Typical stilt house on Inle Lake, Myanmar, with floating gardens surrounding the home. Entire villages are built over the lake in this fashion, complete with monasteries, general stores, schools, restaurants, and even craft workshops. The stilts must be high, as the lake level fluctuates severely between the dry and rainy seasons. The gardens are planted in boxes or nets secured to long bamboo poles that are anchored into mud at the bottom of the lake. Tending and harvesting the “fields” is also done entirely by boat. Absolutely everything is done on the water; even visiting a neighbor requires climbing into a traditional flat-bottom wooden boat, though the family laundry can be done from the front steps. This was just one of many magical sights seen during my Myanmar Explorer Cruise/Tour with Viking River Cruises.