Posted By : Threeland Travel / Cruising in Indochina & Myanmar
Inle Lake hovers around the top destinations you can’t miss when visiting Myanmar. Its appeal is stated not only in the charming peaceful nature and daily life but also in its Intha inhabitants with such fishing techniques to be found nowhere else on earth.
The Intha (meaning “son of the lake”) are members of a Tibeto-Burman ethnic group and speak an archaic dialect of Burmese. They generally live on Inle Lake, are largely self-sufficient farmers supporting themselves through vegetable farming works on floating gardens. They all live in simple houses of wood and woven bamboo on stilts and are traditionally devout Buddhists.
The hard-working Intha fishermen are world masters at balancing. They balance precariously on one leg while wrapping the other around the oar to row with impressive agility. Such technique allows them to scan the lake for fish as well as free their hands up to handle the nets.
It is reasoned that the lake is covered by reeds and floating plants, which causes difficulties seeing above them while sitting. Standing, therefore, provides the rower with a better view beyond the reeds.
The practice is believed to date back to the 12th century with generations passing down the unique skill. However, this rowing style is practiced by the men only. Women row while being seated at the stern in the customary style, using the oar with their hands.
Do you have the balance to do this?