Mystical? Dreamlike? Magic. During the course of calling 20 hotels to try to find one that had availability, I started wondering whether going to Inle was even worth it. Having spent four days here, I can say with utmost assurance that it is. Go to Inle. And go now.
The main reason to go to Kalaw is to do the three-day, two-night trek to Inle Lake. The typical route takes you through many hill tribe villages and has you spend one night in a family house and another in a monastery.