One of the highlights of any visit to Myanmar is to travel around Mandalay. In the surroundings of the ancient capital are the townships of royal yesteryear with pagodas, ruins, crafts and monasteries. In Mandalay, you should not miss chance to visit U Bein Bridge, which is the longest teakwood bridge and is considered as the most wonderful place to watch sunset in the world.
U Bein Bridge is a crossing that spans the Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura in Myanmar. The 1.2 kilometers bridge was built around 1850 and is believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. The bridge was built from wood reclaimed from the former royal palace in Inwa. It features 1,086 pillars that stretch out of the water, some of which have been replaced with concrete. The bridge was built in curve shape in the middle to resist the assault of wind and water. The main teak posts were hammered into lake bed seven feet deep. The other ends of the posts were shaped conically to make sure that rain water fall down easily. In the dry season it feels surreally high and mostly crosses seasonal vegetable gardens. But after the summer rains, the whole area becomes a big lake and water laps just below the floor planks. Travel Indochina Myanmar
The bridge’s attraction is not simply in its structure, but that it remains a central part of the community, with hundreds of locals and saffron-robed monks walking their bicycles home along it, fishermen going about their daily work in its shadow and Burmese biking from shore to shore on their way home from work. The best time to see the bridge is at sunset, and the best photo opportunities are afforded by hiring a boat to get a close up view of the bridge from the water. The light is often best around an hour before sunset, but by then there will be a large number of tourists and trinket sellers. A popular visiting tactic is to walk across the bridge then return by paddle-boat as the sun is setting. However, as boats are usually only available at the bridge’s western end (where tour buses arrive), you will need to make return pick-up arrangements before you walk across. Or simply ask your taxi/motorbike driver to drop you at the eastern end. Myanmar Holidays
Most tourists come at sunset for the orange glow which gradually engulfs the bridge and silhouettes those upon it. The ageing teak wood was once part of the Royal Palace but was turned into a bridge by the mayor, U Bein. They were columns which were no longer needed so they found a new home, helping the common people across Taungthaman Lake. Despite its increasing status as a tourist location, the U Bein Teak Bridge is an important and practical part of the daily movements for people who live in this area. And as the sun slowly drifts towards the horizon over the watery fields around, the residents of Amarapura use it to head home from their day’s activities.
Once you reach the end of the bridge, you will approach Taungthaman, which is a small town situated not too far from the bridge. Just past that you will come across the Kyauktwagyi Paya temple. This is located to the southeast of Mandalay Hill and is home to a huge marble Buddha. It was built in the late 1800s and supposedly took more than 10,000 men to transport it 13 days from Ayeyarwady.
With an impressive structure and stunning scenery at sunset, U Bein Bridge will be a wonderful spot in your Myanmar tours and make beautiful moments in your trip.