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Stretching across Taungthaman Lake on the outskirts of Mandalay, the teak planks of the U Bein Bridge were once part of the royal palace of the ancient capital, Inwa. At 1.2 kilometres in length, it is thought to be the longest bridge of its kind – built in 1851 it uses 1,000 wooden pillars driven into the lake bed, though some have now been reinforced with concrete. From February to May it is often possible to wander underneath the structure, whilst in the rainy season the waters can lap at the teak planks themselves. Visit at sunrise to see monks and villagers commuting back and forth, or visit at sunset for wonderfully picturesque silhouetted views.
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