Spectacular surprises

Spectacular surprises

We knew we had one last thing to see before we returned to Ananda and that Aung had been carefully managing our timings so that we would arrive at U Bein Bridge in good time for sunset.  This was the bridge we’d seen on TV last weekend as we were packing our bags and we were really looking forward to actually being there ourselves.  Having said that, our days have been so fun packed with such a rich variety of activities, we’d almost forgotten we still had the bridge to look forward to.


When we arrived, there was quite a melee in the car park and I tried my best not to look over to the bridge itself until I could get to a place where I had a decent view. 


Aung announced that the best views were to be had from the small boats and that five had been reserved especially for the nine of us.


They were the ones with the chairs and coffee tables!  Oh my.


So we climbed aboard and our oarsmen were immediately ready for the off.  They stood at the back and rowed forwards, if you can work out what I mean.


We sat back in comfort and considered our good fortune, following our friends out there into the lake.


We were all taking photos like mad, as the sun was going down and our boats were heading further into the middle.


Most of all, we were all trying to capture the whole length of the bridge, even though we knew it was a hopeless task.


It just goes on and on into the distance.


Maybe if we zoom in?  After all, there are great reflections in the still water.


Oh, and of course, we should take photos of each other to swap later.


Just as we were thinking we were in the plum spot, the one where we wished to stay and watch the sunset, we moved on a little further.


OK, we’ll get some closeups of those people who are walking on the bridge, as well as those serious photographers under it.


By now, dusk was falling quite rapidly and we simply hoped for a better sunset that the other night, especially since we had such a great spot here.


But our oarsman decided to follow Caroline and Marion’s in front, actually sailing through the legs of the bridge to the other side.  Surely, there wasn’t going to be a view of sunset at all from there?


Oh, well, ok, no sunset, but maybe a different view of the bridge itself.  We’ll let them off!


But when Caroline and Marion appeared to be passing something from another nearby boat, we began to worry.  We were a bit vulnerable here in the open, needing to trust our oarsmen implicitly to do as they’d been asked.  We spoke no Burmese, he spoke no English and Aung was nowhere to be seen.  We couldn’t ask him what he thought he was doing.


But all became clear when we got a little closer and spotted a familiar face – the staff from the Ananda were there with bottles of Tattinger and had opened a champagne bar right there in the lake!  Wow…….


What a marvellous surprise!  How typically thoughtful to do that. 



As we sat, champagne in hand, it was another one of those count your blessings moments and you won’t be surprised to hear that a tear rolled down my cheek at one point.


But that didn’t last long because some friends were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary and magically, the champagne bar came round with refills right on time!


As the sun went behind a cloud, we guessed that we’d seen the best.  Just like sunset over the Bagan temples, this one was going to fizzle.


Our oarsman decided to make a move before the others and we quietly slipped behind the row of champagne drinkers and those who simply wished they were and headed to the jetty once more.


There were still one or two photographs to take but really, that was that for tonight.


We bade U Bein Bridge farewell and set off on our merry way home to Ananda for dinner.


What a fantastic way to end our journey!

Goodbye, Ananda

Goodbye, Ananda

The Sagaing Hills

The Sagaing Hills