Naypyidaw is a unique city in the region. It is a fully constructed large city but with very few inhabitants compared to its size, so you can experience the amazing and unprecedented (for Asia) experience of never ever being stuck in traffic. It is between two mountain ranges so has little to offer in the way of day trips or activities. The city was constructed to be the capital by the military and lacks the dissarray and wonder found throughout the rest of Myanmar.
Naypyidaw was constructed in secret by the Myanmar Junta in the early 2000s. In November 2005 it was officially announced as the country's new capital. Government workers were given two months notice that they would have to move from Yangon, as all government offices and ministries were relocated. Embassies and international organisations like the UN have not yet relocated but are expected to at some point. The international retail chains found throughout all other capital cities are not present in Naypyidaw.
The city has wide boulevards/highways (still almost empty) and extravagant roundabouts. It has housing for government workers, but many still maintain residences for their families in Yangon as education and health infrastructure is not yet in place.
Naypyidaw has a humid subtropical climate and the average year-round precipitation is 1.151mm (45.3 inches). Due to its inland position the city experiences larger seasonal variations than the coastal Myanmar. The city features 3 seasons: a cool (compared to the ones) and dry season and scorchingly hot season and a rainy season. The cool and dry season runs from November to February and is characterised by pleasant nights (around 14°C or 57°F), warm to hot days (around 30°C or 86°F), low humidity and very low amounts of rainfall. Cooler air masses from the north, may occasionally cause temperatures to fall around 10°C (50°F), but warmer air masses from the south may also arrive and result in temperatures above 32°C (90°F). In March temperatures begin to rise quickly and the average high reaches 38°C (100°F) in April, while above 40°C (104°F) readings are observed frequently. In May temperatures begin to cool but humidity increases rapidly and the rainy season begins. Inarguably the best part of the year to visit Naypyidaw is from December to January when it is not as hot as the hot season but also not as rainy as the wet season.
There is a newly built motorway (toll road) linking Yangon to NPT. It is 200 miles long, with a restaurant stop at 115 miles. The journey takes about 4 hours by car.
From Yangon train times are as follows: D:0600 A:1519, D:0800 A:1700, D:0800 A:0157, D:1500 A:2329, D:2030 A:0500 Please note, there is no public transport to or from the railway station.
It might be better to get off the train at Pyinmana (one stop south of Naypyidaw) bacause this stop is closer to many of the hotels and the "center" of Naypyidaw. But if you come from the north don't forget to ask the ticket collector if the train actually stops there!
To handle increased traffic to the capital, the existing airport at Ela was upgraded to handle the larger planes. It lies 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Kyatpyae. This airport is now listed as a destination for all domestic airlines in Myanmar (Myanmar National Airlines, FMI Air, Yangon Airways, Air Mandalay and Air Bagan). For passengers coming from abroad, the airport does have full immigration facilities and supports Visa on Arrival.
In reality, only army generals and foreign visitors go to Naypyidaw via plane while all others travel by bus or car. There is no public transportation options from the airport, a taxi from NPT airport to the centre is about 30$
From Yangon, a bus is available. It travels along a 8-lane highway for about 4 hours from Yangon to the capital (which just springs out of nowhere at a nondescript intersection - very unusual).
- JJ express bus Yangon, Aungmingalar bus station Yangon, Mawlamying street, Room A 5,6, ☎ 09 731235 71 ~ 72 ~73 ~ 74. edit
- JJ express bus Mandalay - Kyawesekan, Kyawesekan bus station Mandalay, Room D-4, ☎ 02 81047, 09 402564442 ~ 43, 09 91034827. edit
- JJ express bus Mandalay - 83 Street, Corner of 83 Street and 32 Street, Chanayetharzan Township, ☎ 09 1055711, ß0 40256440 ~ 1. edit
arriving at three different bus stations in the city
- JJ express bus Naypyidaw - Bawka Thiri, Bawka Thiri bus station Naypyidaw, Room A/80, ☎ 067 26288, 09 49261092. edit
- JJ express bus Naypyidaw - Thapyagone, Thapyagone bus station Naypyidaw, Room A7/8, ☎ 09 49267998. edit
- JJ express bus Naypyidaw - Myoma Zay, Myoma Zay bus station Naypyidaw, Room 33, ☎ 09 47102883, 09 49261093. edit
From Inle (Nyaung Shwe), there are several travel agencies offering minibuses and buses to Naypyidaw. Common departures are 8:30 AM (Full moon travels), 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM and take about 6 hours. There is also a night bus that leaves at 7:30 PM (MAY travels) and arrives in Naypyidaw at 3:00 AM (not an attractive option since getting to the hotel can be difficult at that time).
