The market is a must see place for any travelers visiting this area – Every day the tribe people from around the lake and the nearby mountains gather to sell their goods. They come and make the trade on boat, that’s why it is called “floating market”. It has another name “5-day market” since the locals rotate among 5 different sites around the lake daily. The main locations are Nyaung Shwe, Heho, Taunggyi, Mine Thauk, Shwe Nyaung, which are fixed in the schedule in advance.
Inle Lake covers an enormous area and there were many Princes in the Shan state in the old time. They ruled the areas around the lake. In order to share the taxes from people equally, the Prices decided to hold the market is different places and collect tax in their own land. By this way, the market also provides all the tribe people with equal chance to gather and exchange their produce… Nowadays, the market is still remained, and becomes a special culture point.
From early in the morning, the market gets jam-packed with local sellers. We can find a variety of vegetables such as tomatoes, beans, eggplants, peppers, garlic, scallions, and cheroots… There are also the hand-made items both for local demand and trading like Shan bags, longyis, lacquer ware, Buddha statues, and carvings… 5-day market is well-known, tourists are suggested to come here early as it gets extremely crowded after 8AM.
Last but not least, here is the chance to interact with different local tribes from the surroundings such as Pa-Oo, Intha, long-neck Padaung… The tourist will see people with colorful, different clothes, use their own language, culture and religion…; All comes to the market and each traveler has their individual discovery in the real local atmosphere.