July – rainy season is in full swing, and I travel through Myanmar and later to Bangladesh. In Myanmar, one of the best things to do is to do a 3-day trekking tour from Kalaw to Inle Lake with a local experience and 64 Km walking over three days. Is it a good idea to do this in Rainy season or should you avoid it? And how was the trek and the experience?
To make it short; the experience was amazing and the rainy season is actually an excellent time to do the trek – Assumed you don’t have any problem with little rain and got the right clothes.
How was the trek:
Trekking through the fields, and through small rural villages was one of the highlights of my Myanmar adventure. It felt like I was in a different world, a world my grand-grandparents might have known in Europe. No electricity, no phone signal and nature pure that best describes the trek. You need an average fitness level to not struggle on the way, but no trekking experience is required.
On day one we started and left the town of Kalaw and with that any signs of modern civilizations. We walked up to the first hill and had lunch at a viewpoint where we got some Indian food and tea. Remember that you usually get only the food and any other drinks you have to pay extra – in Myanmar no problem as everything is extremely cheap. From there we walked to 2 tribe villages and ended up in our town where we slept.
Every village represents another tribe, and these tribes live mostly from farming. And so, every tribe has its own farms and grows different things. Some grow tea, some ginger, corn, and so on. Our guide explained to us what they grow, how it’s grown and told us when the different corps and vegetables could be harvested.
Our accommodation was a guest house; we basically slept in a spare room from one of the families. These guest houses are as basic as it gets. There is no electricity, no heating or cooling, no signal, and people still cook on a fire. The room is partly open, so pack some suitable clothes for the night as it can be cold depending on the season. And the matrasses are thin; you have the feeling to sleep on the ground. The toilet is outside the house in the back of the yard, and the shower consists of a container with water and a bowl. But this is what makes it so exciting, and it’s one of the best parts of the trip to sleep there. The food was amazing, and after that, you sit together and talk with your new friends and fall asleep early.
On the second day, we walked 26 km and this day was also by far the most challenging. I need to mention that we wanted to do the longer trek; there is also a possibility to do a shorter version. We walked for a few kilometers over the train treks and climbed a few mountains before we finally arrived in our guest house. Although it was exhausting, it was also the day with the best views and worth the exhaustion.
The last day we hiked about 14 more Kilometer in the morning to reach our destination, the Inle lake. Arriving there, we had lunch, and to end the trip, we crossed the lake with a boat – a stunning last step before reaching our Hostels.
Is the rainy season a good time?
YES – I think it was one of the best times to do it. There are a few reasons for that. First of all, there are barely other people on the trek, and you can enjoy the time in nature instead of going to huge groups. Also, it’s a lot cooler, which is a plus point. Our guide told us that it’s around 40 degrees in high season which is far to hot for this trek. Even with only 25 degrees, we were all were sweating a lot. Even with clouds and only 25 degrees, nearly every one of us got a small sunburn – I don’t want to know how much sun cream you need with 40 degrees and no clouds. And lastly, the weather was not bad at all in the end. Sure, it rained a few times but nothing too bad. Mostly in the evening, it started to rain heavily, but by then we had a roof over our heads. The only negative point was the immense amount of mud on the way. That’s why I said you need some proper waterproof shoes. My hiking boots got some dirt off, but I didn’t have wet feet at all. Some girls in our group went with sandals, which was not the best idea as they got slippery after stepping into the mud. A good raincoat is not 100% necessary, and a poncho does the job as well.
I can conclude that it’s a good time to do the hike around July as the weather is not to bad and temperatures are way better and fresher. If you haven’t a problem with some mud, this is the time to do the Kalaw to Inle Lake trek.
- Total countries I visited until now: 38
- Planes: 21
- Busses: 48
- Trains: 19
- Boats: 24
- Km driving: 8000
- Km running: 2899