Sep 18, 2012

Limitation to bikes from crossing teak bridge

U Bein's Bridge
U Bein Bridge - Myanmar
From Threeland Travel's Blog - September 2012
Myanmar Ministry of Culture will prohibit motorbikes and cycles from crossing U Bein Bridge, a historic footbridge and a prominent tourist attraction recognized as the world’s longest teakwood bridge.

Ministry of Culture deputy minister, Daw Sandar Khin, said it is assisting the local government to preserve the 1.2km-long wooden footbridge that was built in the mid 1800’s by the town mayor, U Bein.

It links Amarapura and Taungthaman villages and is still used today by villagers. Government officials fear it could collapse if measures are not taken to relieve traffic.

Motorbikes cause the most damage to the structure, but there are also cases of vandalism. During the annual water festival in April, the bridge is packed with people far more than it was designed to hold safely.

Even though cycles are also included in the ban, the deputy minister said residents could still push them across.

The Ministry of Culture has continually worked on restoring the bridge since 1990 with major repairs undertaken in 2005 to 2006 and during 2008 to 2009.

According to the report, the ministry’s department of archaeology ensures that repair works are undertaken using the original construction materials, however; earlier repairs used concrete, rather than teak wood.

The bridge is located at 25 km from the Mandalay International Airport.

Amarapura has several interesting attractions including Bagaya Kyaung, a wooden monastery founded by King Mindon; Amarapura Palace ruins; Maha Gandhayon Kyaung, a modern monastery complex with hundreds of monks and novices and a Chinese temple.

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