To start, I’ve been waiting to take pictures at the U Bein Bridge for well over 8 years, so this was a major accomplishment for me. U Bein bridge is the longest teak bridge in the world. Who cares? It turns out that it is also one of the best travel photography locations that I have ever experienced shooting. I would rank it up there with the old town in Sanliurfa, Turkey. Of course, when you get there it’s never just how you imagine it to be, but I’m used to that. For instance, based on my research, I was expecting the sun to rise on the other side of the bridge! Turns out that I should have tried to come to the bridge at sunset, instead of sunrise. I’ll just have to go back and try again. In fact, last night, there was a large AirAsia sale, and I purchased tickets to return to Myanmar for Nov. 2012. Can’t wait.
Ideally, the sun would be rising behind the bridge and I would be shooting dark silhouettes in front of a blazing orange sky with perhaps some mist on the water to add to the ambiance.
I ended up spending a long time talking with the monk above. He was really intelligent, curious and kind. After talking for well over an hour, he invited us to come back to his monastery with him.
In Myanmar it is common for people to carry around cages of birds that you can pay a fee to release. It has something to do with a spiritual belief that it brings good Karma or something (obviously I don’t know specifics). What they neglect to tell you is that the birds are trained to return to their homes, so that they can be gathered up and sold again the next day.