Story of a sunset on the ancient U-Bein bridge

On the list of wonders that Myanmar (Burma) has to offer the world, certainly the teak wooden bridge of U-Bein, the oldest existing with these characteristics, is not missing. Its construction (around 1850) dates back to the Kingdom of Ava, when Amarapura, a town near Mandalay, was still the capital of the country.

More than a thousand wooden pillars, recovered from the former royal palace of Inwa, extend over a kilometre across Lake Taungthaman.

We arrive in Amarapura in a late December afternoon to watch the sunset on a small wooden boat.

I had read from several sources about the bridge, trying to inform myself also on site, but once there I found myself in front of an inconvenient: my idea was to take pictures of local people crossing U-Bein at sunset, but the amount of tourists present at that time risked to ruin the scene I had imagined.

Suggestion:

Although I understand that it’s not easy to wake up so early, in general sunrise is always better than sunset in places that are so marked by tourism. Early in the morning it is easier to meet only locals and experience a more intimate and unique moment of photography and travel.

The scenery in front of my eyes was fantastic, with the sun, behind the bridge, slowly descending below the horizon and the sky turning an intense orange. An ideal situation for a beautiful backlight.

I was looking for a genuine scene, representing only local people but for at least 10 minutes of golden hour I couldn’t avoid including tourists in my photos. Then, after several attempts (and a lot of patience) I finally managed to photograph the silhouette of 3 monks, without other elements to distract the scene.  A lucky and happy moment along my itinerary in Myanmar.

U Bein bridge sunset

During a trip, sometimes it is not possible to stay in one place as long as we would like and often we only get one chance to make the most of those situations. We never know if at some point we will be lucky enough to visit the same place again.

Time runs fast, and the world is so big!

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