Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort at Inle Lake

Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort at Inle Lake

 Floating amid Inle Lake surrounded by hazy Blue Mountains at 1328 meters above sea level, the traditional cottages with thatched roofs and walls of bamboo mats offer the atmosphere of the local people lifestyle.



The real wealth of our planet lies in its rivers, oceans, forests ~ the creatures within and those of the air. I’ve visited many urban cities, stayed in many luxury hotels and yet my heart yearns to spend time amidst nature, in houses built to meet our needs and not to encourage our greed.

Sitting smugly inside a traditional Burmese cottage, looking up at its thatched roof and the beautiful walls made of bamboo mats, I thought to myself, “Could we find fulfilment in life in a better place than being in the lap of nature, among friendly smiles, warm-hearted people and mesmerizing views?”


We had already seen quite a bit of Myanmar before we reached Inle Lake. Bagan had been magical and Mount Popa only added to the mesmerism of our journey. But it was here at Inle Lake that we were able to look at Myanmar through a new lens. Our interaction with the locals increased, we got a deeper insight of life in Myanmar, and the Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort, gave us a chance to live the Burmese way in a lovely traditional cottage.

To any of you visiting Myanmar, I will suggest that you add Inle Lake to your itinerary and spend 2-3 days to explore the region at a comfortable pace. While exploring the beautiful lake and its surroundings Vikram and I stayed three nights at the Floating Resort but wished we’d stayed longer.


Descending Dusk

Driving down the dusty roads of Nyaungshwe, in the South of Burma’s large and picturesque Shan State, I observed the late afternoon sky – its vividly changing colours looked so very interesting. The sun was gently kissing the horizon and the blushing sky ignited romanticism in the air. I wrapped my hands around my husband Vikram’s arm as the car buzzed through hotels and homes lined up on both sides of the road.

But we hadn’t reached our destination yet. We stepped into a long tail boat to begin our journey to Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort at Inle Lake. While it didn’t take long to reach, the scenic ride was enough to captivate us in the enchantments of this beautiful place. Just imagine cruising on this beautiful lake, a stunning journey past rugged mountains, local floating villages and golden pagodas, watching the local fishermen doing their job, seeing all the other long tail boat traffic on the lake – for us this alone was terrific!


After the picturesque boat ride, Shwe Inn Tha emerged from around a bend in the channel. The lights of the stilt-villas twinkled from afar and the lanterns on the elevated walkway towards the resort danced in the gentle breeze creating beautiful reflections on the waters of the lake. The firmament covered itself in night’s starry mantle while our boat came to a halt. Shwe Inn Tha was a sight to behold in the tranquillity of the lake with the majestic mountains rising in the background like towering shadows.

Shwe Inn Tha {The resort’s name is an acknowledgement of the “Inntha tribe” ~ the ethnic group indigenous to Inle Lake, and the word “Shwe” in Burmese means golden} is nestled comfortably at the edge of the lake. The resort is built away from the rest of the villages and markets providing its guests with the right measures of privacy and quietude.


Once we arrived, we were greeted by warm smiles and a glass of fresh juice – the perfect combination to make a good first impression. Checking in was a breeze and we were soon heading to Water Chalet No. 106; the deluxe bungalow we were assigned that faced the lake, boasting impressive sunrise views.

Our villa was located towards the back of the main entrance of the resort saving us from the constant humming of boats that ferried guests to and from the resort. I soaked in the views of the lake and the resort on our way to our villa.










Indeed, there’s little about this resort that doesn’t inspire a sparkle of fairytale wonder. The property is designed beautifully with the swimming pool and restaurant marking the centre, and villas stretched across the place. Each villa has its own private veranda providing striking views of the lake and its surrounding region. The resort rests on stilts to stand above water giving us the illusion of a floating resort.

Our villa was bright and airy, and quite spacious for two people. Bay windows allowed the sun to stream in while the private porch offered spectacular views of the mountains with the lake on its heels mirroring their magnificence.

The interior was beautifully crafted from rich teak adding warmth to the place, and the peaked ceilings with intricately carved wooden beams added to the splendour. A luxurious bed made sleep look enticing and mosquito nets hung like lace from the posters giving the whole place an old-world charm. We woke each morning to a beautiful sunrise and the sounds of birds singing a call to prayer.

An outdoor shower was the resort’s attempt to connect its guests back to the benevolence of the natural world that surrounds you. There’s something so gloriously indulgent about bathing alfresco – giving you a sense of privacy while still allowing you to commune with nature. I stepped in for a bath. The full moon gazing gently down, the night breeze brushing softly by and my soul reaching out to me to find out if we had truly made it to paradise.












