The small town of Nyaung Shwe is the gateway to Inle Lake and will usually be the starting point for stays on Inle Lake. However these days Nyaung Shwe is developing a bit of a 'scene' and increasingly visitors to the region are choosing to stay in town so as to enjoy the variety of restaurants and bars in the evening, rather than staying on the lake where night times can be a little quiet.
Although the quality of hotels is undoubtedly better on the lake itself, Nyaung Shwe now has a couple of attractive properties that make for a nice stay for those in search of evening activity. The town itself has a couple of nice pagodas, a variety of shops, some trendy bars and a night market where local delicacies can be tried at a decent price. It is also close to the picturesque Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery.