Chan Son / The Irrawaddy

Market Day in Shan State’s Thandaung Village 

Chan Son The Irrawaddy

NYAUNG SHWE TOWNSHIP, Shan State — The five-day market rotating around Shan State’s Inle Lake area is famous for its rustic, bustling scenes, as tradespeople of different ethnic backgrounds, including Intha and Pa-O, migrate daily from one site to another to sell their produce and ware.

While several lakeside villages such as Indein, Nampan, Thaung Tho and Khaung Daing host the market, the main five places are in Nyaung Shwe (Yawnghwe), Heho, Taunggyi, Maing Thauk and Shwe Nyaung. The market calendar is lunar: there are no markets on full and black moon days.

On the west side of the lake, about a one-hour drive from Nyaung Shwe, Thandaung village has a less touristic market day than Indein and Nampan. It offers an authentic chance to see how locals trade. Sellers arrive at the marker before dawn to prepare for the day, and the market usually lasts until around noon.