Kalaw is a small, hill town located in the Shan State. It’s more popularly known as the jumping off point for the Kalaw to Inle Lake trek in Myanmar.
After completing the 3-day trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake, we created a complete guide that breaks down any questions you have to make sure you are prepared and prepped for the trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake!
Where To Book Your Trek From Kalaw to Inle Lake
You can book your trek directly with a trekking agency once you get into the town of Kalaw. Or, if you are nervous on getting the days you want, reach out to the trekking agency and book ahead of time. You can each them via email or give them a call to book the days you want.
You should do this a few days a head of time to ensure you lock in the dates you need.
Who To Book Your Trek From Kalaw To Inle Lake With
After reading some reviews and other blog posts, we decided to book our trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake with A1 Trekking.
A1 Trekking was fantastic! Our guide was knowledgeable giving us insight about the villages in the Shan State as well as the flora and fauna. Also, our chef for the trek was amazing! Tasty meals served three times a day.
How Long Is The Trek From Kalaw to Inle Lake?
You have two options. You can do a 1 night / 2 day trek or a 2 nights / 3 day trek.
For this post, we are talking about the 2 night / 3 day trek as that is what we did 🙂
After the 2 night / 3 day trek is all said and done, you can expect to hike a total of 38 miles (61 kms) from start to finish.
Give or take, you can anticipate to hike about 13 miles (21kms) on the first day, 14 miles (23 kms) on the second day and about 10 miles (17 kms) on the third day.
How Much Does The Trek From Kalaw To Inle Lake Cost?
If you are thinking this trek is expensive, you are WRONG. The trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake was actually one of our least expensive few days in Myanmar.
The cost per person is $55 USD total making it average out at about $18 USD a day.
Please note, that the price could go up or down depending on how many people are in your group. For us, we saved about $5 per person (normal price is $60) for our group of 4.
What’s Included in The Trek Price?
The $55 a person covers the following in the trekking price:
- All our meals (3 days of meals)
- Two nights of accommodation
- Drinking Water
- Luggage transport from Kalaw to Inle Lake
What is not included are any additional soft drinks like beer and soda and the boat ride to your accommodation once you arrive and Inle Lake.
What To Pack For The Trek to Kalaw to Inle Lake?
You don’t need to pack a lot and what you pack should be light. The two of us got by just fine with an 18 liter pack (each).
Items to pack are as follows:
- 1 pair of Hiking pants / shorts
- 2 moisture wicking shirts
- Trail running shoes / sneakers
- 2 pairs of socks
- 2 pairs of underwear
- tooth brush
- hair comb
- hair ties
- face wash
- bar soap / shampoo / conditioner (only bring if you plan on showering)
- Dry-quick towel (to dry your face and hands after a wash)
- Jacket (depending when you trek, it can get pretty cold at night)
- Battery pack (to keep your gadgets charged)
- First Aid Kit
About The Trek From Kalaw To Inle Lake
This trek can be done by pretty much anyone in decent shape. No steep, constant inclines just gentle hills and flat land.
However, the days are long so expect to hike 6+ hours a day.
This trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake is a great way to get out into the hilly countryside of the Shan State of Myanmar. You’ll be away from the bustling cities and surrounded by nature.
The scenery is beautiful. You’ll pass through lush jungles, over rolling hills, ridge lines and farm lands. The landscape is so diverse and what you see over three days is just a treat for your eyes.
You pass through different Shan villages and each day, children rush from their houses to great you. Friendly smiles and hellos and a bit of curiosity all rolled into one fantastic greeting!
Your trekking days are filled with the sight of local people tending their crops, herding livestock and preparing goods to be sold such as scarfs, dried peppers, and coffee beans. Oh, and fantastic views!
You’ll pass water buffalo and cows and the occasion rickety truck steaming down an unpaved, bumpy road.
Your mornings and evenings are spent enjoying and observing daily life in the village you are staying in. It’s an eye opening experience seeing how happy people are and how they live.
At night, you will stay in villages with families in bamboo huts. You sleep on mats, use outdoor toilets and if you so wish to shower, grab yourself a bucket and get refreshed with cold bucket showers!
Side Note: If you do not enjoy or are not used to the “sounds of the night”, bring ear plugs. There is no city noise to drown out the barking dog, goat, or field mice squeaking and crawling by your head at night.
Arriving At Inle Lake From Kalaw
At the end of your 38 mile trek, you’ll arrive on the banks of Inle Lake.
Your guide will flag a boat down and have that boat take you to the drop off point for your accommodation.
Again, the boat ride is not included in your trekking fee so expect to pay the driver before you board.
Cruising on Inle Lake to your accommodation is a spectacular way to end the trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake! You get to sit back and rest those feet as the teak boat powers you through the freshwater of Inle Lake.
For The Budget Conscious: Golden Lily Guest House is a rustic hill town accommodation in Kalaw. The breakfast is good and each rooms has a balcony that give you some pretty views. Perfect for a one night stay before your trek.
For The Luxury Inclined: If you are looking for a colonial home with amazing views, clean and friendly staff and an amazing environment, look no further that Hillock Villa.
For Something In Between: Thitaw II has a way of making you feel like you stayed in a gem location without paying for the gem location price. It’s quiant, cozy and run by a staff who is an absolute pleasure.
For more places to stay in Kalaw, Myanmar, you can check out the latest places and prices here.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)