By motorbike taxiEdit
This is the typical transportation in Naypyidaw. Price depends on how rich the driver thinks you are and how many sights you want to see. 25000K (very very negotiable).
By tuk tukEdit
Similar to those in Bangkok although called a "Thaw Lar Gyi" in Myanmar. Few and far between and along the highways only but an option if have time and not a lot of money.
"The Golden Lake Hotel" rents motorbikes. 3000/4000 per hour and 20000/30000 per day (8 hours) for semi-automatic/automatic. If you rent for multiple days you can keep the scooter overnight.
- The huge and impressive parliament building with a 20-lane highway (usually empty) leading up to it. You can only watch it from a little distance since you cannot cross the bridge leading to it.
- Three enormous sculptures depicting the Burmese kings Anawrahta, Bayinnaung and Alaungpaya U Aung Zeya, considered the three most important kings in Burmese history.
- National Herbal Park has exhibits of plants having medicinal applications from all of the major regions of Burma. There are thousands of plants at the park, representing hundreds of different species. There is no entry fee.
- Naypyidaw Water Fountain Park 700K entry fee. No fountains are working during the daytime, wait for after 6:30pm (that is when they should work), could be nice (but not great) during festivals if the fountains work. Can swim in the concrete pool if you don't mind algae and sunbathe (on 2nd May 2016 there was not much of a pool, more like a puddle, I find it doubtful if you could swim in it).
- The Naypyidaw Zoological Gardens opened in 2008 with some 420 animals and a climate-controlled penguin house. It is the largest zoo in Burma. It is said that most of the animals were relocated from Yangon zoo, at the same time as the government officials were making the same journey. A well known comedian who announced regularly that "all our animals are going to Naypiydaw" was imprisoned.
- The Naypyidaw Safari Park
- A Gem Museum
Has a lot of rubies, pearls and jade. 6800 Kyat.
- Uppatasanti Pagoda also called the "Peace Pagoda" is a prominent landmark in Naypyidaw. The pagoda, which houses a Buddha tooth relic from China, is a replica of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon and stands 100 metres high. It also has Maha Hsutaungpyae Buddha Image in Maha Pasadabhumi Gandhakuti Chamber, Four jade Buddha images in the pagoda's hollow cave, 33 metre high flagpole, Bo tree Garden with Maha Bo Tree and the images of the 28 Buddhas, Marlini Mangala Lake with the chamber of Shin Uppagutta and Pagoda museum.
- Defence Service Museum
Ridiculously big museum showcasing airplanes, helicopters, tanks and a lot of other military stuff. The combination of the large amount of people working there (mainly gardeners and military personal) and the lack of visitors give it a certain "North Korea feel". It's allowed to drive a motorbike inside the museum area. Entrance free.
Ngalaik Lake Gardens is a small water park situated along the Ngalaik Dam, near Kyweshin Village on Ngalaik Lake (approximately seven miles from Naypyidaw). Opened in 2008, facilities at the Ngalaik Lake Gardens include water slides, natural resorts, lodging and a beach.
Naypyidaw also has two golf courses (Nay Pyi Taw City Golf Course and Yaypyar Golf Course)
Behind the city hall, there is a park with a playground and water fountain complex, which hosts a musical light show every night.
'Hlay Khwin Taung' is located in the eastern side of Naypyidaw, 7 miles away from Old Yangon-Mandalay expressway. The famous Sittaung river originates there and water is crystal clear. There are restaurants which offer fresh grilled river-prawns and fishes along the bank of river. Safe boating trip along the river is also available. River flows past through a valley, a small wood, plantation fields and a village and sightseeing boat trip is spectacular.
ATMs are now available at several locations in Naypyitaw, including the airport and many hotels.
Naypyitaw Myoma Market is currently the commercial centre of Naypyidaw. Other shopping areas include Thapye Chaung Market and Junction Centre Naypyidaw.
There are two medium-sized shopping malls in the hotel zone: Junction and Capital, which each have a supermarket and restaurants. Junction also has a cinema.
Your motorbike driver will possibly be able to suggest somewhere. Near the coach /bus station is a market with stalls and shops.
The Hotel zone has a handful of villa-style hotels that dot the hills on the outskirts of the city. There are currently twelve hotels located in or near Naypyidaw. Eight of these are located within the Naypyidaw Hotel Zone.
- Royal Naypyitaw Hotel has 100 rooms (US$60-80).
- Yadanar Theinga has decent double rooms for 31.500Kyat, buffet breakfast included. Their English is lacking to say the least, but they try, so with some effort you can ask them for a motor taxi. But double check.
There is one train per day to Bagan leaving Naypyidaw at 05:00am.
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