Photo: Zooming across Inle Lake.



Where to stay in Inle Lake
Backpacker - Under US$20

Beautiful Inle Lake offers a huge range of places to stay across all budgets. Some 100 guesthouses, hotels and resorts are spread around the lake and also concentrated in nearby Nyaung Shwe town, where the eating and drinking options are broader too. All but one of our recommendations are concentrated in Nyaung Shwe. We prefer the town rather than lakeside accommodation as the resorts built on... Read our full review of Where to stay in Inle Lake.

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Nyaung Shwe

Most of Inle Lake’s accommodation, including nearly all our recommendations, are concentrated in Nyaung Shwe itself. The town’s hotel scene has improved in recent years, with plenty of new additions and much-needed renovations of older establishments. Be warned though that many of the town’s choice addresses tend to be on the small side, so book ahead if possible for high season, which runs November to February.

As of 2016, Nyaung Shwe and Inle Lake had close to 100 guesthouses, hotels and resorts. Though there is now supposedly a moratorium on issuing new licenses, larger hotels and upmarket resorts set up by international chains or wealthy Burmese continue to rise. Up until recently, most low-key, in-town spots were run by local families; now Novotel has moved in and a Westin was under construction when we last stopped by.

Rates are compatible with what you’ll find in any provincial Burmese town, while quality is often above average. Every location we visited provided ticketing and travel information, had helpful staff, and included breakfast and dodgy WiFi.

Nyaung Shwe is surrounded by marshland and in rainy season in particular is mosquito infested. While some places will have nets, they might not reach all the way around the bed, so consider taking one with you. Also bear in mind that this area has a generally cooler climate than low-lying Burma, so outside of hot season, air-con may well be unnecessary. Hotels generally offer breakfast as part of their room rate; the meal generally consists of eggs, choice of coffee or tea, toast, fruit and juice. Most are happy to provide a local-style dish if you let them know in advance.

Inle Lake View Resort
Toprange - US$100 to $200
Khaung Daing
T: (097) 8764 4701-2

Our only recommendation outside of town -- and it is a very good one -- is the Inle lake View Resort in Khaung Daing village. While lakeside, the resort is built on dry land and has relatively easy land (or boat) access to Nyaung Shwe town. Furthermore, their eco efforts are concrete and genuine rather than a mere advertising ploy. The water recycling system and organic garden are initiatives... Read our full review of Inle Lake View Resort.

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Remember Inn
Backpacker - Under US$20
Haw (Museum St), Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 257

A reasonable location, great rooms, friendly service and exceptional rates make Remember Inn our favourite in Nyaung Shwe. Prices may look fairly standard, but rooms are well above average – and there are no high season supplements. The location on Museum Street, directly opposite the museum itself, is a bit of a hike from the jetties, but it's just a short walk to the market and most... Read our full review of Remember Inn.

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Aquarius Inn
Backpacker - Under US$20
Phaung Daw Pyan Rd, Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 352, (081) 209 615, (095) 521 4852

Aquarius Inn boasts a small but lush garden setting and offers both fan-cooled shared-bathroom rooms as well as air-con ones with ensuite bathroom. The funky, object-filled, museum-ish reception creates an immediately fun atmosphere. The wood-built fan rooms are small, with not much room for more than a bed, and they have decidedly thin walls, but they are clean, as are communal bathrooms.... Read our full review of Aquarius Inn.

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Golden Empress Hotel
Flashpacker - US$20 to $40
19 Phaung Daw Pyan St, Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 037

The Golden Empress Hotel, which has just 13 rooms, is one of our top flashpacker picks for Nyaung Shwe, thanks to tastefully decorated rooms and super-friendly service. It fills fast being so small, so book ahead! The powder-blue main house has seen a relatively recent conversion to an inn-style hotel and care and thought clearly went into doing so. The cosy reception and restaurant area... Read our full review of Golden Empress Hotel.

