Inle floating markets, Myanmar

One of the popular things about boat tripping along at Inle lake is visiting the markets. There's a series of local markets that rotate over a 5-day period. We visited one of the biggest outside Nyaung Shwe.

Trinkets, jewellery, handicrafts, locally made jade, and much more lines the stalls up and down this inlet. It is virtually impossible to pass by without buying something.

Trinkets, jewellery, handicrafts, locally made jade, and much more lines the stalls up and down this inlet. It is virtually impossible to pass by without buying something.

Behind the floating markets is a regular food market, full of locals buying and selling veggies, fruit, betel leaves, rice, spices, shoes, haircuts, and more. I just love wandering through markets like this.

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If you really want to experience the friendly and generous nature of the Burmese people, take a small child along with you. Our kids received so much attention, smiles, cheek squeezes, head pats, group photos and compliments everywhere we went that I sometimes felt I was escorting celebrities through the country.

At this market, for example, Lara received, along with all of the above, a rice cake, a mandarin, some money, a tomato, and a hair clip. All for being small and cute.

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Inle is famous for its floating vegetable 'gardens', moored strips of vegetation lining the canals around the edges of lake. And especially for its tomatoes - Inle produces about 50 tonnes of tomatoes a year, 60% of the Burmese output. If you've tried the delicious Burmese tomato salad with peanuts, sesame, and fried shallots, you'd see why.

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Do you love visiting markets?