Our pick up from NK arrived promptly at 3:00pm and took us to the "local" bus station about 10 minutes away. Crazy to say, especially after traveling through Asia for so long, but the bus was actually waiting for us! We were scheduled to leave at 3:30pm however, we were all loaded up and on the road by 3:20pm - awesome!!

Nyaung Shwe -> Hispaw 13 hours for 15,000 Kyat ($12.25 USD)

If you're doing the math and thinking wait... 13 hours and they are leaving at 3:30p... You're right, you'll be arriving wayyy before roosters are even awake to say cock-a-doodle-do! Ahh super annoying, but that's life. Couple things you can do to plan ahead for it.

1) Book ahead. There is a place called Charlie's Guesthouse, it's $7 a night for a dorm bed and you can book online. Pretty positive loads of backpackers stay here and if you're not on a tight budget, I'm sure you'd enjoy it.

2) Live a little on the edge and just figure it out when you get there. Haha thats what we did and we by farrrrr found the best deal!

When you arrive at the bus drop off point, it'll be center-ish of town. Nothing special or at all marked, it's literally just somewhere on the side of the road. DON'T STRESS! You can seriously walk the entire town in 20 minutes! There'll be a bunch of taxi drivers waiting for you when the bus drops off. DON'T DO IT! No matter what guesthouse you book in advance, nothing is more than a 10 minute walk. Save your money for a cheap beer later πŸ˜‹.

When we arrived, and mind you it was 4:30am, we lucked out a found a awesome local taxi driver and asked him for recomendations on fidning a "cheap cheap" place. For the price of getting to take a fun photo with us, he shared his secrets and told us to go check out The Royal Rose, only a 5 minute walk away.

Since the bus alwaysss drops off at 4:30am, don't feel bad, everyone is used to the early morning wake up call.

The Royal Rose -> 3,000 Kyat each ($2.45 USD)
Double and Triple Room Options
> Brand new squatter toilets
> Hot water shower
> Toilets and showers are separate
> Breakfast not included
> Wifi only in main building - works sometimes?

Now this is definitely nothing special! Very basic room, we lucked out and were able to move one bed opening the door to make adjoining rooms. "Team Room" for the 4 of us and our friend we made along the way. Toilets are downstairs and at the other side of the building. 2 showers, both downstairs kind of hidden behind the building. The place is definitely under construction, but really, if you just need a place to crash, this is it!

We arrived to the main building at 4:45am and had to wake the guy sleeping behind the reception - oops 😏. He asked our budget and we said "cheap cheap", like 3,000 Kyat. He then got on the radio and called the night security over for us. From there the security guard takes you down the street about a block, then another block down on your right to a separate building. Haha perfect scenario for a funny 5am story,

None of the staff speak English so please be patient with them! Super sweet family and the building is actually pretty impressive. Confirm the price by using the calculator on your phone, then you're all good!

Lights out and time to crash! Cool thing is not only did we get rooms right away, we didn't have to pay anything for checking in so early! Just the 3,000 Kyat for the next night.

As I mentioned, Hispaw is a super tiny town. Most come here for trekking. Unfortunately we had some bad weather and our two days were spent mostly indoors due to the rain. If you don't use the maps.me app, the map above is your best overview of the town. Although we didn't get to partake in all the fun, below is a list of suggested things to see/do.

We mainly ate at local family run stalls and street carts, but if you're craving something a little western, I highly recommend you make a stop at Mr. Shake's. They have delicious guacamole and the craziest flavored fruit and dessert shakes. Some even spiced with a little local rum!

Guacamole 1,500 Kyat
Shake 1,000 Kyat (little more with rum)

Another fun treat is to try out the local pastries! Until about 10am you can score some delicious coconut buns and local fried donut/bread dough. Soooo bad for you but soooo delicious. The earlier you go the better. These are a popular dish in the mornings at the local stalls and when they're out, they're out and you'll have to try again tomorrow.

A fun thing we got to experience was the Morning Local Market. It's located along the river and seriously starts at 4am! We were a little dead and didn't go till 5am, but still really enjoyed it!

It's mainly all meats, fresh fish and produce. Families either purchasing for their homes, or locals businesses. Not much to buy as a backpacker, but really neat to see each stall organized and lit by candle light.

Lastly, and always my favorite, hanging out with the kiddies!

