The Biological Wonder of Myanmar
by Andrea Johnson
Inle Lake is a destination of remarkable beauty. The Intha people live here, popularly known for their distinguished one-legged boat rowing technique. With a magical touch to its nature and environment, Inle Lake is teeming with a healthy biodiversity, ranging from lush, green trees to rare animal species that are under safe protection. This lake is also Myanmar’s very first site to be listed by UNESCO under the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
Rich Aquatic Life Form
The aquatic lives play an active role in flourishing the waters of Inle Lake as well as the Intha people. Packed with various common and exotic aquatic species, Inle Lake sees a harmonious mix among the animals and plants as the ecosystem depends on each other. As a crucial fishing ground to the locals, the lake is one of the world’s most fertile environment. Inle carps are common in the lake and are the Inthas’ main source of food and income. The lake is also home to more than 20 snails species and 9 types of fish that can only be found in this part of Myanmar. Some of them are the silver and blue scaleless Sawbwa barb, dwarf danio and Inle Lake Danio.
Floating Gardens Of Inle Lake
Inle Lake is very fertile, making its surroundings ideal for paddy plantation with a convenient and constant flow of lake water. Besides fishing, the Inthas also manage special floating gardens of tomatoes, long beans, eggplants and squash. The locals have been using the hydroponic method for generations to sustain themselves, which is an impressive and advanced method used by the villagers.
Tourists will be surprised to find many floating gardens on Inle Lake. The harvest is also done by the locals, and they would be sold along with the fish they caught in the morning. An intriguing fact is that some of the farmers sell their gardens directly as a whole land.
Protector of Endangered Species
Inle Lake Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1995. Tasked to be one of Myanmar’s most prominent protected sites of endangered plants and animal species, the lake is also named as one of the ASEAN Wildlife Heritage Park. There are rare orchids, woodland and wetland birds, uncommon insects and amphibians, snails and also the worldwide-endangered sarus cranes.
To ensure its abundance in flora and fauna is protected and enjoyed, jungle-trekking is encouraged to allow tourists to witness and appreciate these amazing living creatures up-close. This educational tour will inspire young bloods to work towards protecting the environment and the biodiversity living in it.
The mountain range that aligns around Inle Lake makes the place look even more cheerful with the birds lifting into the air against the backdrop of the glowing sunset. Tourists can make a pit stop at one of these places to watch the panoramic view of the mountains lining the horizon.
Inle Lake is a wondrous tourist destination with an even greater cause. The rich wildlife in this area serves as a reminder that the environment should be looked after by locals and tourists alike. Tourists visiting Myanmar should make a visit to Inle Lake to witness the amazing biodiversity that this state has to offer.