sunset at u bein bridge

Monday, February 16:  After my horrible experience in Ava, I’m happy to be back with Meemo again.  He takes me back to Amarapura, where we started our day this morning, and he parks the car near U Bein Bridge.  I find this colorful boat pulled up on the shore.

Boat at U Bein Bridge

Boat at U Bein Bridge

Meemo has instructed me to walk across U Bein Bridge, but now that I see the boats, I wonder if I should instead take one to watch the sunset.  I always love to be on a boat, but in the distance I can see the impossibly long bridge and I feel like I should walk on the bridge.

Boatman at U Bein Bridge

Boatman at U Bein Bridge

U Bein Bridge is a 165-year-old bridge that spans the shallow Taungthaman Lake; it is known as the world’s longest teak footbridge at over 1.2km in length.  I guess if you add enough modifiers to a thing, it can be the longest or the best of whatever it is.  Apparently the bridge is supported by 1086 poles, only some of which have been replaced by concrete supports.

Construction on the bridge began in 1849 when the capital of Ava Kingdom moved to Amarapura, and the bridge is named after the mayor who had it built.  It was built from wood reclaimed from the former royal palace in Inwa.

Beneath the bridge, seasonal vegetable gardens splay out along the shore.  People are sitting under an umbrella beside a little hut in the middle of the fields.

hut in the grasslands along the shore of Taungthaman Lake

hut in the grasslands along the shore of Taungthaman Lake

Tourists are getting situated in their boats for the best sunset views.

Boats in Taungthaman Lake

Boats in Taungthaman Lake

It’s the dry season now in Myanmar, so the lake is very low and the bridge seems very high.  It has no railings on it, so I feel I should pay attention so I don’t go toppling off.

U Bein Bridge

U Bein Bridge

All the boats are lined up parallel with the bridge.  The sun will set on the opposite side of the bridge, so they will see the sun set behind the bridge.

Boats in Taungthaman Lake

Boats in Taungthaman Lake

There is a lone gnarled tree on the west side of the bridge that makes the landscape look like a post-apocalyptic scene.

Taungthaman Lake at sunset

Taungthaman Lake at sunset

Boats in Taungthaman Lake

Boats in Taungthaman Lake

Boats lined up to view the sunset at U Bein Bridge

Boats lined up to view the sunset at U Bein Bridge

The bridge seems to go on forever.

U Bein Bridge

U Bein Bridge

About halfway across, you can climb down off the bridge and walk to the shore amidst the farmland.

On the shore of Taungthaman Lake

On the shore of Taungthaman Lake

There on the shore, we can get a close up view of the boats.

Boats lined up for the sunset

Boats lined up for the sunset

And standing on the shore, we can see the sun start to drop behind the bridge.

U Bein Bridge as the sun sets

U Bein Bridge as the sun sets

Sunset at U Bein Bridge

Sunset at U Bein Bridge

Boats and U Bein Bridge at sunset

Boats and U Bein Bridge at sunset

U Bein Bridge

U Bein Bridge

Sunset at U Bein Bridge

Sunset at U Bein Bridge

I love these colorful boats and the reflections in the water.  Now that I’ve walked across, I regret that I didn’t take the boat ride.

Boats at Taungthaman Lake

Boats at Taungthaman Lake

U Bein Bridge

U Bein Bridge

U Bein Bridge

U Bein Bridge

As soon as the sun sinks below the horizon, the boats disperse and head back to the western shore.

All the boats head for shore

All the boats head for shore

As is common in many scenic places, a bride and groom are having their photos taken on the western shore, beside the gnarly tree.  Some boaters are busily taking pictures of the couple, while I take pictures of all of them.

People in a boat at Taungthaman Lake take photos of a wedding party on the shore

People in a boat at Taungthaman Lake take photos of a wedding party on the shore

As I retrace my steps back to the western shore, I can look down and see the cafe hut where many people are having drinks to watch the sunset.

A little cafe for sunset-watching

A little cafe for sunset-watching

There’s a pretty white pagoda on the shore in the midst of green fields.

pagoda along the shore of Taungthaman Lake

pagoda along the shore of Taungthaman Lake

By the time I make it back, all the boats are moored for the night and the tourists have all left.

boats at Taungthaman Lake

boats at Taungthaman Lake

boats at Taungthaman Lake

boats at Taungthaman Lake

boats at U Bein Bridge

boats at U Bein Bridge

Meemo drives me back to Mandalay, where I take a bit of a rest before I walk several blocks to Thani Thai Restaurant, recommended by a woman at the hotel.  I have a delicious meal of Pad Thai with prawns and dried shrimp, along with two Myanmar beers.  As my hotel doesn’t have very good wi-fi, I linger awhile over my meal and beers and use the wi-fi to check emails and post some Instagram pictures.

Pad Thai with prawns and dried shrimps

Pad Thai with prawns and dried shrimps

Tomorrow, I’m going on another tour with Meemo and I’m letting him arrange it all.  Who knows what will happen next?

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Categories: Amarapura, Burma, Mandalay, Myanmar, Taungthaman Lake, Thani Thai Restaurant, Travel, U Bein Bridge | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “sunset at u bein bridge

  1. Those boats are colorful! The sunset was also, but more monochrome. I’m glad that trip went better, but too bad you couldn’t get wi-fi. Still, you are getting your adventures!

    Nancy

    • I always love colorful boats, Nancy. Some of my favorite pictures are some colorful boats I found in Pokhara, Nepal. I also found interesting boats in Oman. The whole Myanmar trip was wonderful, except for that one altercation with the drug-crazed, or just generally insane, horse cart driver in Ava. 🙂

  2. Lovely sunset and I think you maybe got the better photos not being on the boat as I love that image taken from the bank, framed by the foliage and the bridge with the setting sun reflected in the lake, and all the photos of the boats and the bridge you would miss just sitting in a boat waiting from one spot. I wonder what you will have organised for tomorrow!!!!

    • Thanks so much, Pauline! I think I probably did get better images not being on the boat, but if I had been on the boat, I could have gotten even better close-ups of the boats themselves. Oh well, you can’t be everywhere at once, right? Each of my days in Myanmar was packed, so each day takes about 3 posts to cover all I saw. It gets more amazing once I leave Mandalay. I adored Bagan and Inle Lake. 🙂

      • An amazing country you are showing us and it seems to still be unspoilt by too many tourists

      • Well, it was high season when I was here in February, Pauline, so it was quite crowded with tourists. I just try to take my pictures without the tourists! It is still relatively unspoiled though, especially Bagan and Inle Lake, but I imagine it won’t be long before tourists start to overrun the place. 🙂

      • Yes I think it is possibly on the tourist radar now…

  3. Breath-taking photos Cathy 🙂

  4. That first sunset photo, with the tree, is my favourite and an absolute pearl, Cathy! 🙂 What a beautiful experience.
    With all that water, did you get bitten much by mozies etc? The heat haze looks so thick on your previous post- you could almost stir it! 🙂 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Jo. I loved those sunset photos, but my favorite is further down where the sun sits directly in the V of the tree. So many places in Myanmar were beautiful experiences. I didn’t notice the mosquitoes too much, or at least I don’t remember them. It was quite hot some days, but not nearly as hot and humid as what I’m experiencing now in Nanning. It’s absolutely miserable here now!

      • 6 weeks! Sending big hugs, Cathy 🙂 Enjoy your weekend, whatever the plan is. I’ll be in Norfolk with the Polish family.

  5. Love the peachy sunset with the boat and bride. Beautiful picture! – Suzan –

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