Inle Lake and Myanmar
Myanmar's second largest lake is the Inle Lake, a freshwater lake that is 44.9 square miles in estimated area surface, and located at the altitude of 2,900 feet. It is located in Myanmar's Shan Hill's province and its watershed area lies from west to north in the lake. A famous hot spring can be found on its northwestern shore, and it drains through Balu Chaung or Nam Pilu on the south. Although the lake is relatively not that large, a number of endemic species can be found there, such as the Inle danio, Sawbwa barb, and the Crossbanded dwarf danio.
This famous Myanmar lake is located in the heart of the Shan State. Because of this, it is widely considered to be a popular tourist site. It is especially festive during September to October, where everyone celebrates the Festival of Hpaung Daw U, which spans three weeks, which is then followed closely by Thadingyut, a festival of lights. Tourist accommodations are also in abundance in the area, so looking for a place to stay is easy.
However, this beautiful lake is also currently beset by environmental problems. Rapid urbanization and population growth increase are two of the major contributors for its current condition. The unmitigated environmental practices of the natives are largely the reasons why there has been a decrease of the lake's open water area. Bad practices include lumber removal and farming techniques that are proven to be bad for the environment, such as the slash and burn farming style.
Moreover, its location is also quite unfortunate, even when it is at the very heart of Shan's state. Political strife and wars through the years happened mostly around the area -- and because of this, some tourists are hesitant to visit Inle Lake because of fear that these sporadic wars could happen anytime.
Inle Lake is one of Myanmar's jewels -- and even when it is currently beset by environmental problems and other concerns, it still continues to be a part of Myanmar's identity and legacy.