Motorboat operator Win Moe Kyaw has worked several jobs on and around Inle lake after the tourism decline and is now trying to earn a living as a fisherman. (RFA photos)


The 45-square-mile lake is abundant with fish and is central to Myanmar’s fishing industry.


Though he is working as a fisherman, Win Moe Kyaw says his family is no longer self-sufficient.


About 50,000 people directly related to tourism around the lake have lost their jobs, according to the Myanmar Tourism Entrepreneurs Association.


Win Moe Kyaw lives in Sithar village with his wife, Mazin Mar Win - who made woven cane mats before the coup - and their 2-year-old son.


For now, Win Moe Kyaw and his family are just hoping to live and work in safety.


A proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site, Inle Lake is famous for its unique wildlife and the floating plants that dot its surface. It’s been designated as a protected wetland for its ecological and cultural value.


With more than 90 percent of the lake’s motels and guesthouses closed, motorboat operators do what they can to make a living.


Many of the people who live and work around the lake had to switch careers after the collapse of the tourism industry.


Win Moe Kyaw uses the unique form of leg rowing that was developed on the lake because it’s difficult to avoid the plants while sitting down.

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