The centre of Myanmar will captivate you very quickly. Once you got used to the sight of the fishermens peculiar ‘leg-rowing-technique’, your eyes can enjoy the ‘floating flower beds’ and the pile-dwellings on the shore. A boat-trip on the lake is absolutely recommendable. Here, villages are built on stilts over the lake waters and boats are the sole means of transport. Don’t forget to bring along an umbrella or cap beacuse the sun can be extremey hot.
Try to make the trip on the lake at least two times: once with a motorised boats (be aware that the letters of the boats don’t mind pulling the traveller’s leg) and once with one of the small rowing boats. The trouble with the motorboats is that they make such a noise that you can’t possibly enjoy the scenery. So, take a rowing boat or ask if they turn off the engine when you arrive at the floating gardens and the lovely houses. Children will appear form every corner and they will giggle when they see you and wave at you. If you don’t like children….this might be the turning-point in your life.
Besides the fact that the rowing boatsn don’t make any noise, they can take you to places that you can’t reach by motorboat. It leads you to the little ditches behind the main canal where you can enjoy the serene atmosphere and the sight of locals doing their laundry or performing their offering ceremonies. In the centre is an excellent pancake restaurant where you can eat western fries as well. This might be a nice change of diet when you haven’t seen and eaten anything else than rice for a long time. The owner of the restaurant, that only consist of a table or five, goes to the village some fifteen kilometres away in order to fetch the best strawberries to make the most delicious strawberry milkshakes.