There are at least 3 different schools in the area and the kids love to play! Majority of them are currently taking English classes so if you can make sometime to go spend an hour talking with them and playing games on the blacktop, you'll truly make their day!

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We survived!!

44 miles by foot... A game of hide and seek among Stuppas in the ancient city of Indien... Rode the water ride of a local boat as we cruised through the canals... Took in the sights of the floating villages... Then finally, a grand voyage across Inle Lake to the small township of Nyaung Shwe!

Nyaung Shwe is a small town - perfect for the much needed rest and relaxation after completing your trek. Haha let's be real, the perfect place for a hot shower and a bed to die in for a few days before moving on.

Would love to recommend a cute little place called Nawng Kham ~ The Little Inn.

We came across it as a recommendation and I want to make sure we backpackers continue to pass on the word! It's a super cute and clean family run business. Definitely on the smaller side with maybeeee 12 to 15 rooms. Again, why it's super important to book prior to taking off on your trek. We had big friendly smiles greet us at the door and our bags waiting for us in the lobby.

Basic Double Rooms -> $20 a night ($10 each)

> Large double beds or two single bed options
> Private bathroom in each room
> Hot shower!
> Breakfast included: Pancake or toast, coffee or tea as well as everyone gets half an avocado, bananas and an orange.
> Wifi that works in your room as well as the Lobby

They prefer you pay with US Dollar (USD), but also accept Kyat at whatever the dollar exchange rate is going that day.

Also, if you're looking for a great cheap place for a bite to each, check out the cute place across the street from Nawng Kham.

The guacamole and tomato salad are amazing! Super fresh and great flavor. As a fun treat they also include a plate of rice crackers for free!

Guacamole Salad -> 1,500 Kyat ($1.20 US)
Tomato Salad -> 1,000 Kyat ($0.80 US)
Bottled Water -> 300 Kyat ($0.25 US)

Total price of lunch since we split the guacamole salad between 2 of us: 2,050 Kyat ($1.65 US)

Sooooo delicious!

When you're ready to leave this little sleepy town - no stress, there's a travel agency around basically every corner.

Next destination for our girl group is up in Hsipaw. We were able to find tickets ranging in price from 15,000 Kyat - 18,000 Kyat. The negotiated 15,000 Kyat price was because we were booking 4 bus tickets together. Walk around and make a few friends, I'm sure you'll be able to do the same!

Good questions to remember:
> Is there pick up from your guest house?
> How many hours is the ride?
> What time will you arrive in ______ town?
> Is transportation to your next guest house in _____ town included?



Thank you for being so patient! The lack of wifi got the better of me but it's finally time to get all back up to speed!

After spending an afternoon wondering through history, it was time to make our grand voyage over Inle Lake, ending in Nyaung Shwe.

Inle Lake is located in the township of Nyaung Shwe. This is in the Taunggyi District, Shan State. It's a freshwater lake and the 2nd largest body of body in the country. It's a pretty shallow lake with the depth ranging between 7ft and 17ft (approx. 2 1/3m and 4 2/3m).

Although it's not a very large lake, it's home to over 20 species of snails and 9 species of fish found no where else in the world.

Inle Lake is also famous for the Intha people and their unique leg-rowing style of transportation. The Intha tend to live in the 4 cities that border the lake as well as many small villages that fill the space between.

Local fishermen are known for using a very specific style of rowing which involves standing at the front of the small canoe style boat (bow), while balancing on one leg, they wrap their other leg around the oar.

The unique style evolved from the lake and the type of vegetation that grew at the surface. The entire lake is covered in reeds and floating plants making it difficult to see over. The standing position gave the rower a better view beyond the reeds and allowed for smoother navigation. To this day the leg-rowing style is still only practiced by men. Women row in a more common style sitting cross legged towards the back of the boat (stern).

The lake itself is a great place to go explore. If you ask prior to your boat departure, you can arrange for the boat man to take you on a tour through the floating villages for an additional 1000 Kyat each. If you wait and want to do the tour on another day after making the crossing, they will charge you 7000 Kyat each.

Definitely worth it to take in your surroundings and go for a fun boat ride. Beware... this is a splash zone, anticipate getting a good cool off from time to time.

The Inle Lake are is very well known for its hand weaving industry. The Shan-bags, similar to tote-bags are produced in large quantities.

