Myanmar: Mandalay

Mandalay is the last royal capital of Myanmar (Burma) and home to multiple ancient stupas and the popular attraction – the U Bein Bridge. It is also the second-largest city and the economic hub of Myanmar (Burma). Completed in 1851, the U Bein Bridge was created with reclaimed wood from a former royal palace. It spans 1.2 kilometers across Taungthaman Lake. Due to safety issues, the bridge has been renovated with many of its 1000 wood columns being replaced with concrete. It has attracted local vendors who sell their wares to tourists and is busiest during July and August.

photo courtesy of Myanmar Tourism Board

Artist Gus Harper visited the famous bridge on his eighteen-month art journey through Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Gus took the main photo on this page. “Myanmar was a great experience for me,” explained Harper. “I went on a long walk with monks who just wanted to practice their English. We asked each other a lot of questions about each other’s cultures. It was a great exchange.” CLICK HERE to read an interview with artist Gus Harper.

While in Mandalay, be sure to visit some sacred sites such as Mandalay Hill, Shwenandaw Monastery, etc. Also in this same area, one can view the world’s largest book at Kuthodaw Pagoda. This beautiful Buddhist stupa can be found at the foot of Mandalay Hill.

Find out more historic places to visit on the tourism website –

U Bein Bridge, Mandalay, Myanmar; photo by Gus Harper

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