Amarapura / U Bein bridge, Mandalay
From what we could see, many tourists do not walk the full length of the bridge, and they stay just for the sunset. If you have time enough and like walking (we had a very short holiday in Myanmar, but this was well worth a full afternoon) I do really recommend crossing all the bridge and explore a bit "the other side". It is just a regular neighborhood with nothing special, but a great place for people watching and street photo opportunities.
I have seen pictures of this famous place, that looked truly spectacular, but I was fearing that visiting it in August, where water is at its higher point, could be a bit disappointing, and maybe even a bit tourist trap... No way! It was not only impressive but a wonderful place for people watching. The U-Bein Teak Bridge is 1.2 kilometers (.75 miles) long and crosses over Taungthaman Lake to connect both sides of the lake for regular pedestrian traffic. It was built around 1850 and is believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. Since it has become a tourist attraction we were expecting a significant number of souvenir sellers, but we found most of the sellers (and tourists) did concentrate at the begining and we did not found them particularly insistent. As more we walked, we were nearly the only foreigners. When we reached the neighbourhood at the other side of the bridge (can't remember its name) we enjoyed nice stroll in a very local area with very nice people. We stopped to have some drinks (it was VERY hot) and wait for a time closer to sunset to start walking back.
A very impresssive construction of more than 200 years old, the bridge is one of the icons of Myanmar. It´s used by locals as a place to relax and socialise. A nice walk with great views; it has five shaded huts if you want to escape from the strong sun.
Crossing the swallow Taungthaman lake, U bein is a 1.2km long teak bridge, which is certainly the highlight of Amarapura. In dry season the bridge crosses mostly dry land.
It is remarkable place to end up your round tour in ancient cities around Mandalay. The bridge is full of people, monks (there is a nearby monastery), tourists. it's also a perfect place for socializing with locals. The best time to enjoy its ambience is by sunset. You also have the option to have a boat ride with your sweetheart and enjoy the tranquility.
See my travelogue with beautiful sunset pics from the bridge!
The U Bein foot bridge spans the shallow Taungthaman Lake in Amarapura, just south of Mandalay. At 1.2 killometers, it is the longest teak span in the world. It was built in 1847, and most of the original teak posts remain.
El puente U Bein´s con sus 984 pilotes de teka tiene una longitud de 1.200 metros y es el puente peatonal más largo del mundo hecho con la madera de teka En el puente hay gente que pasea, que transporta materiales o que simplemente está allí y desde él se puede ver la gran actividad del lago : pescadores, botes, pastores de patos,...y todos los alrededores que son maravillosos
U Bein´s bridge with his 984 teak wood pilots has a length of 1.200 m and is the longest footbridge on the world made with teak wood.On the bridge there people walking, transporting materials or simply staying there and from it you may see the great lake activity : fishing, boats, ducks shepherd ...and all the surroundings that are marvellous
A walk of 20 minutes over a fine wooden bridge
The sunset must be fantastic but when we were there it was too cloudy to enjoy it.
Don't forget to walk to the nearby Amarapura Paya: very colourful with different styles...
As said in my previous tip, even the structure of the bridge is impressive, the best part was people watching...
One of the main sites at Amarapur. 1.2km long, wooden bridge. Built in 1784 from the salvaged remains of the Royal City of Ava. Surrounded by an artistic lake side community.
Take a canoe out at Taungthaman Lake and see U-Bein Bridge.
Amazing arts and crafts as well as fresh fruit on the stalls.