Floyd and I enjoyed a wonderful vacation in Myanmar and Vietnam over Christmas break! Scroll to the bottom for links to blog posts about other parts of the trip.
Here are some of our memories from the town of Ngaung Shwe, where we stayed for three nights, in the beautiful Inle Lake region of Myanmar.
This is the guest house where we stayed. Cute, clean, and affordable, plus conveniently located right there in town, walking distance from everything. We recommend it!
Horse carts were a common sight on the streets there – both as a taxi for tourists and transportation for locals.
Inle Lake isn’t especially famous for its pagodas the way some parts of the country are, but still, they’re everywhere in Myanmar.
The entrance to the local open-air market. I enjoyed browsing in there.
The market had every kind of fresh produce you can imagine, as well as clothes, toys, souvenirs, and various other items.
Prices in the market are all negotiable.
This pottery was being displayed for sale at the side of the main road.
There are lots of great restaurants (with English menus, most featuring Western and other international cuisine) in Ngaung Shwe. When I ordered a chocolate cashew pancake for breakfast in one of them, I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. However, it was delicious!
We saw this sign by the main road and decided to see what traditional Myanmar puppetry was like. It didn’t cost much, and it was a very interesting cultural experience. 
One puppeteer handled all the marionettes, one dancing in each separate song. Afterward he came out and talked to the audience (a small group, there were only about ten of us) about the traditional craft of making and performing with the marionettes. He makes all his own and has some for sale in his little theater. Apparently it is a dying art in Myanmar, as the younger generation is no longer very interested in such things.
Floyd and I rented bikes from our guest house and enjoyed a scenic ride around the area. Ngaung Shwe is a farming community, and once we got outside the little town, everything was quaint and rural. I was fascinated at the glimpses of these traditional homes. As you can see, they stood on poles with walls woven from palm fronds or something similar.
We ended up riding the bikes up a hill to a nearby winery, from which there was a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside.
We spent the next day on a boat on Lake Inle. Stay tuned for my next blog post – those are still probably my favorite memories from the whole trip! 

Want to see more memories from our trip? Click on the links below!
Bagan-Mandalay River Cruise
Mandalay City
Ubein Bridge