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Paung Daw U (Phaung Daw Oo) Festival Inle Lake

If possible, festivals should be a part of planning your bicycle tour itinerary for Myanmar. They are more authentic than in the rest of the region and sparsely attended by tourists. One of our favorites, the Paung Daw U Festival takes place at Inle Lake. This festival, held with great pageantry as well as reverence, is one of the most popular in all Myanmar and the most popular in the Shan State.One of the Paung Daw U Festival Myanmarmost famous shrines in Myanmar, Paung Daw U Pagoda in Inle Lake houses five small Buddha images. Once a year, at the end of September or early October, there is an 18-day festival during which the five Buddha images are ceremonially rowed around the Lake in a colorful barge accompanied by many other boats (with the famous) Inle leg rowers.

 

Historic note: Although there are five Buddha images at the pagoda, only four Buddha Images are carried on royal barge and conveyed around 14 villages on the Lake because it is said that once the barge tipped over and the fifth image was nearly lost and only later, somehow, mysteriously appeared back at the pagoda.

 

The barge is towed by the boats of leg rowers and hundreds of boats follow the colorful procession. Large crowds of people gather on the lake shores to celebrate the occasion as it passes by. There are also different dance shows and fairs during this time and the most interesting event of the festival, especially for travelers, are the boat races by the leg rowers. Fiercely contested between villages, it is one of teh highlights of the festival. No where else in the world do boatmen propel their boats by such a unique method and here we'll see them actually racing.

 

Puang Daw U Festival Inle LakeThe Paung Daw U Pagoda festival will begins the end of September and ending mid-October and follows a set schedule of touring on the lake (see the 2011 schedule below). The 3rd and 7th days of the festival are especially recommend for taking photographs. The weather at this time is ideal, cool and at the end of the monsoon season, also a time when few other travelers can be expected. Comfortable viewing on the lake from our small private boat (right) with refreshments and snacks. In the evening we'll enjoy further festivities in local towns celebrating around the lake, including parades and cuisine.

 

Contact us for more information about other festivals if the dates for the Paung Daw U festival does not correspond with dates planned for your cycling tour.

 

2011 Schedule of the Paung Daw U FESTIVAL
 

No

Date

From

Departure time 

To

Notes

1
28 Sep

Paung Daw Oo

4:00 AM

Opening Ceremony

Night Stop
2

Monastery

7:00 AM

Khey Paw Khon

3
29 Sep

Khey Paw Khon

8:30 AM

Indein

Lunch
4

Indein

2:30 PM

Heya Ywa Ma

2 Nights
5
30 Sep

Heya Ywa Ma

 

Heya Ywa Ma

Night Stop
6
01 Oct

Heya Ywa Ma

7:00 AM

Nga Phe Chaung

Night Stop
7
02 Oct

Nga Phe Chaung

7:00 AM

Khay Sar

Night Stop
8
03 Oct

Khay Sar

7:00 AM

Pwe Sar

Lunch
9

Pwe Sar

1:00 PM

Lin Kin

Night Stop
10
04 Oct

Lin Kin

7:00 AM

Nyaung Shwe

3 Nights
11
05 Oct

Nyaung Shwe

 

Nyaung Shwe

Night Stop
12
06 Oct

Nyaung Shwe

 

Nyaung Shwe

Night stop
13
07 Oct

Nyaung Shwe

7:00 AM

Nam Thea

Lunch
14

Nam Thea

1:00 PM

Mine Thauk

Night Stop
15
08 Oct

Mine Thauk

7:00 AM

The Lai Oo

Night Stop
16
09 Oct

The Lai Oo

7:00 AM

Kay Lar

Lunch
17

Kay Lar

2:30 PM

Za Yat Kyee

Night Stop
18
10 Oct

Za Yat Kyee

7:00 AM

Pha Ya Pawk

Lunch
19

Pha Ya Pawk

2:30 PM

Nampan

Night Stop
20
11 Oct

Nampan

7:00 AM

Ma Kyee Sape

Lunch
21

Ma Kyee Sape

2:00 PM

Khim Kham

Night Stop
22
12 Oct

Khim Kham

7:00 AM

Mine Phyoe

Night Stop
23
13 Oct

Mine Phyoe

7:00 AM

Nyaung Taw

Night Stop
24
14 Oct

Nyaung Taw

7:00 AM

In Phaw Khon

Lunch
25

In Phaw Khon

2:30 PM

Ye Tha

Night Stop
26
15 Oct

Ye Tha

8:00 AM

Phaung Daw Oo Monastery

Night Stop

Schedule Notes

04 Oct at 07:00 procession from Lin Kin to Nyaung Shwe
04 Oct at 10:00 Arrival in Nyaung Shwe with boat races
12 Oct The longest distance procession from Kyine Kham to Mine Pyoe
15 Oct Last day with boat races near the Paung Daw Oo Pagoda