Monday, January 4, 2016

Myanmar Motorcycle Journey 5 - Nyaungshwe to Pinlaung

After two nights on the shores of Inle Lake, I was rested and ready for the next stage of the journey. We were treated nicely (got a free Christmas Dinner) by the folks at the Queen Inn (just across the canal near the bridge), so I said goodbye to them as well as my friend Dean, and I was back on the road.

As I skirted down the east coast of Inle Lake itself, I passed by several luxury resorts. $150-$200 per night type joints which I'm sure are quite lovely, but it got me thinking about how tourism is developing here in general, something I've though about quite a bit over the course of the entire journey.
I've had a lot on my mind, but not like this girl.
Seems to me like they're building way too many high-end accommodations and not enough mid-priced stuff. Why aren't there any affordable hotels on the lake? They're all up in the town of Nyaungshwe (connected to the lake by a canal). Why hasn't anyone opened a motorcycle rental shop in Nyaungshwe? Two sets of tourists asked me where I rented my bike. I understand the government here wants a controlled growth of their tourism industry, but I question the direction it's going.

Another example of this lop-sided development is the town of Nampan, a town almost as big as Nyaungshwe at the very southern end of the lake.  You'll see me make a detour into the town about 1 minute into the video. Before being joined by Dean, my plans included possibly staying a night in Lampan after visiting the ruins of Inn Dein the day before. I couldn't find any information for reasonable accommodations in Lampan, but I had been assured by others that there had to be a guesthouse or two. Look at the place. There's no guesthouses. In fact, it looked rather poverty strciken; an influx of tourist dollars certainly couldn't hurt the place.

Moooooove it!
South of Inle, the roads began to get hilly again, and I saw some remarkable stuff. Almost hit a cow. I do wonder who would get the worse of a cow-motorcycle collision.

There's a much larger lake a bit south of Inle, although this one is man-made, a product of the country's largest hydroelectric dam. I was admiring it's growing width in the valley below me, and eventually (after about 12 miles of looking at it), it occurred to me: The lake is on the wrong side! If I could see it at all, it should be on my left! Oh well. First time getting lost. I blame Google Maps. They showed the road I was on as ending at the point where I needed to turn right up towards Pinlaung. It didn't end.  

The geology got more and more interesting.

I'm always fascinated by Buddhists monks on motorcycles. 

Finally, I got to Pinlaung which I'll write about more in the next blog

And enjoy the video...

Road Report:
Distance traveled: 95 km (was supposed to be 60)
Time: 3.5 hours
Conditions (see the key): Good 35%; fair 60%; bad 5%


  1. eIf only high price hotels exist, only those who can afford them will travel there, but there are probably potentially enough wealthy tourists to eventualy fill the rooms.

  2. Wow! You were blessed being able to travel safely! And, getting your glasses back! The music you used was lovely. Blessings, Lynn

  3. 2Wheeladventures is Sydney’s leading motorcycle rental services. Whether for a short or long term rental or self-guided tour, we provide highest quality motorbikes to suit your needs. 2Wheeladventures offers the ultimate experience for riders.


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