Praised as the most beautiful place to watch sunrise and sunset in the world, Ubein Bridge is one of the symbols of Myanmar and a not-to-be-missed destination when visiting this country!
1/ The Ubein bridge location
U Bein is a wooden bridge that connects 2 banks of the Taungthamna River, located on the outskirts of Mandalay – an ancient capital in Myanmar. This city is 716 km north of Yangon, located in the center of the dry Myanmar region in the middle of the country and be surrounded by the Ayeyarwady River.
Ubein Bridge is situated 11 kilometers from the south of Mandalay city. From Mandalay’s center, you can rent a taxi to move to this bridge. It will take about 15 minutes. Please note that in Myanmar, people do not charge taxi by the hour but according to the previous agreement. So don’t hesitate to bargain to get the best price.
Ubein Bridge – The world’s longest teak wooden one located on the outskirts of Mandalay
2/ The history of the Ubein Bridge
According to the local people, the construction of this bridge started in 1849 and finished in 1851. After the second British-Burmese War, King Mindon decided to move the capital to Amarapura, he decided to take the wooden panels from the old palace in Inwa to save costs and build this bridge to connect 2 banks of Taungthamna river. He also used the name of the mayor who built it to name this bridge. Over nearly 2000 years, Ubein has become the oldest bridge in the world. Although being quite ancient, this bridge is still very solid, not staggered. At first, it was built entirely of wood. But now, after a long time, some pillars and bridge railings in the submerged part have been replaced by concrete pillars to ensure safety for commuters and it can welcome hundreds of visitors at the same time.
3/ The unique structure of Ubein bridge
This bridge is 1.2 km long and made entirely of wood. It has a total of 1,089 wooden pillars that reach out of the water. However, over a long period of time, some wooden columns had signs of decay, so The Ministry of Culture’s Department of Archaeology had replaced them with concrete one to ensure safety.
This bridge has an extremely impressive structure. According to historical books about U Bein Bridge, the ancient construction engineers used traditional measurement and scaling methods by counting steps to build this bridge. They designed a curved bridge in the middle. Thanks to this structure, it has high stability even when there is a strong attack of wind and water. In the center of the 7-feet-deep lake, the architects placed the main teak pillars, the interlocking bridges. Initially, there were 984 teak pillars that support the bridge. Later, this number increased to 1089. The teak planks make up the surface of the bridge.
The Ubein bridge is built entirely from teak wood
On the Ubein bridge, they built a total of 9 passageways. The special thing is that the floors can be lifted so that boats and barges can pass. The bridge has a total of 482 spans and the exact length is 1209 meters. Visitors should spend an hour to walk leisurely across this bridge and see the wonderful surroundings.
4/ What to see on Ubein Bridge?
4.1. Admire the sunset on the bridge
Ubein – the longest wooden bridge in the world was selected by CNNGo tourism site as one of the most beautiful places to watch the sunset in the world. So, besides the temples, Ubein is considered a symbol of Myanmar tourism and a not-to-be-missed destination when visiting this country. Every afternoon, especially in the tourist season, thousands of people walk on this bridge, Including local people, tourists, and monks from the surrounding temples. At sunset, the sky became red. The shadow of the bridge on the water and the ancient temples far away became more majestic and mysterious. This atmosphere makes anyone feel peaceful, serene strangely.
Ubein Bridge is one of the most beautiful places to watch sunset in the world
While watching the sunset, visitors can listen to the monks, they tell about the history of the Ubein bridge, about the ancient Buddhist culture in Myanmar. This is really an unforgettable experience when coming here. If you can’t come here in the afternoon, you can also come in the morning and admire the dawn here. The scenery is also extremely attractive and charming. However, watching the sunset on the bridge still makes visitors more interested. And don’t forget to bring a camera to save this beautiful scenery.
4.2. The ordinary life of local people
When visiting Ubein Bridge, you can not only see the most beautiful sunset in the world but also learn about the life and culture the people and clergy that live on both sides of the bridge: People who go to the market, go home from work, children go to school, the couple confided in love or monks move between the temples,… Under the bridge, there are wildflower fields on the pot, they look so poetic. You can also see people pitching, plowing fields on either side of the bridge. All create a lively but still peaceful scene, no hustle, and bustle like the city.
Today, after the policy of opening tourism, on the bridge, people sell a lot of souvenirs, typical products of this land for tourists. Don’t forget to buy something to remember this special tourist destination. To get more experience and have the best views, you can rent a boat at the foot of the bridge and paddle around a lake.
The daily life of local people on Ubein Bridge
4.3. The area around the bridge
The area around the Ubein bridge used to be the old capital of Myanmar. So, when you come here, do not miss the opportunity to explore some relics of history such as royal palaces, city gates, and tombs of old kings,… In addition, there are countless ancient stupas, monasteries and temples with special architecture that you should admire. That’s a chance to explore the history and culture of this land. It will give you a different experience from other locations in Myanmar.
If you have a chance to visit Myanmar, Ubein Bridge is definitely a destination that you should not miss. The peaceful, poetic sunset scene here will surely make you be attracted and don’t want to leave.