The beautiful U Bein's Bridge near Mandalay, Myanmar

Visiting The Old Royal City of Amarapura.

Amarapura (which translates as City of Immortality) was founded in 1782 by King Bodawpaya of the Konbaung Dynasty of Burma. The Royal Palace was originally bordered by walls of one mile circumference with a Pagoda at each corner. The royal city lasted for 70 years after which it was moved to the foot of Mandalay Hill.

Mahagandhayon Kyaung Monastery at Amarapura in Myanmar.

This is one of Myanmar's largest monasteries and at times houses around 1200 Buddhist monks. Taking an organized half-day trip from Mandalay to visit the monastery is particularly popular with many tourists. These trips are timed to get people to the monastery in time to watch the monks walking into their dining hall - and then take photos and stare at said monks whilst they eat their food.
However if you wish to actually look around the monastery in some peace and quiet and admire it for it's buildings and area then planning an afternoon visit is a much better idea. It's easy to walk around and there are plenty of shaded areas and seats under trees to sit and relax for a while if you wish. You can look inside the (now empty) dining hall and some of the other buildings - these nicely shaped and roofed buildings are quite colourful and more or less arranged around a large courtyard.
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Mahagandhayon Clocktower, Myanmar.
Clock tower
Mahagandhayon dining hall, Myanmar.
dining hall
Mahagandhayon Monastery Monks quarters, Amarapura, Myanmar.
Beautiful Mahagandhayon Monastery building, Myanmar.
Mahagandhayon Monks quarters, Myanmar.
Monks quarters
Mahagandhayon Monastery at Amarapura in Myanmar.
Taungthaman Lake thatched house, Myanmar.
Taungthaman Lake house
Taungthaman Lake restaurant at Amarapura, Myanmar.
Taung Tha Man Lake- Amarapura, Mandalay, Myanmar.
Taungthaman Lake
Low water level on Taungthaman Lake in Myanmar.
Wooden walkway across U Bein's Bridge, Myanmar.
U Bein's Bridge
Dining under at tree beside U Bein's Bridge, Myanmar.
U Bein's Bridge

U Bein's Bridge which crosses Taungthaman Lake (Taung Tha Man Lake) at Amarapura, South Mandalay, Myanmar.

Apart from the above monastery, one of Amarapura's main attractions has to be to visit and take a walk on U Bein's Bridge which goes across Taung Tha Man Lake. U Bein's Bridge is around 1.2kms long and is the world's longest teak-constructed bridge - it is supported by more than 1000 mostly wooden piles. These tall wooden piles mean the walkway during the dry season is around 20 feet above the water-line. The bridge was built by and named after Bodawpaya's Mayor who was called U Bein and was made from timber from Inwa.
Wandering across U Bein's Bridge, South Mandalay, Myanmar.
U Bein's Bridge
Taung Tha Man Lake and U Bein's Bridge, Myanmar.
U Bein's Bridge
U Bein's Bridge Amarapura, Myanmar.
U Bein's Bridge Amarapura
Taung Tha Man Lake boats, Myanmar.
U Bein's Bridge boats
Along the bridge there are several shaded sitting areas and also there are several tea stalls. It is also very busy with locals especially in late afternoon when they turn up for a wander across it and meet up with their friends - there is even the occasional tourist around. A saunter across the bridge is very enjoyable and probably takes around 30 or 40 minutes. The east side is quite congested - actually so full of market stalls and so on perhaps mayhem is more descriptive. On the west side there are boats for hire and a large area with more stalls, shops, tea houses and people cooking food on the side of the roads and on the dry parts of the lake.
Huge poles supporting U Bein's Bridge, Myanmar.
U Bein's Bridge
U Bein's Bridge crossing Taungthaman Lake - Amarapura, Myanmar.
U Bein's Bridge Amarapura
U Bein's Bridge, Myanmar.
U Bein Bridge
Lots going on beside U Bein's Bridge, near Mandalay, Myanmar.
under U Bein's Bridge
There is meant to be public transport i.e. pick-up trucks which go to the bridge from Mandalay but as these only operate when they are jam-packed it may be a long wait. If you get sort of marooned and need to get back to Mandalay then just ask any of the people hanging around by the car park - someone will take you for a negotiated amount of USD.
Our other items about Mandalay and surrounding area.
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