The village of Indein boasts hundreds of moderately sized stupas from the 17th and 18th century. Indein can be reached by weaving through Inn Thein creek, shaded with lush greenery, to explore the periphery of Inle Lake. When you get off the boat in this relatively unassuming village, women in colorful, traditional garb calmly approach, selling handwoven scarves and other wears at very moderate prices. As you find your own way to the stupas either by walking up a dirt path or through the 700-meter covered walkway lined with stalls on either side, you’ll find yourself walking, unhindered, through history without the intense crowds and commercial feel of other tourist destinations.
Located in the southern area of the Lake is Sagar (or Sakar) village. It takes about a half a day’s boat ride, but the famous Sagar sunken stupas of the 17th century, natural beauty of the Shan hills, friendly people, and feeding groups of water birds chattering away make the day drip well worth it.
Located in the Pa-O area, Kakku is a sturdy symbol of Buddhist tradition in Myanmar. Kakku showcases more than 2,000 pagodas jutting up from the ground in beautifully arranged rows, some dating back as far as the 3rd century B.C. It’s location, high up in the hills, offers views overlooking the southeast side of the lake. It’s a bit isolated — roughly one-hour drive from Serenity — but its scenic views and unique history make this a worthwhile trip.
Kalaw is taking off as a trekking destination thanks to its elevated position at 1320m on the rolling, pine-clad hills of the Shan Plateau, dotted with Palaung, Pa-Oh, Intha and Shan villages.