongated necks because of the copper necklaces they wear from childhood. We can always comment on the ethical question that tourists ask themselves when they see them. Are they exhibited as in a human zoo or is it a legacy of an ancient tradition that has gradually turned into a livelihood ...


In a country as deeply religious as Myanmar, you obviously don't just find stalls and shops around a lake as famous as Inle Lake ...

There are several pagodas on the banks of the lake. One of them is Hpaung Daw U Pagoda.

Hpaung Daw U Pagoda

Hpaung Daw U Pagoda is an important place of pilgrimage in the Inle Lake area. Many monks gather there daily and the particularity of this pagoda is formed by 5 statuettes of Buddha.

These statues are said to have been brought by King Alaungsithu during the first half of the 13th century. These statuettes measure between 20 and 50 centimeters and have become unrecognizable over time. Not that they have been worn out by the natural elements or by human manipulation ... They have become shapeless because of the tradition that the faithful males affix very thin gold leaves on the statues of Buddha. These 5 states are completely covered with a layer of gold which continues to grow over time.

Shwe Inn Dein Pagoda

A group of about a thousand stupas were erected on the shores of Inle Lake by King Narapatisithu during the 12th or 13th century. Some sources claim that these stupas are significantly older and were built by the Indian Buddhist king, Ashoka, in the 3rd century BCE. Anyway, this pagoda is absolutely beautiful and in a good state of conservation. We have the impression of walking in a forest of stupas, some of which are very beautiful, white or golden, covered with a golden roof pointing towards the sky. Others seem to have suffered a little more from the ravages of time.

about the place, Lac Inle:

Inle Lake is the second largest in the country by area and is approximately 116 square km. The lake is shallow.

Inle Lake is largely covered by floating plantations and traditional fishermen use their own technique to cast their cone-shaped nets.

It is one of the tourist highlights of Myanmar.


Spoken comments in the film: 

A bit like the fishermen of Lake India who live more from tourism than from fishing, these Padaung women (or Karen, often called giraffe women) have become tourist attractions.

The situation of these women who remained in Burma is however slightly more enviable than that of their counterparts who emigrated to Thailand where they are presented a little as beasts for the sake of the lens of tourists' cameras.

We met them at a souvenir and craft store.

Here also the ethical question arises in the face of this situation. But since you have to live well, is it better to pose for tourists while weaving their fabrics than to weave their fabrics and live in the greatest destitution ...?

 These five shapeless statuettes are in fact Buddhas covered for decades with gold leaf offered by the faithful.



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Disclaimer: Despite its appropriateness, copyright issues prevent the use of burmese traditional music in "Inle Lake, on the banks • Myanmar", hence the use of royalty-free music. Despite our careful selection, some might regret this decision, which is necessary to avoid potential lawsuits. Although difficult, this decision is the only viable solution.

Hti, a sort of umbrella at the top of a stupa, Inle Lake • Myanmar
Buddhas covered in gold in Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, Inle Lake • Myanmar

Buddhas covered in gold in Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, Inle Lake • Myanmar

Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery

Shwe Inn Dein Pagoda, Inle Lake • Myanmar

Shwe Inn Dein Pagoda

in the surrounding countryside, Inle Lake • Myanmar

in the surrounding countryside

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