Home Insider Wooden World’s Scariest INSIDER TRAVEL Bridge in Myanmar

Wooden World’s Scariest INSIDER TRAVEL Bridge in Myanmar

Have you ever walked on a 15-feet- high wooden bridge with no hand- rails? You will have an eerie feeling even when you take the first step along 0.75 mile long bridge. One more clue – there are four rest-houses to take a break when you are tired. Got it? It is U Pein Bridge! It’s NOT a brand-new bridge as it was built over 160 years ago. The only helpers to walk on the bridge are more than 900 wooden posts with four or five feet between each of them. It is situated in the former capital of Amara- pura, just ten kilometers away from Manda- lay, connecting opposite end of Taung Tha- man Lake.

People have differing accounts when talking about the history of U Pein bridge. Nobody knows who is right. But here is one of the versions. U Pein Bridge was built during the era of King Bagan within the Kone Baung period (1783–1821 and 1842–1859). King

Bagan, whose hobby is hunting birds and other animals, always go for hunting. So, the affairs of the country were handled by his brothers, Min Tone and Ka Naung princ- es. The king’s animal expert was a Muslim, called Bysat, who was promoted as the governor of Amayapura. Bysat’s pupil was Maung Pein, a clerk. These two were appar- ently bad guys so that King Bagan had to execute them. It was said that Maung Pein built the bridge with the teak wood salvaged from former palace when the capital was moved from Ava (Innwa) to Amarapura.

Who rely on the bridge?

Most of the people around there rely on that old teak bridge, U Pein, however, some parts of the bridge were replaced with concrete. Some depend on it for daily transportation to go to work and return home and some for livelihood. You can see students passing through the bridge to go to their schools,

photographers who are looking out for their customers, fishermen who live there by catching fish in Taung Thaman Lake and vendors selling soft drink and fried stuff and souvenirs. You can also notice that some lo- cals even ride bikes on U Pein bridge

One does not need to worry about having tired or starving when walking on the long bridge. There are a lot of soft drink and fried snack shops on the bridge. In the middle, you can climb down to the land, if there is no water, and there are shops where friends and family can have snacks and soft drinks and breath fresh air. Singles do not need to worry either. Single-person chairs are put in front of the Lake and they can do reading without any disturbance enjoying a breeze by the lake. At souvenir shops, you can pur- chase the famous Amayapura longyis too.


It remains a question why there are many photographers who are waiting for their cus- tomers on U Pein bridge in this digital age. Most visitors have their own mobile phones and cameras and take selfie themselves. A report by a joural said that photographers cannot change their career because of the attraction of the bridge. For them, the view is never boring as it keeps changing season by season. In the rainy season, Taung Tha- man Lake is filled with water. In hot season, you can see dry grounds and walk below the bridge. It is particularly busy during July and August when the lake is at its highest. Mal zel-seed handy craft, a symbol of U Pein Female villagers’ handmade accessories are one of the symbols of U Pein. They create beautiful bracelets, handbags, hairpins, key- chains and other accessories with seeds of plants, what local calls Mal zel seeds. Local villagers make male and female accessories

in various styles, for example, flowers pat- terns for girls and masculine designs for men. Locals say that soap can be made from the Mal zel seeds and most of the visitors got it confused with watermelon seeds. Boat rides

There are traditional boats that take visi- tors to see the beautiful sun set and lower view of the bridge. Fishermen also take the advantage from the low and high tide of the lake. Among the popular pictures of U Pein bridge are action photos of fishermen stretching the fishnet in rainy season.

Have you ever been to U Pein? If your an- swer is no, please go and check that how beautiful it is. As a Myanmar citizen, I would like to conclude this article by wish- ing long-live U Pein bridge for the next century.