Overheard: People Politics in Inle


Overheard is our series of snippets/conversations that we have with other travelers and/or locals along the way.

Perhaps it's because it's been on the tourist map for a bit now, but we found the most talkative and inquisitive locals in Inle when compared to our other destinations. The retired school teacher at the market was hopeful that the government would really turn things around this time. "America is higher, higher," he kept on saying, while making it clear that Burma was "lower, long way to go." The monk at the monastery of formerly jumping cats could not understand my Sanskrit chants, but did say that he himself didn't know why he allowed the vendors to sell their wares on his front porch. "They live hand to mouth," he said. "What can I do?" The locals all proudly showed off their Obama posters, calendars, and Obama/Biden bumper stickers. "Do you know him?" they asked, with wide smiles.

Rob and I nodded, all the while thinking how much the promise of America means to this country and how so many of Americans take it oh so much for granted. The Burmese aren't even allowed to speak about their government to foreigners.

Making lunch over special wood stoves at the market in Nyaungshwe, Myanmar

More Inle Lake

Check out our Inle Lake photo tour and tips for backpacking Inle Lake. For the nitty gritty details of Inle, check out our Inle Lake how-to page.

What Do You Think?

Let us know in the comments.