U Bein Bridge

Must See U Bein Bridge

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U Bein

Just south of Amarapura is Lake Taungthanman which is covered by U Bein Bridge. Built in the mid-19th century, the 1.2km (.7mi) U Bein Bridge was named for the mayor who oversaw its construction.

Its curved shape was designed to withstand water and wind, but in recent years the lake has risen and threatened to flood the bridge. The wood was reclaimed from the former royal palace at Inwa and has 1,086 posts that span its length.

Use and time have caused some of these to decay and be replaced with concrete. The bridge was designed when Ava's capital moved to Amarapura and is thought to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world, indeed, walking across will take you around 15 minutes.

Luckily, there are tea stalls to be found at the four wooden pavilions if you need a brief rest.

The tradition concerning the founding of the Shwedagon, as contained in the Hmannan Mahayazawindawgyi (The Great Glass Palace Chronicle) which was compiled in the early 1830s by a Royal Commission composed of learned monks, brahmins and lay scholars, goes thus: Tapussa and Bhallika, two merchant brothers of Asitanjana which was in the Mon country, went on a trading journey by ship and by 500 carts.

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