Naypyidaw is the current capital of Myanmar, one of the strangest capitals in the world. During your stay in Burma, it will be an original stop to discover little known sites there.
Naypyidaw is a unique capital of the world. The city is located between two mountain ranges, very sparsely populated, and therefore very poor in activities.
Built in the early 2000s in the utmost secrecy, it was officially declared capital of Burma in November 2005 by the military government. Due to the lack of education and health infrastructures, the city remains very sparsely populated.
A visit to Naypyidaw is like visiting a ghost town. And this is certainly one of the most prominent tours on a circuit in Burma.
1. Getting to and staying in Naypyidaw
By road: There is a newly built motorway that connects Naypyidaw and Yangon. It is about 320km long, with a restaurant located at kilometer 185. The journey by car will take 4 hours approximately.
By train: From Yangon, the trains depart at 6:00 am, 8:00 am, 3:00 pm and 8:30 pm. It takes about 9 hours to get there. There is no public transport from the station to Naypyidaw.
By plane: Ela Airport is a compulsory destination for all Myanmar airlines. For passengers arriving from abroad, the airport has the immigration counters and “visa on arrival”. In reality, the airport is very little used by foreign travelers. There is no public transport to and from the airport. It is 30USD for a taxi to the city center.
By bus: You can reach Naypyidaw from Yangon by bus. The journey will last about 4 hours.
The most used transportation to move around the city is motorcycle taxi. The price will depend on the driver’s appreciation regarding your finances and what you want to see. A small number of tuk-tuks are also available, which is the cheapest solution.
In terms of housing supply, there is a hotel zone whose cheapest room costs about 24USD per night. For food and drink, it’s the best choice to go to local restaurants, as in any city of Myanmar.
2. What to visit and do during your tour in Naypyidaw
The city is surprisingly deserted at first; however, there are several interesting sites to visit in Naypyidaw in Burma.
The impressive Parliament deserves a glance, although you will not be able to approach it. You will also contemplate 3 enormous sculptures of Burmese kings, considered to be most important in the history of the country. National Plant Garden is another attractive place, which features a variety of medicinal plants from all over Burma. It’s free for you to enter.
One of the main attractions of the city, however, is the Uppatasanti Pagoda, known as the Peace Pagoda. It contains a Buddha tooth from China, and is a replica of the Shwedagon Pagoda of Yangon. It measures 100m high, and keeps 4 Buddha made of jade in its sacred cave.
In addition, there are a number of leisure centers such as Ngalaik Lake Gardens with various water games, two golf courses and a playground.
For shopping enthusiasts, know that many distributors are available throughout the city, including the airport and hotels. There is a shopping center and a market in the city. The hotel zone also has its own shopping centers, Junction and Capital. Each has shops and restaurants. In addition, you will find a cinema in Junction.
The new and unknown capital of Myanmar will be an original stop during your stay in Burma. The city has its own charm and unique character that deserve to be visited.