With another day at Inle Lake, we opted for a couple of the local attractions; hot springs and wine tasting. Obviously it’s more sensible to visit the hot springs first so after hiring a bike and cycling across a scenic but bumpy road for 45 minutes, we arrived at the springs. If you’re looking for a luxurious spa experience then these hot springs may not be for you. The place consists of four pools, surrounded by a bit of concrete and a few sun loungers. With a fair bit of shade it was a nice enough place to relax for a couple of hours. One pool was pleasantly warm, another hot, the next hotter and the final pool ridiculous. I managed to get into the third hottest pool after psyching myself up and easing in, a bit like how you’d get into a bath that’s too hot. It’s not advisable to stay in for more than a couple of minutes though due to a risk of shrivelling up or passing out. I don’t even know the purpose of the hottest pool. Back home it would be a lawsuit waiting to happen. No signage indicates that entering will likely result in severe scolding. I couldn’t hold my toe in for more than about half a second.

The winery seemed a popular sunset activity with lots of people turning up with us during late afternoon. It’s a nice setup. A lovely terrace overlooks the vineyards with the hills and lake in the background. For a reasonable price you are provided with samples of four varieties of local wine and a few nuts. This was the first I’d heard of Myanmar wine. And I soon discovered what I suspected was the reason why. While I’m no wine connoisseur, I can still taste a rancid variety. As someone who has consumed a fair bit of Lambrini my palatable standards aren’t particularly high either. Unfortunately I’d rate two of the wines as close to undrinkable, one as not great and the other as average. It’s all about the cultural experience I suppose.

After a happy hour cocktail, a bit of tea in the One Owl Grill and a couple of gins at the excellent Ginki Bar (where the tonic costs more than the gin) it was a reasonably early night. Not that you had the option of a late night in Nwang Swe where the whole town is seemingly asleep by 11pm.

Biking to the hot springs
Hot springs
Wine tasting