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Shopping is an entirely different experience at Inle Lake and because it is a rural area, Inle Lake does not have malls, shopping centres or supermarkets. The Inthar people that live on the lake get what they need from floating markets present in every village. The sellers carry all their merchandise on boats and conduct sales from there. With so many people on boats hawking their wares, there are times when the canals of the lake experience heavy traffic.
Shopping at Inle Lake is also dependent on the five-day rotating markets. For tourists, the experience can be tricky since the market does not have a specific schedule and venue. The market is open every five days, and its location constantly changes. For market days, the tribe people from the hills come down to sell their goods.