Trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

One of the most popular things to do while traveling around Myanmar is trek through the countrysides from Kalaw to the infamous Inle Lake. In this guide, I'll tell you everything you need to know about this incredible experience!


Trekking Options

There are 3 options to consider when picking a trek. Each option's price varies depending on how many people sign up for that trek on that day. Consider the following options:


1 day

For this trek, you don't go to Inle Lake, you just hike around the mountains surrounding Kalaw. The price list below includes lunch and this day tour:

1 person group: 27,000 MMK

2 person group: 17,000 MMK each

3-4 person group: 14,000 MMK each

5-8 person group: 12,000 MMK each

2 days, 1 night

For this trek, you will take a taxi to your starting point since you have less time to get to Inle Lake.

1 person group: 100,000 MMK

2 person group: 60,000 MMK each

3 person group: 45,000 MMK each

4 person group: 35,000 MMK each

5-8 person group: 30,000 MMK each

*The price list includes all meals, accommodation for 1 night, luggage transfer to your hotel in Inle Lake, boat ride on Inle Lake, and taxi transfer to the starting point

(Not included: drinking water, 15,000 MMK Inle Lake entrance fee)


3 days, 2 nights

For this trek, you will start walking directly from Kalaw city.

1 person group: 120,000 MMK

2 person group: 70,000 MMK each

3 person group: 50,000 MMK each

4 person group: 45,000 MMK each

5-8 person group: 38,000 MMK each

*The price list includes all meals, accommodation for 2 nights, luggage transfer to your hotel in Inle Lake, boat ride on Inle Lake, and taxi transfer to the starting point

(Not included: drinking water, 15,000 MMK Inle Lake entrance fee)


Trekking Itinerary

The most common option selected is the 3 day/2 night trek, which is what I did as well. There are numerous trekking companies in Kalaw, and they nearly all are the same price and itinerary. They will typically stop in different villages or take a slightly different path, but ultimately they're the same. I decided to go with Sam's Trekking because I read great reviews online. So below I will give you a detailed itinerary to help decide if this trek option is for you!


Day 1

8:00am - 8:30am Check in/pay

8:30am - 9:00am Trek begins from the tour office

9:00am - 11:30am Trekking time (mostly uphill)

11:30am - 1:30pm Lunch break (noodles with veggies & chicken, soup, and fruits)

1:30pm - 4:30pm Trekking time

4:30pm Arrive in village homestay (time for showering/relaxing)

6:00pm Dinner (chicken & veggie curry, rice, various vegetables)

Day 2

7:30 Breakfast (Burmese french toast, bread, various fruits)

8:00am - 11:00am Trekking time (lots of going both up and downhill)

11:00am - 1:00pm Lunch break (noodles with veggies, soup, and fruits)

1:00pm - 3:30pm Trekking time

3:30pm Arrive in village homestay (time for showering/relaxing)

5:30pm Dinner (various vegetables and rice)


Day 3

6:30am Breakfast (Burmese crepes, fruits, honey)

7:00am - 11:00am Trekking time (mostly downhill)

11:00am - 1:00pm Lunch break (fried rice with an egg, various fruits)

1:00pm - 1:20pm Walk to the boat

1:30pm - 2:30pm Boat ride on Inle Lake to Nyuang Shwe town

2:30pm Arrive in Nyuang Shwe, head to your hostel


What to Bring

The tour company will transfer your luggage to your hostel in Inle Lake, so you only need to bring a small backpack with your necessities. Based on my experience, this is what I recommend you bring:

- 2 T-shirts (be aware of your shoulders burning if you decide on a tank top!)

- 2 lightweight pants or shorts (pants will be a better option if you are prone to getting mosquito bites!)

- 2 socks

- running shoes or hiking boots (you will be completely fine doing this trek in standard running shoes, our guide wore flip flops!)

- hat & sunglasses

- sunscreen

- bug spray & anti-itch cream (it's inevitable that you will get bit A LOT, so try to prevent it and be prepared to help your itchiness)

- flip flops (for showering and wearing around the homestay village)

- Microfiber towel

- Toiletries

(Don't over-pack, you'll regret it during the entire trek)


My advice

I think this is a must-do experience when in Myanmar, and I really do recommend the 3 day, 2 night option. It's not that much more money, and you get more of an experience! Here are some tips I figured out on my trek:

- Bring snacks! Although the meals are tasty, I typically was hungry again in a couple hours. So having your own snacks will make your experience a lot more enjoyable


- Long socks > short socks. I got bit A LOT by mosquitoes, but the majority of my bites were around my ankles from the actual trek. Wearing long socks can help you avoid some unwanted bites

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- Bring a refillable water bottle! Usually every stop for water has refillable drinkable water. They overcharge you for water bottles (500 MMK, when they're 250 MMK in a regular shop), so this can help you save money since you'll be drinking a lot of water


- Use one of your clean shirts or clothing items to place over your pillow at night. I'm not sure how often or how well the sheets/pillow cases are cleaned. During my trek I got some weird vesicles (liquid-filled bubbles) on my face, and I'm not sure exactly why or what from, but I would assume the lack of cleanliness of pillowcases could have been a factor


- Shower right away! When we arrived both nights at the village home stays, I waited to be the last one to shower because I thought I would just start sweating again after I got out (which is true), but then I ended up showering in the dark one night and pouring rain the next. It's best to just shower right away and feel more comfortable.




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