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This trek was absolutely not planned in the program ! But after crossing the path of 3 French people in several countries in a row, we have forged a bond. They had heard of a trek with a local guide, not from a tourist agency and who take you off the beaten track. It was the best decision of my Asian road trip !

The decision to do this trek : a little story

The word "trek" can be scary. I reassure you right away, I'm not a sportive woman.


I didn't want to go, because not at all planned in the program or in my head; then not physically fit to walk as much. Having great difficulty sleeping, sleeping in conditions that I did not know with the locals frightened me so much.


As for food, not being able to decide when I eat and how much I eat, knowing the physical effort I was going to provide; and besides the fatigue of walking and if I couldn't sleep properly made me decide to give up.


So I decided to let the boys do it between them, and that I will go to rest in Inle Lake for 3 days, have massages, nail girl stuff. But after a brainwash of 3 guys trying to motivate me, I let myself be tempted, more for staying with them and not being alone.


My god HAPPYLY  I changed my mind !!



What is this trek?

This trek has no particular name. He had been recommended by an acquaintance to one of the French people we had met on the way. A phone number from a local guide was all we had.

And yes, when traveling you have to trust ! We called this number and 1 hour later, a car with 2 men picked us up on the side of the road just before dark time.


Arrived at the hotel that the guide, Joe, recommended, we put down our things and went to eat so that he explained the trip to us.


It is therefore a question of walking 3 days in nature and sleeping at locals's houses. We did not know more. He took care of everything. Joe was adorable and seemed to be trusted. In addition he had very good English, which reassured us for communication and explanations. We finished the evening in a small bar drinking rum and laughing. It started well !



You have to make a small backpack. With the necessary. Comfortable sportswear, warm clothing for cold nights. A minimum of toilet stuff (toothbrush, wipes .. we did not take a shower for 3 days) Do not overload.


Our large backpacks were taken by car to the meeting point at the end of the 3 days. It was difficult to accept, we can expect everything in another country, like never seeing our bags again. But that was not the case.


Bring water, comfortable sneakers, phone / camera chargers and off you go !

What to expect

Incredible and varied landscapes. An impressive connection to nature. The discovery of plants that we can eat on the way to give us more energy or strengthen our muscles.

Schools, chilli fields, craft coffee making etc ...

So many connections with the locals that will not leave you indifferent.


The night with the locals is something that pushes your limits. It was quite cold at night, the toilets: a hole at the end of the garden, without light. To shower: a basin filled with rainwater and a small bowl (we did not take any shower for the 3 days, only baby wipes). The main room is the "kitchen" a few pots and a woodfire on the floor. The second room, the "bedroom" with only a blankets on the floor. As cupboards, garbage bags filled with clothes.


Basically, there are 4 walls and sheet metal on the roof. not even windows, just open spaces. No furniture, no futility. A huge change for us, used to so much comfort.


At first, very hard to sleep on the ground, but after 25KM of walking, and a few glasses of rum shared with the family around the fire, played with the baby, we sleep very well trust me !


Since images speak more than words:


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An incredible experience !

To resume (because it would be very long) this experience is one of the best in my life. Joe was adorable. He let us go at our own pace. He took us away from the beaten track, we did not meet a single tourist in 3 days ! How good it feels to experience the authenticity of a country !


He had planned local sunscreen, water, small snacks which he carried himself in his bag despite he was not very young, and had a weakened ankle. He bought us a bottle of rum for an aperitif in the evening by the fire despite he was quite poor. He also gave us a local "tiger balm" that we applied in the evening to relieve our aches. I asked him in which village I could buy it, and he gave me the superb surprise of offering one to each one of us at the end of the trek ...


This connection that we had with the locals in the evening, who also prepared feasts for us, thanks to Joe who did the translation, was crazy. We could laugh by the fire without talking to each other, just understand each other in a sight.








































ANECDOTE : I will always remember a 45-50 year old man who discovered our smartphones. We showed him a world map to show him where France was in relation to his country. He had never seen a world map in his life. We then showed him Paris and he was amazed. His simple words were touching : "What is this thing in the middle and what it is for ? (the Eiffel Tower) and why are the houses all glued to each other?"

I was so emotionnal by so much authenticity.


These people live in 4 concrete walls, sleep on the floor, have no furniture and cook with 2 pots on a wood fire. They were happy, together, to take care of their land and their animals. Had known only their village and yet seemed to enjoy life much more than we did.

A real lesson in life.




Where does the trek start from?

The trek departs from the town of Kalaw to reach Inle Lake. You will have to go by bus to Kalaw.

How much does it cost and how to find it?

We paid Joe around 45 euros each. We had nothing more to pay during the whole trip. He bought water, snacks, and paid locals for their hospitality and meals.

When we wanted, we gave a little extra to the families, as well as to Joe at the end. It is not expensive for us but so much for them !


Joe with whom we did the trek can be contacted by WhatsApp, in English:

If he cannot do the trek he will redirect you to someone.


If this was not possible, you will find agencies in town, or ask directly to the locals, in restaurants, cafes, everyone knows someone who knows someone ...

I hope this article has made you travel and will encourage you to overcome your fears. The most difficult paths often lead to the most beautiful things.

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