The U-Bein Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that crosses Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura in Myanmar. The 1.2-kilometer bridge was built around 1850 and is considered the oldest and longest teak bridge in the world. The beginning of the construction coincides with the time when the capital of the kingdom of Ava was moved to Amarapura. Its name comes from Mayor U Bein, who commissioned the bridge. Even today, it is an important transport link for the local population, although, in the evening, tourists are more likely to see on the bridge.
Wood from the former Royal Palace in Inwa and from Sagaing was used to build the bridge. More than 1,086 piles were rammed into the lake bottom; some have now been replaced by concrete pillars. The condition of the bridge gives a little cause for concern, as a fish farm program in Taungthaman Lake turns it into a stagnant water, many of the teak piles are rotting. Floodings also hit the bridge. There is no sign of the former gold ornaments on the bridge today.
A good time to visit the U-Bein bridge is before sunset. You have to count on many tourists though. The sunset at Taungthaman Lake is enchanting and the sun often sinks as a fire-red ball on the horizon. The light changes every second. Excellent light conditions are given also in the morning between 7 and 9 o’clock and provide atmospheric impressions.