Silk-weaving is another very important industry, producing high-quality hand-woven silk fabrics of distinctive design called Inle Longyi. A unique fabric from the lotus plant fibers is produced only at Inle Lake and used for weaving special robes for Buddha images called Kya Thingahn (lotus robe).

The activities and sightseeing around the floating villages takes roughly 2 hours. After your tour, settle in and get comfortable. Don't forget the sunscreen! You have a fun 45 minute boat ride to the village of Nyaung Shwe.



Indein is a small historic town located near Ywama and Inlay Lake in the Shan State. What makes this little village so well known is the Shwe Indein Pagoda.

The pagodas were commissioned during the reign of King Narapatisithu. However, tradition holds that they were built by King Ashoka (known in Burmese as Dhammasoka) and renewed by King Anawrahta. No real archeological evidence has been found to support this so it remains a Burmese wise tail.

The main, and most popular way to enter the village is by river.

The boat ride to and from Indein is NOT included in your typical trekking tour package. While we were researching our trek, we realized this old historic city was just very close to our end destination.

Tone Le Village ➑️ Indein: 30 minute boat ride for 1000 Kyat (per person)

This mysterious place is at the end of the Indein creek. The creek is narrow with many twist and turns. Since the both sides are paddy fields you can see the farmers ploughing and harrowing by water buffaloes. At many places in the creek the farmers dam up the water by bamboo barriers to irrigate the paddy fields. Indein water is not only useful for irrigation also for bathing and washing cloths.

> Ladies, temple attire required. Meaning everything from your knees to mid arms need to be covered.

> You'll need to remove your shoes and socks to enter the main temple.

> Beware of the Camera fee! They have someone posted at every entrance collecting 500 - 1000 Kyat depending on the type of camera you use 😏.

When walking through the main entrance you'll come to a really really long path with touristy nick-nacks cluttering each side.

Look but don't touch 😁!

Then lots and lots more of these...

Other than the Shwe Indein Pagoda, the village itself is pretty quite. Perfect afternoon stop, but nothing more needed to take in the full experience.

Families getting in a little afternoon washing in the main river.



Burrrr!! Another cold morning here we go! Nothing like a couple jumping jacks and a little running in place at 4:30am to get the blood flowing.

Breakfast was at 5am and since it was eaten to the light of a few head lamps, I unfortunately don't have a picture. However it was very similar to the day before:
Watermelon, papaya, bananas, avocado halves, Myanmar style pancakes (similar to crΓͺpes) and a large pitcher of hot tea. Yum! 😍

Bags packed, breakfast eaten, a quick farewell and we were on the road by 5:30am.

So serene! Nothing but us, a 3/4 full moon, a few head lamps and thousands upon thousands of stars ✨.

Sunrise, here we come!!

Wow... I wish words could do it justice. All the huffing and puffing, goosebumps, tripping and running into each other - so worth it!!

It was the exact special moment we needed to pump us up and put some pep back in our step! Only 5 hours to go!

This is the point in the trek where you will have to pay $10 for entrance to Inle Lake Recreation. Since we left so early in the morning, we gave our money to Cookie and he ran it over to pay while we had a quick water break.

As the 5th hour was approaching, we made our final decent down the Rocky Mountain path. From there it spit us out in a field of bamboo with a small dirt road leading us to the village of Tone Le!

Ps. Be on the look out for water buffalo! Haha I'm serious, it's a thing!

Tone Le! We did it - this is the VERY LAST VILLAGE before we cross the finish line!

Roller coaster of emotions! In the last 2 1/2 days we covered 44 miles by foot! We physically push ourselves to a new level and it rewarded us with an incredible experience and story to tell. Being fully immersed in the culture allowed us to truly experience the language, different types of tribe life, traditional music, local cuisine and become educated on the agricultural. What more could you ask for?!

Arriving to Tone Le Village was also a moment of bitter sweet joy. Although we were through the roof ecstatic to be coming to the end, it was exactly that "the end". As we arrived on the outside of the village, we would have to say our good byes to Cookie. He had carried us for the last 3 days, but this is the point where we would climb in to our long boat and continue our journey down the canals without him.


