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Chinese tourists in Myanmar (2): Explore Inle Lake

Updated:2017-11-28 15:05:01   english.yunnan.cn

Editors’ note:

A presentation titled “Explore Tourism Myanmar” takes place in Kunming, Yunnan Province during the 2017 China International Travel Mart (CITM). Following the CITM, a 2000-km ROAD SHOW of China-Myanmar tourism is organized from November 23 to December 2, taking some Chinese tourists to quite a few Myanmar attractions. Today we offer you their travelogue on the Inle Lake.

As night gave way to dawn, the sky over Mandalay outskirts appeared whitish. At 6:00 on November 24, we left for the pristine Inle Lake, which lies around 30 km off the Shan State capital of Taunggyi.

Heading south all the way, our mini-buses charted the course along a highway wetted by rain. Though the road was kind of bumpy, we were enlivened by the scenery along the way. Admiring the verdant hills and lush woods in distance, we also caught sight of farmers harvesting rice, juveniles driving ox-carts, bustling bazaars, and several foreign riders who were winding their way along the path in the woods. I felt the Myanmar tourist corridor were dotted with endless exotic scenes.

The local driver told us that the number of foreign tourists traveling to Myanmar has been on the rise, resulting in rapid growth of Myanmar tourism. And thanks to the time-tested China-Myanmar friendship, Chinese tourists contributed the bulk.

After a seven-hour ride, we finally arrived at the destination. As a famed amber-shaped scenic area in Shan State, the tranquil Inle Lake is a rich diversity of ethnic groups and cultures. With blue sky mirrored in lucid waters, the lake features the floating gardens, stilt houses, rich water plants and the boats driven by one foot only.

Taking a boat, we visited some Myanmar craft workshops, the floating market and the float-island temple. U Tun Lin, a man who runs an oil painting business at the temple, said Chinese tourists are quite visible at Inle Lake, and they contributed to tourism of the lake. U Tun Lin hoped to study and expand his business in China, citing the Chinese market potential in tourism.

"The bustling town we just passed by is Nyaungshwe, the only access to the Inle Lake,” said Myo Naing. “It used to be a poor village, but now thrives on tourism." Myo Naing has worked as a Chinese tour guide for one year, and she told me that among the Chinese traveling to Myanmar, Yunnan tourists form the majority. Myo Naing believed that under the Belt and Road Initiative, Myanmar tourism will surely increase local employment and income, while improving Myanmar's infrastructure.

Recently, the China-Myanmar political and economic ties are also gaining momentum. On November 19th, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi proposed China-Myanmar economic corridor. The economic corridor, which would help Myanmar's development plan and needs, will start in China's Yunnan Province, extend to the central Myanmar city of Mandalay, and then east to Yangon and west to the Kyaukpyu special economic zone, forming a three-pillar giant cooperation pattern, Wang said.

On November 27, the Myanmar-based Chinese newspaper Golden Phoenix posted an on-line report, saying Myanmar's State Counselor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi will come to Beijing on November 30 for a dialogue between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and other political parties from across the globe. The new economic corridor and the up-coming visit will probably be conducive to China-Myanmar cooperation in tourism. 

Reporting by Cao Yunbo, Shu Wen and Lei Tongsu; trans-editing by Eric Wang

Keywords:   Myanmar Inle Lake tourism
Editor: Eric Wang