Following our day of sightseeing around Mandalay and Inwa, we asked to be dropped off near the Ubein Bridge. We found ourselves walking in the late afternoon sun, wandering through markets and strolling along the river.
We stopped at a small cafe for a refreshing coconut, watching as girls with long dark hair walked past in colourful longyis selling bunches of green bananas, and local men with tanned skin chewed on betelnuts and spat bright red juice onto the floor.
We walked the length of the bridge to scout the perfect vantage point to sit and watch the sunset. Halfway across, we bumped into the monk we had met earlier on in the day. He was glad to see us and we had a cheery conversation, he told me that the surrounding wide expanse of water disappears completely during the dry season.
Young children dived off the bridge, swam back, climbed up, and dived in again, giggling the whole time. People were now loading into boats and heading out onto the water. We grabbed a snack from a small vendor – some slices of sour green mango and dip and sat on the edge of the bridge with our feet dangling over the water.
At first, I was not particularly impressed. The sun seemed to be taking forever to sink in the sky, the clouds an unexciting shade of pale yellow.
But then the magic started to happen. Most of the locals said it wasn’t a very good sunset, that sometimes the whole sky burns a bright orange, but I personally love the purple, pink, and blue hues of a sunset when the sun has just disappeared below the horizon…
We were even filmed by a camera crew working from one of the boats! We had got up to leave when they started waving and shouting “No! No! Please get back in place, you guys looked so perfect in that shot!”
As far as sunsets go, it’s definitely in my top 5. After the candyfloss clouds had grown dark, with one last wistful glance, it was time to make our way back towards the hostel area for some dinner.