In a nutshell
Indein is one of the villages that sites on the western side of the famous Inle Lake in Myanmar.
Why go to Indein
The village is known for its Buddha image that sits in a pretty whitewashed stupa atop a scenic hill and you will also find other pagodas and temples dotted around the area.
Many people visit Indein as part of a wider trip to Inle Lake and you will also find Indein Creek here which backs on to jade-green rice paddies and terraces. As such, on a visit to Indein you can take in farmers at work as well as young monks walking through the rice paddies on their way to the local monastery and this is a great way to see a more rural and authentic side of Myanmar.
Indein is usually a stop on your way to Inle Lake if you take a two- or three-day trek from Kalaw.
When to go to Indein
Myanmar has a dry season that runs from January to May and it can get very hot at this time. The wet season is from June to October but the rice terraces around Indein can flood which means that although it looks very pretty, it can be hard to move around the area properly. Many visitors choose to come to Indein in November and December as this is when the weather is stable and temperatures are manageable.
Where to stay in Indein
There is no real accommodation in Indein so you will need to stay in neighbouring Nyaung Shwe. Some of the choices include the Sweet Inn which is on Canal Road and has views over the neighbouring canal. They have rooms with fans and you get a twin room with a private bathroom for USD 16 including breakfast.
Another choice in Nyaung Shwe is the White Avenue 2 on the Main Road which has rooms with fans and hot water. A double room with a bathroom is around MYK 14,000 and they also have free Wi-Fi available.
On Jetty Road you will find Joy Hotel which overlooks the canal and is close to a range of reasonably priced local restaurants. They have twin rooms for USD 14 and a large balcony which is great if you want to take in the views over the water at sunset.
Where to eat in Indein
If you want to get something to eat in Indein then you will only find a few local places that serve simple fare, and many visitors choose to eat around Inle Lake and just visit Indein for a few hours.
If you plan to eat your main meals at Inle Lake then you can choose from spots such as Green Chili Restaurant which is in Nampan Village and has Thai and local Burmese dishes. The great thing about this restaurant is that you can sit on the balcony and look out over the lake as you dine.
Another choice is the Inle Heart View Organic Restaurant which is close to Myant Theintan Village and serves organic local produce which is grown in the surrounding areas. They also do cocktails which cost around MMK 3,000-4,000.
Alternatively you can visit the Lucky Star Restaurant on Museum Road which has a nice range of international and local dishes.
How to get around Indein
Once you are in Indein you can walk around the village easily on foot. To get there however you will need to rent a bicycle or a motorbike taxi. You can also rent a regular taxi from Nyaung Shwe.
How to get to and from Indein
To get to Indein you will first need to travel to Nyaung Shwe. To do this you can get a flight from Yangon which should cost around USD 110, or Mandalay which costs around USD 75. The closest airport is Heho and you will then need to get a taxi to the lake which takes around an hour. You can then take this taxi directly on from the lake to Indein or change and get a motorbike taxi or rent our own bicycle.
Another option is to take a bus from Yangon which takes around 12 hours at a cost of USD 20. You can also get a bus from Mandalay that costs USD 12 and takes around 8 hours. This will take you as far as Nyaung Shwe and you will then need to get a motorbike taxi to Indein. There is also the option of taking the bus from Bagan which takes around 8 hours to Nyaung Shwe at a cost of MMK 11,000.
Is Indein a safe place to visit?
Indein is considered a safe place to visit and most trips here are trouble free. There have however been reports of snatch thefts and pick pocketing in Myanmar so it is best to remain vigilant and make sure that you secure all your valuables in a money belt or leave some in a hotel safe when you are traveling in rural areas.