Self-rejuvenation on the Edge of a Lake

People who live in urban cities with their calendars chock-a-block with appointments and meetings will realize how important it is to step back, cut yourself away from everything else and find your inner being – the inner you that makes you who you are.

Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort at Inle Lake gives you the chance to disconnect yourself from the chaos of your schedules and find meaning in the big and small moments that make up your life. The Wi-Fi here hardly works so don’t expect work mails, social media notifications or messages beeps on your phone. I can understand the exasperation of a teenager, but for me, this seemed like just what I needed ~ to feel unattached.


Vikram and I spent time doing things that seem simple to talk of yet were really nice to experience. From hiking in the surrounding mountains, poking through the local markets in the floating villages, to watching the skilful fishermen row their boats around the lake; each experience was beautiful in its own way.

* It takes just 15 minutes to reach the The Floating Market of Heya Ywama Village. If you are interested in visiting the Stupas of Shwe Inn Dein then it will take you a 45 minute boat ride, and a visit to Nyaung Shwe Pier will take an hour by boat.


Meals were served in the large dining area which was designed on the same lines as the villas {natural décor with traditional Burmese touches}. The complimentary breakfast was sumptuous and included freshly baked bread and a wide assortment of pastries. You could order eggs the way you liked them and you could also fill your plates with a selection of fresh & delicious fruits.







Cocktails by the Pool

The sun at Inle Lake was best during the early hours and late evenings. The rest of the time it was scorching hot! The lake helped in keeping the temperatures down, but a nice dip in a pool was just the thing to look forward to on a sunny afternoon at the resort.

Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort has the accolade of being the first resort in the region to offer its guests a swimming pool. Surrounded by loungers, a cocktail-bar and views of the lake and mountains, this was an ideal place to relax. We found ourselves idling around the pool after our excursions when the cool waters looked very inviting.

Now, this I’ve got to mention. Myanmar produces good wine! Red Mountain Estate imported grape plants from France and the cool weather and mountain soil on this side of Lake Inle must have conspired to produce this local wine at par with its western counterparts. Who would have thought? I was hesitant at first. The local wine is priced at half what Bordeaux or Rioja would have cost you; but good enough that one of us mistook it for a Rioja. So next time you’re in this area, enjoy a bottle of Shiraz or Cab Sauvignon from Myanmar. Piode!








Staff behaviour plays an important role in creating experiences for hotel guests. Right from the moment we checked in, to the time we left on the boat to return to the shores and continue our onward journey, we found the staff at Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort at Inle Lake to be very attentive and sprightly ~ greeting us warmly and showing an eagerness to provide information or assistance. From making our beds to arranging transportation for us to visit the local sights, everything was done promptly and courteously ~ which left a positive mark in our minds.


On our final morning at the resort, the staff thanked us and said goodbye, and we climbed into the boat a final time for the trip up the lake. As we watched Shwe Inn Tha fading into the background, we realized how deeply we were going to miss this beautiful place which had played a role in creating the most enchanting memories of our trip to Inle Lake.






Verdict: One of Inle Lake’s best resorts, The Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort offers simple yet charming accommodation in this spectacular region of Burma. From watching white water fowls to waving at locals in their long-tail boats, the simplicity of life around the place and the beauty of the region stole away our hearts. My husband and I truly enjoyed our stay and would strongly recommend the resort as a basis for exploring Inle Lake.




In a nutshell, these are the best things about the resort: 

  • Blue skies above and beautiful blue waters below, in between the two floats Shwe Inn Tha like a jewel that emanates from the lake and encompasses the beauty of its spirit.
  • This star resort has, with an uncommon perseverance, continued to uphold the splendour of the local culture in its design. The rich wooden décor is nothing short of glorious.
  • The staff were very friendly. I admired their genuine concern over making us comfortable and helping us enjoy our stay.
  • The swimming pool is nothing extraordinary, but became a lovely means of refreshing ourselves with a cool dip.
  • The bar features happy hours. Yay!


End note: Research and studies show that “blue spaces” have a soothing and rejuvenating effect on our bodies, and in many cases can have an even greater impact than green spaces. This makes rivers, lakes and coastal waters a great place to be at. Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort at Inle Lake sits pretty like a water lily offering up the perfect mix of creature comforts alongside the soothing appeal of aquatic spaces. Our spirits danced at the beautiful sights that our villa’s windows treated us to every day, and the lake magnified the magical enchantments of nature’s elements that were at play here. We are deeply gratified to have enjoyed such a lovely experience in this lifetime!

If you are planning a trip to heal the inner you then I absolutely recommend visiting Myanmar and travelling down to this beautiful resort at Inle Lake.


Have you already experienced the magic of Inle Lake? Let me know in the comments below!


* Our visit to Myanmar has been split into several posts: Stay tuned for our journey to Yangon

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*** Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review.

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *


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