1) To avoid all the other groups on the last day, ask to leave early. Day 1 and 2 you can avoid all the other tour groups by taking alternate routes. On Day 3, everyone merges together. By waking up early and watching the sunrise at the top of the mountain, we trekked the entire third day without crossing one other person 😍.

2) Please take care of your guide and chef! If you loved your guide and thought your meals were incredible, please let them know it!! A little appreciation $$ can really go a long way for them and their families ❀️.

Long boat rides through the "canal highway", an afternoon in the historic city of Indein, floating villages and the final voyage to Nyaung Shwe all coming soon! ✌🏼️



By far the coldest morning ever! The temperature had dropped down to 36F/7C during the night which left all of us chilled to the bone. Alarms went off at 7am then breakfast time promptly at 7:30am.

Fried toast, avocado salad, rice, honeydew melon, watermelon, bananas, sweet pound cake and a large pitcher of hot tea. 😍

With fully tummies we packed our bags, said our farewells and we're back on the road by 8am.

As we moved across the countryside You could see a significant difference in the types of crops being grown. Before when we were trekking through Palaung Villages, there were a lot of vegetables and citrus due to the more shades and heavily wet area. The farther east the drier the terrain become. Once we started crossing Pa-Oh Villages the main crop became chili, ginger and corn.

Cookie explained that most Pa-Oh people had switched over to Chili in the last few years due to its increased demand. One successful harvest can bring in roughly $90,000 in revenue!

Check out my Instagram @wonderfully.__.lost for video of these cuties playing in the chili fields while their family harvest. ✌🏼️

As mentioned before, Ginger Root is also a heavily concentrated crop in this region. One piece goes for 4,000 to 6,000 Kyat. When looking at the big picture, that adds up fast!

After being on the road for just over 4 1/2 hours we made a stop in town at a small Mom and Pop shop.

Great Noodle Soup, Tea Leaf Salad, watermelon, apple slices and a large pitcher of hot tea.

Exactly what we needed for an energy boost. Gave ourselves an extra 20 minutes to digest and re-bandage the lovely blisters starting to pop up, then off we went!!

About an hour and a half after our lunch break, we could see a fun little stream in the distance- just at the bottom of a basin. Goal was to make it there in another 30 minutes so we could relax and enjoy a water break siting next to it.

That put some hustle in our step πŸ˜‰.

8 1/2 hours after leaving the De Daw Aye Yir Family in the Taung Lau Village, we made it to the "main road" of the Pattu Village.

This would be our home for the night.

Cookie introduced us to the Oo Lon Family, our hosts for the night, then showed us upstairs to where we'd be staying.

Similar to the previous night, the family was so sweet and had already set up 6 beds all in a row along one side of the big family room. Bamboo mat with this time 4 blankets to crawl under come night time.

Enjoyed a quick cold water bucket shower then back inside for a good stretch.

We got together for a team meeting to discuss what we wanted to see for our last day. Across the board we all had the same plan in mind. We wanted to see all the markets within the floating villages, as well as make a stop in the city of Indein before making the final journey by boat to the city of Nyaung Shwe (The Finish Line).

While discussing the best plan of action, Cookie came to get us for dinner time 😍.

Pumpkin soup, Tea Leaf Salad, curry potatoes, green mango salad, oakra???, green beans, avocado, steamed rice and a large pitcher of hot tea.

Over dinner we discussed what we wanted to see with Cookie and asked how we could make it all happen. In order to fit it all in, he said we'd need to be on the road by 5:30am the next morning. But as a bonus, we'd be coming down the maintain at sunrise! 😍

Sweet! Done and done. Good night to the world, this meant an early night for all of us.



Again sooo much good food!! Once we were all fat and happy, the family invited us to join them fireside.

So sweet, they had set out a little wooden stools for each of us. It was no bigger than maybe 8in off the ground, but just enough so you didn't have to sit in the dirt - perfect!

Mama joined us so it was time to start practicing our Burmese.

