The Inle Lake Region of Burma is not only aesthetically compelling, it is also historically important. The lake is the site of the deeply revered Buddhist site Phaung Daw Oo (variantly Hpaung Daw U) Pagoda which houses five gilded images of Buddha of different sizes that are no longer discernible (as Buddhas) because they have been covered with thousands of gold leaves over time.

The fluvial procession that takes place during the waxing of the moon until three days after the full moon of Thadingyut (from September to October) and takes these images around the stilted villages of Inle Lake is the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival.

It is widely attended by thousands of devotees from the Shan state and around country. Because of Burma’s isolation in recent years, the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival is one of Southeast Asian festivals that mirror the people’s authentic celebration of their faith and local culture, an apt and colorful introduction to any travel to Myanmar.