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Inle Inn
Flashpacker - US$20 to $40
Yong Gyi St, Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 016

Inle Inn is a low-key, family-run guesthouse offering very good value rooms with only a minimal high season supplement. The friendly Intha family have added two rows of rooms aside their main wooden house, creating a cosy, covered seating area between. A wooden block to the left has pleasantly decorated and recently (as of 2016) renovated fan-cooled rooms with varnished woven bamboo wall... Read our full review of Inle Inn.

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May Guest House
Backpacker - Under US$20
85 Myawaddy Rd, Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 417

May Guest House is a charming and popular little spot -- it's one of our favourite budget picks for Nyaung Shwe, with rooms starting at a bargain $15 in low season and $20 in high. We simply couldn’t find many other spots around with clean rooms and ensuite bathrooms at those rates. The guesthouse is set in a very cute garden and with the friendly family who run the guesthouse and its small... Read our full review of May Guest House.

NK Little Inn (Nawng Kham)
Backpacker - Under US$20
Phaung Daw Pyan Rd, Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 195

Nawng Kham, or NK Little Inn, has a cosy, friendly vibe and while firmly in the budget category you can see effort and care has been put into the rooms. Staff are friendly and welcoming, making this one of our cheapie faves. It's a cute, family-run operation that's seen a family townhouse converted into a reception and cafe area, with a string of one-storey rooms squeezed into the former yard.... Read our full review of NK Little Inn (Nawng Kham) .

Pyi Guesthouse
Midrange - US$40 to $100
35 Phaung Daw Pyan Rd, Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 076, (081) 209 255

Funky flashpacker fave Pyi Guesthouse (pronounced “pee”) is found amid a growing and eclectic range of accommodation along Phaung Daw Pyan Road. The extremely friendly couple running the spot showed us spic and span rooms and plenty of nooks and crannies for beer drinking. This is a great spot if you’ve got a few extra dollars to spare. Rooms are simply decorated but immaculately looked... Read our full review of Pyi Guesthouse.

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Golden Dream Hotel
Flashpacker - US$20 to $40
5 Yone Gyi St, Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 764, (081) 209 598

Golden Dream, along with dingier Hu Pin, is one of Nyaung Shwe’s longer-standing hotels. Unlike Hu Pin, Dream has seen a bit of TLC put into their rooms. It doesn’t exude charm from the exterior -- it's a three-storey concrete block painted beige -- but the rooms themselves are pretty good. If you favour a more classic hotel style, their rates are going to be lower than the newbies going... Read our full review of Golden Dream Hotel.

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Hotel Amazing
Midrange - US$40 to $100
Corner of Yone Gyi St and the small canal, Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 477-8

Rooms are excellent in this small, low-key hotel and location isn’t bad either, overlooking a little stream that bisects the eastern end of Yone Gyi Road. Rates however are a little high; if they lowered them by $20 or so, we think this would be a reasonable option. Sixteen rooms are located in a modern two-storey strip, with reception at one end and a small indoor cafe at the other. For... Read our full review of Hotel Amazing.

Inle Star
Flashpacker - US$20 to $40
49 Canal (Kann Nar) Rd, Nyaung Shwe
T: (093) 616 7590, (097) 9848 6375

Inle Star Hotel has a good though noisy location on the waterfront road, just a short hop down from Yone Gyi and its eateries as well as the jetties. We'd go for one of their air-con rooms with balcony. While Inle Star has plenty of views over the boat activity on the canal, this means it's going to make it very noisy early morning. Rear rooms will be quieter, but then they lack the views --... Read our full review of Inle Star .

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La Maison Birmane Inn
Midrange - US$40 to $100
Kyaunn Taw Shayt St (Off Mingalar Rd, opposite hospital), Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 901

La Maison Birmane Inn lays claim to being Nyaung Shwe’s original boutique hotel. With just 10 rooms and with a good reputation, prices are high though it's all very tasteful and the staff – and chefs – are impeccably trained. The Inn, certainly cute, is French run -- and so with plenty of French-speaking guests -- and large doses of Gallic flair and charm have gone into the design of the... Read our full review of La Maison Birmane Inn.

