Amarapura and Taungthaman Lake

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June 1st 2006
Published: June 1st 2006
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Boats on Thaungthaman LakeBoats on Thaungthaman LakeBoats on Thaungthaman Lake

Apparently in wet season the water does get above waist deep.
Amarapura is another capital full of temples, stupas, and sundry ruins. And neither hell nor high water were going to make either Magdalena or myself subject ourselves to another plunk of dead bricks. Especially when there is a wonderful lake in front of us.

Taugthaman Lake is a shallow pond more than a lake. There are no shortage of boats, but most of the fishermen prefer wading waist-deep in the muddy water in search of fish. Probably cooler.

The only people swimming were a few kids, though it's doubtful the swim actually made them any cleaner.

We wondered over U Bien's Bridge, which is rather underwhelming compared to its fame as a tourist attraction, to, as you can imagine, get to the other side of the lake. The bridge is 1.2km long and made of wood. wow.

The other side of the lake had what we had looked for all day - beer. There was a temple and some sights, but Magdalena and I decided we should concentrate on what was important.

We found a spare seat (there were several hundred seats by the lake, only about six of which were taken) and ordered a beer.
Monks on U Bien's BridgeMonks on U Bien's BridgeMonks on U Bien's Bridge

U Bien's Bridge is one of the major attractions in this part of the world for two reasons: it's not an historic temple, monastery or stupa, and it works. Even during power cuts.
Nothing simpler. The girls we spoke to went and found the owner who said there was no beer. Hmmm.

So we sent one of the girls to get beer from the town and got lucky - two cold beers!

Twas marvelous to sit and soak up the atmosphere through our sweatsoaked shirts. Being by the lake didn't make it any cooler.

Eventually Caroline got across the lake (she has a sprained ankle) and joined us for a few minutes before we hired a boat to return us to the other side. 1.2km is a long way to walk.

We only just made it too. As soon as we got there the Buddha upstairs turned the tap back on and we had rather a wet drive back to Mandalay. It wouldn't have been too back, except our driver insisted on driving too fast for the little car (40km/h being about the limit for this piece of junk) and spraying water into the carburetor. Having stopped on the side of the road for half an hour next to a huge puddle (to be fair, the whole road was one 40km puddle) we had a choice of hiding in
An island restaurantAn island restaurantAn island restaurant

We would have gone in except for the fact that it had a mud floor. Under two inches of water.
the rain behind the little thing or sitting out of the rain and getting splashed by every passing motorist.

I actually felt cold for my first time in Myanmar as we headed more cautiously back to town.

See also Mandalay and surrounds.

Additional photos below
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Me on the boatMe on the boat
Me on the boat

The blue sky behind me turned black about half an hour after this photo.

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