U Bein Bridge is at its most beautiful at sunset
To experience sunset at the old teak bridge U Bein Bridge in Myanmar is like a fairytale. U Bein Bridge crosses the narrow lake of Taungthaman and is 1200 meter long. I am sure it is one of the most photographed sites in Myanmar. The bridge is also the longest teak bridge in the world. Not so strange – how many teak bridges are there in the world? This is a walkway and a bridge for bikes only. U Bein Bridge was built in mid 1800 and consists of more than 1000 pillars in teak. This is a very popular place to enjoy the sunset for both the Burmese and tourist from all over the world.
We spent half a day at U Bei Bridge and could enjoy how the twilight slowly appeared. The highlight was of course when the sum changes into a red fireball low in the sky and slowly lowered down against the bridge. Just a perfect motif! The best way to se both the sunset and the bridge is to rent a small boat. It does not cost much and the boat can take 4 passengers. When the sun has set and you certainly have got some great photos, you can walk over the bridge and take part in the public life on the bridge. Monks and novices of all ages are gathered on the bridge and surprisingly there are a lot of flirting between the young monks and beautiful young girls walking on the U Bein Bridge.
Burmese monks are ascetic, but they have also a tolerant belief with not so many absolute rules. Moreover not everyone with red-orange robes and a blank skull are monks. Many of these young males are just kids spending a short time as novices before they can be counted on as adults. It can be for some few weeks, some months or may be a year. The family decides for how long the shall stay to learn the basics about the religion Buddhism. It’s like a long Confirmation. So no wonder why the young boys are flirting!
U Bei Bridge is not far from the former capitol Amarapura. So you can get two birds with one stone visiting both places same day or stay in Amarapura for some days and visit the U Bei Bridge in the afternoon. For us this was surely a highlight of the trip even though it’s a great tourist attraction.