U Bein Bridge: The Longest Teak Bridge in the World
U Bein Bridge is a unique sight in Myanmar and one of the highlights when you visit Mandalay. It is located in former capital city of Amarapura, just 10 km from Mandalay.
It is the longest teak bridge in the world, measuring 1.2 km and crossing Taungthaman Lake.
The teak wood came from the royal palace at Amarapura, including the columns used as the bridge pillars. When the capital was moved to Mandalay they took it down and U Bein, the mayor, used the teak to build this bridge so locals could cross Taungthaman Lake.
During the day it’s very busy. It forms part of daily life as hundreds of locals cross it to go to work and return home.
From the little cafes on both sides you can spend hours watching people coming and going across this lake in a beautiful setting; kids going to school, monks visiting the monastery, and ice cream sellers.
Just a few of the more than a thousand teakwood posts have been replaced with concrete, but most remain intact.
There are also traditional boats that cross the lake from where you can get a close up view of the bridge. It’s a fantastic place to enjoy a ride on the lake with this unique bridge and views to beautiful Kyauktwagyi Paya.
In the hot season there is land around the lake that farmers make the most of before the rainy season floods the area.
Fishermen also take advantage of the low tide and still waters of the lake.