Indawgyi Wetland Wildlife Sanctuary

ASEAN Heritage & Largest Inland Lake in South East Asia


  • This site is located in Moenyin Township, Kachin State, and northern part of Myanmar.


  • Hoepin is the closest town to Indawgyi Lake and is accessible by car from Myitgyina as well as by plain from Yangon or Mandalay. And then proceed to lake by car and it is about 23.8 km away from Hoepin.


  • Total area is 775.25 sq km [299 sq miles] and covers moist upper mixed deciduous and semi-evergreen forests are found on the mountainous terrains.

  • The lake lies in a north-south elongated basin with flat plains. The north-south length is 23.8 km and width is 10 km. The depth of water body varies between 15.88 km to 23.8 km. The lake is 175 m above sea level and covers 12000 ha which is the largest inland lake of South East Asia and the third largest lake in the world. In addition, the inhabitants believe that the lake is looked after by powerful spirits, known as Dragon. The eastern side of the lake is mountainous terrain that is rising to 1175 m. The hill to the west and north are more extensive and rising to 1500 m.

Year of Establishment

  • Indawgyi Wetland Wildlife Sanctuary is established in 1999 for the protection of waterfowls and their habitats as well as their neighbouring catchments area.


  • In this forests, Wild Elephant, Leopard, Bear, Serow, Gaur, Banteng, Red Goral, Gibbon, Macaque, Sambhur Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Dog, Golden Jackal, Wild Boar, Hog Badger, Civet and other mammals may be viewed.

  • In this sanctuary not only water birds but also forest birds (recorded in 326 bird species) can be observed. A birdwatcher paradise with many hundreds of Ruddy Shelduck, Bar-headed Goose, Greyleg Goose, Northern Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Common Crane and Brown-headed Gull.

  • In addition many rare species of waterfowls and forest birds can be viewed including Red-crested Pochard, Grey-headed Lapwing, Sarus Crane, Lesser Adjutant, Black-necked Stork, Woolly-necked Stork, White-rumped Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture, Blue-bearded Bee-eater and Brahminy Kite.

  • The lake habitats include open water, herbaceous marsh, floating mats, limited emerged bed and extensive area of submerged macrophytes.

  • A total of 64 species of fish were recorded in the lake basin. Three of these species are endemic to Myanmar.

  • The only endemic species found in the lake was catfish Akysis prashadi.

Forest/Vegetation Type

  • Water hyacinth, known locally as Baeda is common.

Opportunities to study and relax

  • One may also study butterflies, plants

  • Traditional fishing or visit historically famous Shwe Myint Zu Pagoda that is situated on the western side of lake.

  • The best time to go is from middle of October to May.

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