The trek can be seasonal, so make sure you'll have pleasant conditions. Bring rain gear!Ask a lot of questions about the culture and people, you'll learn a lot about Myanmar.
Start from Kalaw and hike for three days (two nights) to Inle Lake. There are a couple options for routes.
The trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake took three days through beautiful countryside with multiple opportunities for cultural exchange.
It wasn’t a particularly difficult trek (minimal altitude changes) but was challenging in certain areas simply due to the weather conditions. The rainy season had come and there were a couple moments of intense downpour leaving us drenched and then having to deal with the impact (muddy trails and impassible streams).
The trek brought us through multiple different tribal areas, communities mostly supported by agriculture. At night, we stayed with families in the village sleeping on floor mats. Our guide would cook us dinner at night and tea was a staple.
The accommodations were relatively rough, which was fine for us but some people may be turned off. Don’t expect modern plumbing or running water.
We hired a guide service (Thiri Treks) on arrival in Kalaw and they had two female english speaking guides (the services, to our knowledge, was also women owned). We negotiated a rate and left the next morning. We had large backpacks which they sent ahead to our hotel in Inle Lake (so we didn’t need to carry them). The guide service supplied both food and accommodation/homestay.
We felt this was a very responsible trek and allowed us to have unfiltered interaction and support the people of Myanmar.
Wish I had brought more appropriate trekking boots and rain gear (it rained a lot!). Even if it's going to rain sure to bring sunscreen!
Cannot remember the daily cost of hiring our guide but recall it being exceptionally reasonable. I believe it was ~$30/day per person (which includes food & board)