This is what I have so far on my Burmese cheat sheet:

Basic Burmese
La - question
De - answer
Boo - negative
Ehh - yes
Ayy - ok / yes
Pah - I am

Sala- hungry
Chia - like this
Chee - like you
Sorry - sorry
Nico - how are
Mee - fire or warm

Mama - older sister
Nema - younger sister
Ahco- older brother
Memo - younger brother

Tangesheen - friend

Ming la bah - hello
Yapa teh- your welcome
Na sa de - I'm hungry
Sorry Pah - I'm sorry

Ce Zu tin ba dah - formal thank you
Ce zu bah - casual thank you

Pa-Oh Burmese Dialect
Ce zu tanya- pohl tribe thank you
Ming la terda - hello
Oh ho ne - how are you / hello

Seriously so much fun!! For two 100% different groups with no common language, we learned so much about each other!! The art of hand gestures, patience and an encouraging smiles - wow, goes such a long way!!

We learned Mama is one of 3 siblings. Both of her brothers also live here in the village with their families. Mama has 4 kids, 3 boys and 1 girl. Her daughter just had a baby and lives on the very outside of the same village. Her oldest son married someone from the Pa-Oh tribe so he had to leave their village. Per tradition, when marrying outside the tribe, you have to make home wherever the woman was raised. Her two other sons still live with her She brought both boys over so we could meet her "babies"(late teens and early 20's). We also got to meet her husband.

When Cookie came over to try and help us translate, he was blown away by how much of their life story we had totally nailed. πŸ™ŒπŸΌ Yesss!!! Super excited to be getting the hang of this.

Now that we'd learned about the family and we're starting to put together key phases in Burmese, it was time to start teasing the sons a little. Already super shy having a group of 6 girls taking over their home, man did they sure want to go hide when we started asking about their hobbies and work duties during the day. Although it was pulling teeth to learn, we found out the older of the two sons was a musician!

Around the campfire we asked maybeee 10 times if he'd play for us, haha yah it was a no go. Oh well, we were still loving every minute with this family.

About 15 minutes later, after most of the family and friends had left their seats next to the fire, Cookie approached us and said they had a surprise - "please follow me". Well ok?! Why not! We all got up and followed him in the dark past 4 houses, down an embankment and into a small standalone cement building.

Such an amazing surprise!! We had just been invited to "band practice"! Still can't believe this really happened!!

Really neat to see the elders take such pride in teaching the traditional music and dance to their younger generations. Burmese music includes a variety of folk traditions. A distinct form called the byaw is often played at religious festivals and is sung to the beat of a long and thin drum, with occasional interruptions by the beating of a larger drum.

Musical instruments include the brassse (which is like a triangle), hne (a kind of oboe) and bamboo wa, as well as the well-known saung, a boat-shaped harp.

Traditionally, instruments are classified into five groups or classes, called Pyissin Turiya:

> Kyei - brass instruments
> Thayyei - leather-covered drums
> Kyo - string instruments
> Lei - wind instruments
> Letkhout - percussion instruments

We spent hourssss dancing and laughing to the beat of the drums. My initial reaction to the rhythm of their traditional music was chaos, totally overwhelmed. Haha but really, I mean that in the nicest way!! At first it sounds all over the place and kind of crazy, but once you start to identify each instrument and the role it plays to the big picture, it's really beautiful. The tempo changes 3 or 4 times throughout a song keeping you on your toes. It's just so happy and upbeat and you can feel the passion in those playing the instruments who then cues those singing which then lightens the room and makes everyone want to jump up and dance!!

Check out my Instagram @wonderfully.__.lost for more amazing dance and music video clips from this night. 🎢



After indulging in wayyy too much amazing food, we wrapped up lunch and hit the road! πŸƒ

Another 2 hours down!! As we rounded the corner of another ginger root field, we arrived in the Hin Ka Gon Village. Walking into the "center" we could hear kids laughing and music playing. We all looked at Cookie with big begging eyes, haha and he led us the rest of the way.

The school we found was for grades 1 to 5. Walking down the building you could see that each grade was divided into its own classroom. While every classroom was busy, it was the 3rd grade class that looked like they were having the best time ever!! 😍

We were having so much fun just watching, when all of sudden the class turned and waved for us to join!! Those kids have some seriously hip dance moves going on πŸ˜‹!! We all took our place in line, and totally got schooled by a bunch of 8 year olds. Most amazing afternoon!!

Totally on a high from such an amazing day, we basically skipped the last mile into the Taung Lau Village. 8 hours and 15.8 miles later, we had finally arrived to the village where we'd be sleeping for the night.

Cookie walked us up the dirt road and shared with us the names of all the families that had shared this village for multiple generations. Looking around, all the homes were made with woven bamboo walls. Most were two story, their livestock living below, while the family shared one large common room above.

