Myanmar – Kalaw To Inle Lake Trek
High up in western Shan State on the Shan Plateau stands the idyllic small town of Kalaw. A former popular hill station for the British fleeing the heat of the plains, Kalaw is fast becoming a popular holiday stop for both the locals and foreign travellers. The town has very much retained its laid back atmosphere with a refreshing climate and scenic views. Many of Kalaw’s original colonial-era buildings remain too. The town is also notable for its significant population of Nepali Gurkhas and Indians, whose ancestors came here to build the roads and railway during the colonial era.
Surrounded by hills, Kalaw is now known as Myanmar’s trekking mecca offering a variety of options for exploration from a day hike to visit the local hill tribes or one of its many pagoda and monastery, to a multi-day trek to Inle Lake or Pindaya.
The multi-day Kalaw to Inle Lake trek is no doubt the most popular trek in Kalaw. It not only offers an interesting and scenic route to another one of Myanmar’s tourist highlights, Inle Lake, but also includes homestays with the hill tribe families. The trekking route through the hills will take you through pine forests, bamboo groves and hill tribe villages with rugged mountain views and local farming terraces.
About The Trek
The 3D/2N trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake covers a distance of 61km - 21 km the first day, 23km the second and 17km the third. This trek does not have drastic elevation of altitude or extreme mountain terrain to tackle. It is a tramping trek through hilly countryside mud trail. The trek starts from the hotel in Kalaw town on day 1. After about an hour walk on tarmac road, through the residential areas in the town, the trek merge to a mud trail that will take us through stretches of bamboo forests before the sprawling mountain scene come into view. On the hilly slopes, there are vast tea or orange plantations collapsing down the slopes to a deep valley. The trek continues through several hill tribe villages before we come to the one where our homestay is located. For the next 2 days, the trail continues to bring us to different hill tribe villages, at times passing through lovely rice, potato, vegetables and sesame fields, up and down over gentle rolling hills and other times along train tracks. The trek ends at Tone Lae, where we will have lunch, before the boat ride to main town in Inle Lake area - Nyaung Shwe.
The rainy season runs from June to September. During these months, the mud track on the trail can become extremely muddy, making it difficult or impossible to walk on.
October to January is the coolest season and the best time for the Kalaw to Inle Lake trek. There is little rain and the landscapes are still very green.
February to May is the hottest and dry season. It is still possible to do the Kalaw to Inle Lake trek during the hot and dry season. The daytime temperature is within bearable range from 30 to 25 degree C and the nights are cooling.
Fringe season : February to May
Best season : October to January
No trekking experience is required. Anyone with an average level of fitness can complete this trek. You will be trekking a total distance of 61km (21 km the first day, 23km the second and 17km the third) with a 3-5kg backpack load for 3 days.
Equipment and Gear
You can wear a quick dry t-shirt or trekking shirt, trekking shorts or pants and trail shoes for this trek. In the evening, at the home stay, a warm jacket (an insulating layer) may be needed. Bring rain gear and waterproof your backpack.
A recommended packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to learn about the layering system and choose the right gear/equipment for your trek.
The 3-10 Nov 2018 trip is part of our Start Trekking initiative. Through Start Trekking, we hope to encourage more people to take up trekking as a way to keep fit and see the world through nature.
The package fee is based on a group size of 10 - 20 people.
7-9 people: $950 per person
You can also form a private group for this trek.
|Day||Description||Meals||Altitude at Rest Point|
|Day 1||Arrive in Yangon. Overnight in Yangon.||-/-/-||59m|
|Day 2||Transfer to Kalaw (around 10hours drive). Overnight in Kalaw town.||B/-/-||1320m|
|Day 3-5||D/2N Kalaw to Inle Lake trek. 1st night home stay at Ywa Pu (a Danu tribe village), 2nd night home stay at Pattupauk (a Paoh tribe village) and last day boat ride from Tone Lae to Nyaung Shwe (main town in Inle Lake area).||B/L/D (except day 5 dinner in Inle Lake)||1320m to 1500m|
|Day 6||Free & easy day to explore Inle Lake area.||B/-/-||884m|
|Day 7||Transfer to Yangon (around 10hours drive). Overnight in Yangon.||B/-/-||59m|
|Day 8||Depart Yangon.(Programme ends here.)||B/-/-|
- Return airport transfer in Yangon
- All land transfer as indicated in itinerary
- Meals as indicated in itinerary
- Accommodation: 2 nights at local 3* hotel in Yangon (twin/triple sharing), 1 night at local 3* hotel in Kalaw, 2 nights at home stay during trek (mixed dorm style with mattresses, pillows and blankets) & 2 nights at local 3* hotel in Inle Lake
- Trek support: Trekking guide(s)
- Drinking water during trek: 2liters of bottled water per day
- Permits & fees: Inle Lake entry fee and boat ride to Inle Lake
- International air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
- Visa Fee (if any)
- Single Supplement
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- All tipping
- Personal porters
- Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover agent insolvency and trekking up to 2000m)
- Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
- Personal travel & trekking gear – warm clothing, shoes, backpacks etc
- Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
- Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg: climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items etc)
- Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions
We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the trip:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)
For Start Trekking : Training and Gear/Trekking Health Knowledge Sessions
To help you prepare for your first trekking adventure, we have included a training session and a gear/heathcare knowledge session prior to your trip.
The training session will cover all the basic trekking techniques on footwork, pacing, how to use the trekking poles etc.
The trekking gear/ healthcare knowledge session will cover the layering system, footwear, hydration and high altitude health concerns such as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) etc.
Our Local Operator
We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local operator has one of the top rating for organizing treks in Kalaw.
Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a trekking or mountain climbing trip.
Pure cardiovascular fitness is NOT enough.
Focus your training effort in the following areas, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:
- Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
- Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
- Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core
- Flexibility training - eg: Yoga and stretching exercises
A good five to six months of training would be a good preparation for this trek.
A recommended training guide specific to the trek or climb will be given to you upon signing up.
Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trek.
Refer to our Training Guide for tips on trekking and mountain climbing training.