This is a picture of my son holding his umbrella as he was getting wet as we travelled across the lake from the splash of the water. The driver is Nyum Tbek and his boat is #18. I highly recommend him as he was very friendly and informative. He made our day very fun!
If you want to get back to Yangon quick then this is the way to do it. We caught Air Bagan from Heho to Yangon. It took 60 mins and we got served some dinner.(see travelogue)
Cost: around US$70
[Air Bagan has recently announced baggage fees -see its site]
They're numbers of motorboat available at the jetty. YOu probably be approached by the owner of the motorboat or touts before you start your INLE boat journey. Well, you're trying to get someone who can speak english just like I did, but I wasn't lucky as my english motorboat owner try to shorten the journey which makes the journey so uneasy for me.
Get someone from the jetty whom you think you're comfortable with though they speak a little english, they might be good guide for yuor journey , I got one in Bagan.
FYI, One day boat hiring is 8000k
When travelling through Burma (Myanmar) I decided that I would fly between my destinations as this was the most practical. This gave me more time in my various destinations and it was fast and safe.
Looking at the train system in Myanmar and timetables as this is the way I always prefer to travel the schedules that were implemented by the military Junta were insane. The busses also were not reliable.
I chose to Fly from Mandalay to Heho by Yangon Airways, and talking to some foreign travellers this appeared to be a very reliable airline and I found that it was. I must admit when I first flew in Myanmar I was a little apprehensive as to fly.!!! But, I found it excellent service and reliable.
Air Bagan flies a number of routes in Myanmar, including around Yangon, Inle, Bagan and Mandalay. Flying into Inle Lake, you actually fly into Heho. You can then have a car take you from Heho to Inle Lake. The airport at Heho is tiny and appeared to be open just for our flight in. So, you will not have a lot of transportation options to Inle Lake. You pretty much just have to take what is there if you did not arrange something with your guest house ahead of time.
This is the only way to go around the lake. I would suggest that you do your homework and organise what you want to see and then tell your boat driver. If it is raining or looks like raining they should provide you with an umbrella. (ours did!). Also, make sure you let him know what signals you will give him if you want to stop at a particular place.
Cost for us were an afternoon US$6. All day (have to check) and a boat trip from Lkae View Resort to Nyaung Shwe (have to check).
There are plenty of boats to be hired at Inle Lake. There are more boats than there are tourists so the prices are pretty low to hire them for the whole day or just a couple of hours if you want.