Nyaung Shwe, also known as the Gateway to Inle Lake, is the largest city and connected by a canal to the lake. Nyaung Shwe is located north of the lake and is not only a good starting point for tours on the lake but also for excursions, for example by bike around the lake.
Nyaung Shwe was the seat of Shan princes for centuries. The last Shan prince Sao Shwe Thaike became after the independence of Burma 1948 the first president of the country. Today, the city is one of the main tourist areas on Inle Lake and offers numerous hotels and restaurants.
But the traditional life has not disappeared yet, so you can fully enjoy the life of the locals on the market, which circles around the lake. Cultural highlights include the wooden monastery Shwe Yan Pyay north of the city and the Yadana Manaung Pagoda in the city center.