Half way through the village we were greeted by the De Daw Aye Yir Family. They were our host family that we'd be having dinner and staying with for the night.

They welcomed us into their home with open arms! The house was two stories (see below). 1st story was split in two. 1st half was for the livestock, 2nd half closes to the street was for their kitchen. The 2nd story were the living quarters. It was one large room, the full width of the structure, with 1/4 of it separated by a bamboo woven wall. The rest was just open living space with wicker mats layers throughout. An outhouse and a well for bucket showers was placed in the backyard behind the linen lines.

The family had so nicely made up 6 beds for us all side by side at one end of the room. Simple: blanket down, a pillow, and 3 blankets to cover ourselves. Perfect!

As the sun was starting to set, the temperature drastically started dropping. We all got in a quick face wash and bucket "refresh" shower, then switched into our clean set of clothes.

Before we knew it it was dinner time!

For dinner we were each served a portion of steamed rice, then family style, they had prepared us grilled chicken and curry caramelized onion, corn soup, zucchini, homemade French Fries, sautΓ©ed spinach and watercress, and a carrot with split pea salad. Wow! Not only did it look amazing, talk about being so healthy!!

Final touch that goes with all Myanmar meals is a pot of fresh, hot, local green or black tea. Exactly what our cold hands and bodies were looking for!!

You would think, wow, what a phenomenal day... How could it get any better?! Well guess what, it does!!

The "struggle is real" when it comes to finding wifi out hereπŸ˜‹. Promise to do my very best to get my post loaded from our games with the family around the campfire and our invite to a crazy Burmese band practice ASAP! ✌🏼️



Hi All! I'm going to do my absolutely best to share in words how incredible my last 3 days were! With each day super packed with education, culture, local tribe interactions, silly fun and of course getting our booties physically kicked - I'm going to break this up into a few posts so I can really do the trek justice.

Day 1, we were super excited to get our day started!! Checked in at 8am to organize our big bags for transport. From this point forward we only had our day packs. Our main bags would be sent ahead and await our arrival in Nyaung Shwe.

Trek Team:
Jasmin - Switzerland
Sofie - Sweden
Alex - U.S.
Katty - Germany
Stephanie - Germany
Myself - U.S.

After getting checked in, Mr. Sam, original founder, was there to meet us, share his appreciation and challenged us to "be curious" and ask our guide lots of questions.

Ko Chit Lwin "Cookie" (Left) introduced himself as our guide for the next three days, as well as Ko Soe Moe (Right), the groups personal Chef. 😍

8:30am sharp - time to get trekking!

3 1/2 hours into our trek we came across a small school in the Hin Ka Gon Village, home of the Palaung Tribe. The school was one long rectangular building, the structure made of bamboo woven walls with a dirt floor. Within the building, it was divided into 3 sections (by age group) with 3 different teachers giving lesson plans.

Neat to see the English sentence of the day was "Who was happy yesterday?" (bottom right chalk board).

Check out my Instagram @wonderfully.__.lost for video of these little cuties❀️

A good half hour or so after having fun with the kiddies, it was time to hit the road. The trail took us up and over rolling hills and through many families backyards.

At one point in the Kan Bar Ni Village, Cookie, our guide, stopped in at one of the homes to introduce us to the family. He explained how their main source of income came from harvesting coffee beans as well as growing mandarin oranges.

The Mama of the house was so cute! As Cookie explained the process of de-shelling the beans, she ran off into their orchard and picked us each a mandarin to take with! 🍊 Soo good, and definitely what we needed for a little pick me up. After 4 1/2 hours, we were ready for lunch.

For lunch we stopped at this tiny family run Indian restaurant. More like a families home that they turned into a place for Trekkers to eat along the way. The food and tea is included in your Trekking Package, but they give the option to purchase water, cola and beer if you want it.

Grub time! We were served traditional roti style Indian nann bread, lentil soup, zucchini and cauliflower curry, tomato coleslaw salad, avocado salad and bananas for dessert. Wow and yum! 😍 Best part was the head of the house coming around and insisting we have seconds of basically everything!

2nd Half of the Day Coming Soon!! ✌🏼️



If you're going to be in this part of the world a big "Must Do" is the trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake. It's a breathtaking journey through the back mountains and allow one on one time between you and families in their hill tribes.

