History and Background
Phaung Daw Oo pagoda is one of the holiest sites in Shan State and the shrine is huge and features five ancient golden Buddhas. There is the large golden barge, a replica of the one said to have been used by King Alaung Sithu to travel around the country, which makes an annual tour during the pagoda festival to over 20 villages towed by long boats.
In 1965, when the boat was carrying these five images, the boat sunk and all of these fell into the lake. People dived into the lake and searched for those and they could recover four of them but one image remained lost. Finally they gave up on searching for the 5 th one and backed to the Phaung Daw Oo pagoda. At that time, they extraordinarly found the lost one in its shrine. Since then, the 5 th one is always remained in its shrine when carrying the images around Inle lake.
Pagoda festival is annually held an 18-day from September to October during Thadingyut. This festival is the fundamental one to visit for not only visitors but also locals because of the renowned activity; rowing competitions between the villages, using the local one leg rowing style. Besides, you should have a look for incredible experiences around Inle Lake by exploring at the traditional workshops such as lotus weaving, cigar making (cheroot making), Silver Smith, boat making, pottery and Shan paper umbrella making workshops. And also, you can receive the generous smiles by local people.