What to Do in Shan State
You could say that Inle Lake’s huge reputation belies its relatively compact dimensions. Measuring just 13.5 miles long and seven miles wide, it is a relative tiddler by Asian standards. Nevertheless, the placid body of water—in tandem with the beautiful Shan State mountains that enclose it—is one of Myanmar’s prime spots to get away from it all. The rest of Shan State is no less alluring, with some of the country's most spectacular scenery and a fascinating ethnic mash-up.

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Mountain Biking Inle Lake, Myanmar

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AFAR note: map would not let me point to location of photo, it is: Indein, Inle Lake, Myanmar.

Mountain biking around the sublime setting of Inle Lake was something I've wanted to do for years and was far more incredible than I'd imagined. The three days spent boating with my bike on board to different locations (such as Indein, where there are acres of ancient stupas - see photo) was unforgettable. Cycling through villages, locals from the Intha tribe were always quick with an invitation to stop in for a delicious meal and to clean up. I was respectful to stay on paths made by villagers which are numerous and provided incredible single track riding all day long.

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