Before dawn, we willingly awoke, to marvel the Sunrise at U Bein Bridge, one of Myanmar's most spectacular sites. We approached Taungthaman lake, and the sun began to appear over the horizon. Silhouettes of trees lining the lake illuminated in the first of dawn’s light. The sky got brighter, the monks began to walk across, heading toward their destinations to receive alms for the day. We were rewarded with very few people, and an eerily peaceful morning at the lake.
The silence was broken only by the clicks of my camera shutter, the soft pattering footsteps of locals as they made their commute. I loved watching the view from here: seeing the local feeding the birds and the fisherman drawing their nets.
It was a humbling experience to see the sunset at one of the most ancient and longest wooden bridge in the world. The whole place seemed like something from another world and another time. The stroll along the bridge was beautiful, yet terrifying as the 1,000 decaying wooden pillars dubiously holding the worn teak planks shook and creaked. The thought of watching the sunset from the bridge didn’t stop me. It wasn’t sunrise yet, but the scenery already blew us away.
On our journey across the bridge, we were met by a few vendors who gladly gave us a history lesson about the bridge. U Bein bridge was built in 1850 when the ancient Ava Kingdom moved their capital to Amarapura from Upper Burma. Made entirely of teak wood, it serves as an important passage for the local people stretching across the Taungthaman Lake and is about 1.2km long.
We found a spot among the small crowd, to capture that fiery ball of light as it welcomed us with its glaring warmth. As the sun's full emergence into the sky, we gave thanks and appreciation for all this wonderful life has given us. For the half-hour or so leading up to the sunrise, there were few words spoken and a calmness of mind and spirit that could not be interrupted. The feeling of unparalleled stillness.
Sometimes, I just couldn’t believe that I made it here with my husband in this amazing country. With watery eyes, I smiled while capturing a sunrise I shall never forget.
Many visitors usually come here for sunset, but those wanting to really see something special, sunrise is best. At this time, you’ll hardly see tourists, just you, twittering birds, and the bridge.
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