The trek can be done either as a 3 day / 2 night trip or driven partially for a 2 day / 1 night trip.

As far as accommodation during your trek, you get to stay with a local family in their woven bamboo home. Each group is placed with a different family so you get to actually spend time with them learning the culture.

Let's be real people, if you're all the way in Myanmar and thinking about doing this trek, you better buck up and go big! The 3 day / 2 night is the way to go!

With Kalaw being the main hub and starting point, you're going to come across a ton of different trekking agencies. How do you choose? They all sell the same "big idea".

It's what they offer or don't offer in the small print that determines Deal or No Deal.

Where to start:
1) Pick which hike you want to do. (3 day / 2 day).

You already know my opinion on the subject. Just suck it up and make a commitment to doing something extraordinary. That something that will absolutely kick your ass and maybe even test your personal limits. The difference is you'll be able to walk away victorious! Physically you've killed it, you pushed your body to its limits and it gave you the strength to climb that one last hill. Along the way you got to learn. You will become an individual rich in the local culture. Language, meal preparation, fire building, local music. Those are all tangible and if you're passionate about embracing it - Victory shall be yours!

2) What's included in your proposed package?
> bag transportation from Kalaw to your guest house in Nyaung Shwe?
> fees for guide rental?
> housing?
> number of meals / snack breaks?
> water - included?
> park fee ($10) included?
> boat transportation across Inle Lake to Nyaung Shwe?

Those are the majority of the big things to keep in mind while you go from agency to agency learning what they have to offer.

After much research we decided to go with Sam's Family Professional Trekking Guide Service. Everything we were looking for was included, they were willing to change our route so we could avoid other groups, they gave us the options we wanted to add extra sight seeing at the end and they were so friendly!!

Signed up for the 3 day / 2 night trek with the "extended/alternate route". This meant over the next 3 days we would cover roughly 44 miles by foot πŸ’ͺ🏼.

All the Deets:
> 45,000 Kyat per person with a group of at least 5 people. (We went and made 2 friends)
> 7 meals included
> 2 nights in a local families home along the way. Both homes will be woven bamboo and you will either be on the dirt 1st floor or above the barn on the 2nd floor depending on the home. Either way a bamboo mat and blankets will be provided.
> Luggage transportation included. The day you leave for your trek your big bag will be collected and driven to Nyaung Shwe to await your arrival.
> Boat transportation included. When you finish the trek at Inle Lake, a boat will be provided to take you the 1 1/2 hours across the lake to the city of Nyaung Shwe.
> Guide fees and personal group Chef included. Guide to stay with you from Kalaw until boat transportation arrives at Inle Lake. Chef to be present and prepare each meal unless provided by local family restaurant during lunch time.

Not included:
> Water, but plenty of places to purchase or refill along the way. Refill stations are taps in families backyards. πŸ˜‹ Legit Mountain Spring Water.
> Park entrance fee of $10. You'll pay this on your third day as you enter the Inle Lake recreation area.
> Gratuity for your Guide and Chef. Believe it or not, they do these treks usually twice a week and only make their money to survive off your generous contribution. So if you love your guide and the food was delicious, let them know it!

What You'll Need:
> Day bag/ruck sack
> One set of trekking clothes you can wear for 3 days. Pants are smart for the chilly mornings and protecting you from the shrubbery along the narrow paths.
> One pair of shorts (Hot Season)
> One bathing suit for a dip in the river (Hot Season)
> One rain jacket (Wet Season)
> One set of clothes to change into for evenings around the campfire and sleep time.
> 3 maybe 4 pairs of socks
> One good jumper/sweatshirt for when the temperature drops at night.
> One small towel to dry off from basic bucket shower or dip in the river.
> Trekking/Running/Tennis Shoes. Definitely not the time to break in something new.
> One pair of flip flops/sandals.
> Power Bank to be able to recharge your camera. No power source for 3 days.
> Sunscreen
> Bug Spray
> Lots of Plasters/Band Aids and a basic first aid kit.
> 1 or 2 Liters of water

Super excited! We signed up to start our trek tomorrow! Check-in 8am, then literally start walking at 8:30am!

Wish us luck! See you all in 3 days! Can't wait to share all the fun stories and pictures from our adventure! ✌🏼️