U-Bein Bridge, built around 1850, is a crossing that spans the Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura. It is named after the mayor who had it built. It is believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. The local people use it daily and it has also become a tourist attraction and a significant source of income for souvenir sellers. It is probably one of Myanmar’s most photographed sights.
The bridge was built from reclaimed wood originally used to build a former royal palace. There were 984 teak posts supporting the bridge. Four wooden pavilions and two approach bridges were added and now the total number of posts adds up to 1089. Though the bridge remains largely intact, there are fears that a number of pillars are becoming decayed. Plans have been made by the Department of Archaeology to carry out repairs.
When we arrived we saw a lot of food and souvenir sellers. I took a few photos of the food.
We started walking across the bridge. It was very crowded and hard to take photos. There was nothing to hold onto and you had to be careful not to go too close to the edge. We went about half way across and then turned around and went back. We went over to look at the boats and then our guide said we would each have our own boat and person who would row us toward the bridge and under it. Great opportunity for photos!
The following photos were all taken from our boat. We went under the bridge and made a loop around. The guide, Thu Thu and a waiter from the Sanctuary Ananda were in their own boat. We were surprised when they brought each of us glasses and white wine to enjoy while boating around the bridge.
Sunset from the Sanctuary Ananda
I wish we had stayed for the sunset but it would have been another hour to wait and we had had a very long day. While we were on our excursions, the boat had sailed to dock in Mandalay. We arrived at the boat just in time to see the sunset from our room. It was spectacular! We took quite a few photos and then got ready for the last evening of entertainment – a local puppet show in the Kansi Panorama Lounge.