Footbridge Ubein Teakwood. Connects Amarapura To A Pagoda On The Other Side Of The Lake. Myanmar. (Photo by: EyeOn/UIG via Getty Images)

UIG via Getty Images

U-Bein Bridge

Top choice in Myanmar (Burma)

The world’s longest teak footbridge gently curves 1300yd across shallow Taungthaman Lake, creating one of Myanmar’s most photographed sites. In dry season it feels surreally high and mostly crosses seasonal vegetable gardens, but after the summer rains, the area becomes a big lake and water laps just below the floor planks. A handful of the 1086 poles on which it stands have been replaced by concrete supports.

A great time to visit the bridge is just after sunrise when hundreds of villagers and monks commute back and forth across it. The light is often best around an hour before sunset, but by then it will be swamped with busloads of tourists. However, while the bridge gets extremely busy and shops hawk trinkets and souvenirs, the views can still feel surreal and the atmosphere, while far from serene, is unique.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Myanmar (Burma) attractions

1. Lin Zin Kone Cemetery


When Inwa-based King Hsinbyushin sacked Ayuthaya in today's Thailand in 1765, he reputedly returned with thousands of prisoners, including the Ayuthayan…

2. Maha Ganayon Kyaung

0.51 MILES

Just west of U-Bein Bridge, this sprawling monastery is a pleasantly meditative place for most of the day. But you may want to avoid it at about 10.30am,…

3. Kyauktawgyi Paya


Around 200yd beyond the eastern end of U-Bein Bridge, this 1847 pagoda, built by Pagan Min, was supposedly modelled on the larger Ananda Pahto at Bagan,…

4. Kyo Aung Sanda

0.63 MILES

Little visited, this curious latter-day monastery features massive seated and reclining Buddhas, a hall-of-mirrors-like prayer hall full of monk-posture…

5. Shwe Sin Tai

1.02 MILES

Hand-worked silk-weaving workshop that welcomes visitors without sales pressure.

6. Pahtodawgyi

1.37 MILES

This vast bell-shaped pagoda, erected by King Bagyidaw in 1820, is the tallest structure (185ft) for miles around. Men only are allowed to climb halfway…

7. Shwe Linmin Paya


This attractive 19th-century square-based stupa has a gold spire and white/ice-blue lower sections from a 2006 makeover. It's set in a nursery of…

8. Wok Foundry

1.81 MILES

You can see giant woks being cast at this fascinating little foundry, located near Bagaya Kyaung. There are no real hours – these guys seem to work…