Inle Lake is a freshwater lake located in the Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State, part of Shan Hills in Myanmar. It is the second largest lake in Myanmar. During the dry season, the average water depth is 7 feet (2.1 m), with the deepest point being 12 feet (3.7 m), but during the rainy season this can increase by 5 feet (1.5 m).
The watershed area for the lake lies to a large extent to the north and west of the lake. The lake drains through the Nam Pilu or Balu Chaung on its southern end. There is a hot spring on its northwestern shore.
Although the lake is not large, it contains a number of endemic species. Some of these, like the silver-blue scale less Sawbwa barb, thecross banded dwarf danio, and the Lake Inle danio, are of minor commercial importance for the aquarium trade. It hosts approximately 20,000 brown and black head migratory seagulls in November, December and January.
The people of Inle Lake (called Intha), some 70,000 of them, live in four cities bordering the lake, in numerous small villages along the lake's shores, and on the lake itself. The entire lake area is in Nyaung Shwe Township.
Most transportation on the lake is traditionally by small boats, or by somewhat larger boats fitted with single cylinder inboard diesel engines. This unique style evolved for the reason that the lake is covered by reeds and floating plants making it difficult to see above them while sitting.
A local market serves most common shopping needs and is held daily but the location of the event rotates through five different sites around the lake area, thus each of them hosting an itinerant market every fifth day.
The Inle lake area is renowned for its weaving industry. A unique fabric from the lotus plant fibers is produced only at Inle Lake and is used for weaving special robes for Buddha images called kya thingahn (lotus robe).