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Min Ga Lar Inn (also Mingalar Inn)
Flashpacker - US$20 to $40
Phaung Daw Pyan Rd, Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 198, (081) 209 899, (095) 216 278

What makes Min Ga Lar Inn stand out from Nyaung Shwe’s plentiful small guesthouses is its swimming pool. How often a pool in the relatively cool temperatures of Inle is of use is debateable, but there would certainly be some days when a dip could well be welcome. Otherwise the Inn offers just a handful of rooms and a cosy set up in a central location. The setting is a two-storey, newly (as... Read our full review of Min Ga Lar Inn (also Mingalar Inn) .

Paradise Hotel
Midrange - US$40 to $100
40 Museum Rd, Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 321-2

One of Nyaung Shwe’s longest running mid-range options, Paradise is still one of the best all-round deals in town. It was undergoing a make-over to boot when we last visited. The old wooden reception and restaurant has been demolished and while awaiting completion of a new one, the main entrance and reception has moved round the corner just down the side lane. A newly renovated four-storey... Read our full review of Paradise Hotel.

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Sandalwood Hotel
Midrange - US$40 to $100
Phaung Daw Pyan Rd, Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 647, (095) 214 474

Sandalwood is very well located and offers comfortable rooms at very competitive rates, year-round. It looks like a large villa, with three floors and an open rooftop painted in various shades of beige and brown. Some rooms have balconies, some views and some neither, so see what they have available on arrival. All rooms are clean and, for the price, very well decked out, with ensuite... Read our full review of Sandalwood Hotel.

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Teak Wood Hotel
Flashpacker - US$20 to $40
Kyaung Daw Anouk Rd, Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 250

Teak Wood Hotel is a longstanding family-run guesthouse that has gradually expanded over the years into a more substantial, small hotel-style establishment. The original two-floor, ramshackle brick and teak house remains, offering several uninspiring standard rooms, while four slightly dingey bungalows in a single-storey block are found in a yard out back. The best are the superior rooms in a... Read our full review of Teak Wood Hotel.

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Thanakha Inle Hotel
Toprange - US$100 to $200
Nan Thae St (over the bridge and left), Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 928, (081) 209 954

Thanakha Inle Hotel has possibly the best location in town, with very plush rooms, and prices to match, though no pool makes rates a little high. In this upper range, Thanakha is competing with cosy Maison Birmane, the stilt chalet charm of Viewpoint and classy Inle Lake View, with their infinity pool and lake background chic. We have them just missing out on the bronze. To reach Thanakha,... Read our full review of Thanakha Inle Hotel.

The Manor Hotel Inle
Flashpacker - US$20 to $40
16 Phaung Daw Pyan Rd, Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 946-7

The plush interiors and rustic teak exterior of recently opened The Manor work very well together, making it compare favourably to the new concrete blocks going up around town. The two-storey, dark teak and red-tiled building is found among several newer hotels on the corner of Phaung Daw Pyan and Kyaung Taw Anauk streets to the south of the town centre. Much of the ground floor is left open,... Read our full review of The Manor Hotel Inle.

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Viewpoint Lodge
Toprange - US$100 to $200
Tain Nan Bridge & Canal, Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 062, (094) 5000 6601, (093) 630 0969

Plush Viewpoint Lodge is the only spot in Nyaung Shwe town with stilt rooms on wooden walkways over water. If you’re looking for that Inle-meets-Maldives style of accommodation but don’t want to be imprisoned on an overpriced trap in some corner of the lake, then this is for you. But it won’t come cheap! Mind you, the rooms are superb and definitely superior to the lake ones we looked at.... Read our full review of Viewpoint Lodge.

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Gypsy Inn
Backpacker - Under US$20
82 Kann Nar Rd, Nyaung Shwe
T: (081) 209 084, (081) 209 144

A fine riverside location and low prices are Gypsy Inn’s main selling points -- otherwise it doesn't have too much going for it. The Inn is set in an imposing two-storey pale yellow villa on the Nyaung Shwe waterfront. Air-con rooms are upstairs in the main building while an older block to one side has the fan rooms. The latter come with either shared or private bathroom, with the ensuite... Read our full review of Gypsy Inn.

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Inle Lake? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Burma_myanmar.

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