Monday, October 1, 2012

mandalay :: u bein bridge

after hiking up mandalay hill
the cab driver we had hired for the day
suggested we head out of town to 
visit the u bein bridge.
according to the cab driver
(and later the lonely planet book we referenced)
this bridge is the longest teak bridge in the world.
this statement sounds intriguing and magical,
but in reality it's horrifying.

we realized, about a fourth of the way across,
that we were on a poorly constructed bridge that 
felt like it was going to break 
with ever creaking step forward.
which would leave us swimming for shore in the middle of a lake.
after we got over our fears of falling through the bridge
we had one of the most memorable evenings of our trip.

we got to see a bit into every day life 
of villagers settled outside of the big cities we had been exclusively exploring.
we watched as the sun set, creating the most stunning colors 
stretch across the sky and reflect in the glassy lake.
we met two young monks who talked with us for hours,
inquiring about our thoughts on their country
and clarifying questions about american slang,
most importantly what does "bitch" mean and is it the same thing as saying "shit"...
we walked back with these two monks long after sunset,
hoping that our cab driver hadn't given up on us.
he was still waiting at the car and we drove back to the guesthouse 
on a euphoric high we had never felt before...

there were plenty of boats with the owners trying to convince you the sunset was much better from the boat

steven trying to look comfortable and at ease walking across the creaking bridge 

the poles holding the bridge up (and a blurry golden paya in the background)

nearly every piece of teak holding the bridge together was broken... unnerving 

the sun falling behind the clouds

monks were the main commuters on this bridge. crossing from the monasteries to the university on the other side, and practicing their english with anyone who will pause in the middle of the bridge.

sunset across the lake

the worst tourist trap in myanmar. women have cages of beautiful birds that you can buy and set free...

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