We stayed overnight at two different tribal villages, the first belonging to the Danu tribe and the second, the Pa-O tribe. It was fascinating seeing how they lived as well as extremely humbling. They lead an incredibly tough life, predominantly farming crops by hand, with their meagre income now being able to be supplemented with the steadily growing tourism market in the short, 4 month, trekking season. As is so often found, although their possessions are few and their daily lives tough, they were incredibly welcoming and it was a real privilege to be part of their village, even just for such a short time.
As well as meeting the beautiful locals, we were treated to some stunning scenery. The first day saw us trek through the jungle up to high mountain peaks with amazing views. On the second day we walked through rolling countryside, reminiscent of rural France but with chilli, sesame and wheat crops instead of vineyards. Our final day brought a steep descent down to Inle Lake and a fascinating boat trip through the floating gardens on its tributaries. We also got up close with the famed Inle fishermen who steer their canoes with one leg wrapped around a long oar that serves as a rudder so that both hands are free to haul up the fishing nets.