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Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival, Inle Lake

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival

Set in and around the stilted villages of Inle Lake the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival is one of the largest Buddhist festivals in Myanmar. The festival is held from the first day of the waxing moon to the third day after the full moon of Thadingyut: September and October in our Western calendar.

The celebrations continue for more than 20 days as four out of five revered Buddha images are paraded around the lake in an elaborate, gilded barge pulled by traditional long boats manned by hundreds of rowers. The locals involved in pulling the barge row in a unique fashion with their legs, a method designed to aid endurance. Throughout the festival rowing competitions are held, which makes for a wonderfully visual spectacle. Pilgrims from all over the country come to this festival to pay homage to the four Buddha images and gain merit whilst enjoying the festive air of the event. Over the years these images have become so embalmed by gold leaf that it is difficult to recognize them. The mysterious fifth Buddha image is left to 'guard' their original resting place at the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda whilst the festival takes place. Do make sure you ask your guide for the story of the fifth image!

The order of the procession is subject to late changes as there is no fixed route for the festival. Your guide throughout your period in Inle Lake will take you to the best locations to enable you to join in the festivities.

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Other experiences in Inle Lake

These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities that will introduce you to the local ways of life.

  • Inle Lake Boat Trip
    A leg rower transports his goods on one of the channels to Inle Lake

    Inle Lake Boat Trip

    Inle Lake Boat Trip

    Around Inle Lake there are many small villages which connect to the main lake by means of narrow canals. Once out on the lake you may see the unique leg-rowing fishermen who stand up on their boats to give them a bird's eye view of the fish in the very shallow waters.

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  • Stilted villages of Inle Lake by traditional canoe
    Inle Lake, Burma (Myanmar)

    Stilted villages of Inle Lake by traditional canoe

    Stilted villages of Inle Lake by traditional canoe

    Your rower will guide you through the canals, among the stilt houses and floating gardens of the Intha people who live on the lake. The setting sun will provide an atmospheric light for some memorable photos.

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