Inle Lake Jumping Cat Monastery – the Burmese name Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery is located on Inle Lake in the township of Nyaungshwe in Shan state. This monastery has gained its reputation “Jumping Cat Monastery” because the numerous cats hanging around the monastery are trained to jump through a hoop.
Nga Phe Kyaung monastery itself is over 100 years old, built four years before the Mandalay palace and worth a visit just to experience the beautiful architecture which is traditional in monasteries from this bygone era.
When approaching the monastery by boat it would appear from the outside that it is rather weather beaten, the roof has seen better days, and who knows, maybe with the influx of tourists, the tourist dollar may help replace or repair it sometime in the future.
The interior is another story, also weather worn, with numerous huge teak wood supporting pillars which are mostly gilded, will I imagine still be standing in a few hundred years time.
The main room in Inle Lake Jumping Cat Monastery is huge with a raised centre platform which houses the many Buddha statues, thrones and Buddha statues from various parts of Myanmar, although most are predominantly Shan, and the beautiful crowned highly decorative jambhupati style, just beautiful.
There is a sense that time has stood still when walking within this monastery, the many gigantic thick teak wood pillars, teak wood floors and beautiful Buddha statues make this monastery a must see, so peaceful and tranquil.