Burma – U-Bein-Bridge

U Bein Bridge is believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world.
The bridge spans the Taungthaman Lake near the old capital of Amarapura. It is 1.2 km long and was built around 1850. It is used as an important passageway for the local people and has also become a tourist attraction. I visited the bridge several times in the morning and evening.
The bridge is very busy with tourists in the afternoon and evening, as everybody wants to take pictures of the sunset. But sunrise, as the pictures above demonstrate, is equally attractive and mostly locals cross the bridge in the early hours of the day.u-theing-bridge-4u-theing-bridge-5u-theing-bridge-6u-theing-bridge-7u-theing-bridge-8
Daylight shows the structure of the bridge which wikipedia describes as follows:
“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. The joints were intertwined. Originally, there were 984 teak posts supporting the bridge and two approach brickbridges. Later the two approach brick bridges were replaced by wooden approach bridge. There are four wooden pavilions at the same interval along the bridge. By adding posts of two approach bridges and four pavilions, the number of posts amounts to 1089.”
The water in November was very low and farmers cultivated the land underneath the bridge. The water itself was maybe 2m deep at this time but will of course be much higher during rainy season.
The morning hours were nice to take shots of monks crossing the bridge.
Life under the bride was not only farming. There are some restaurants and the lake serves for everything, even taking a shower.u-theing-bridge-24
In the afternoon I strolled around the small village on one side of the bridge. I was surprised to see small businesses like textile production located inside the small straw houses. u-theing-bridge-27u-theing-bridge-28u-theing-bridge-29u-theing-bridge-30u-theing-bridge-31u-theing-bridge-32u-theing-bridge-33u-theing-bridge-34
Sunset came and I found a spot on the eastern shore where the bridge is in front of the sun. Several tourists hired boats to photograph from the lake.
Of course you want to get the best silhouettes, which was not easy because the bridge was packed with people, mainly tourists. So the pictures above took some patience…
Leaving the bridge towards the west you pass this tree which is a landmark also during the day. And it gives a nice motive during sunset, especially if the sky is a little cloudy and gives you these spectacular colours. Turning around, the moon is already ascending…
A very peaceful atmosphere.

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