Nay Pyi Taw
The new light of Myanmar
Myanmar was the most recent country to move its capital, shifting 320km north from Yangon to Nay Pyi Taw in 2005. All the ministries and the military headquarters have been relocated to the new capital. Nay Pyi Taw, which is the third largest city in the country, following Yangon and Mandalay, is essentially an administrative and political capital city – most of the country’s economical activities still take place in Yangon.
However, since it officially became the capital city of such a fast-evolving country,Nay Pyi Taw has been growing fast. Since it was largely untouched prior to the move, the infrastructure of this city is more suited to new technologies. This allows faster development, which will be necessary for the fast economical growth Myanmar has been witnessing over the past few years. It has been dubbed one of the world's ten fastest growing cities.
Nay Pyi Taw literally means “Royal City”, but can also be translated as “Abode of Kings”. The new city is organised into zones based on function: the residential, ministry, military, commercial and hotel zones. While compared to other capital cities in the world, Nay Pyi Taw is still lacking many of the facilities one would expect in a capital city, but a lot of change has taken place in just a short period of time. Now, the city has an airport, big-scale shopping malls, six-lane highways and sports facilities, and the city held the 27th Southeast Asian Games in December 2013.
Not-to-be-missed Sights and Activities
Highlight of the city
Uppatasanti Pagoda, also called the “peace pagoda”, is the most prominent landmark in the city and is an almost exact replica of Yangon’s famous Shwedagon Pagoda. The golden pagoda was consecrated in March 2009 and houses an historical artifact; a Buddha tooth relic from China. The pagoda, which is Myanmar's second largest and second most important, sits atop a hill and commands spectacular views from all around.
Three Kings Monument
Another highlight of the city is the Three Kings Monument, where visitors can pay their respects to the three enormous sculptures of the Burmese kings: Anawrahta, Bayinnaung and Alaungpaya.
The National Landmark Garden
The National Landmark Garden is also a popular place among the local students. It is a public space which features miniature models of the country’s famous landmarks and pagodas, allowing visitors to learn more about the country and its history.
Myanmar is known for its unspoilt nature, but its wildlife tourism is still in its infancy. However, the Nay Pyi Taw Zoological Gardens, the largest zoo in the country, is a great place to explore nature and get acquainted with more than 700 animals, including elephants, tigers, leopards, kangaroos, and even penguins. The 612-acre zoo opened in 2008. There is also the Nay Pyi Taw Safari Park, which spans over 3.53 acres, where visitors can see hundreds of rare wildlife, including the domesticated wild oxen, sambur, and different kinds of rare creatures from Asia, Australia and Africa.
Given the rather hot and humid climate of the city, a recreational retreat in nature is more than welcome. Ngalaik Lake Gardens, about 10km from the city centre, is a small water park offering water slides, natural resorts, lodging and a beach. The manmade lake is open to the public on Thingyan holidays – the Burmese New Year Water Festival – which usually falls around mid-April. Another place to cool down the heat is the Water Fountain Garden, which includes ponds, fountains, a nine-metre-high clock tower, recreation centres, and gardens. Travellers can also visit the National Herbal Park which exhibits medicinal plants from all of the major regions in the country.
Junction Centre іs the capital's fіrst privately-operated shopping centre. With over 92,000 square feet of retail space, the shopping mall welcomes more than 2.8 million visitors a year. It is also one of the few places offering free Wi-Fi. For a more local feel, head to Nay Pyi Taw Myoma Market which is currently the most up-and-coming commercial centre of Naypyidaw. You can find thanaka face powder and traditional longyis and htamain (local clothes), as well as some handicrafts. Another popular shopping area is Thapye Chaung Market.
Nay Pyi Taw does not have its own unique dish, but it offers a wide array of traditional food such as mohinga, a rice noodle soup which is probably the most popular food in Myanmar. There are numerous restaurants in Nay Pyi Taw with quite a selection of dining options, such as Chinese, Western, Thai, Shan and Burmese food. Most restaurants serve traditional rice-and-curry dishes, but bite-sized treats are available at street-side stalls, if you're feeling adventurous.
However, if you’re not in the mood to try unheard-of dishes, most 4-5 star hotels have international restaurants offering reasonably priced menus.
Burmese cuisine might not be very popular worldwide, but it is interesting enough for this city to have “food tourists” who come here to savour local food on their holidays. Golden Hill Restaurant, Bawga Theiddhi Restaurant & Catering and Unison Cafe and Restaurant tend to be destinations strongly recommended by Nay Pyi Taw inhabitants.
Coffee aficionados will be delighted to hear that Nay Pyi Taw offers top-range coffee made from high-quality local coffee beans. Several diverse coffee shops designed for coffee enthusiasts are available at most destinations in the city.
Continuing your journey
Myanmar is a truly unique country worth exploring, so while you’re here, why not visit other thriving destinations like Yangon and Mandalay? Nay Pyi Taw is strategically designed and conveniently linked to the rest of Myanmar, especially now that it has its own international airport. Bangkok Airways connect you from Nay Pyi Taw to Bangkok and further to other destinations in Thailand.
|Route||One Way (THB)||Round Trip (THB)|
|Bangkok - Nay Pyi Taw||6,040||1,800||7,840||6,790||3,530||10,320|
|Route||One Way (USD)||Round Trip (USD)|
|Nay Pyi Taw - Bangkok||139||55||194||190||112||302|
CurrencyThai Baht (THB)
Electricity/Socket Adaptor220V 50Hz
Time zoneUTC +7
Tel code+66 2
JUN - NOVRainy season - wet and humid
30°C - 35°C
Prepare for rainy days
DEC - FEBCool season - breezy evenings and comfortable weather
26°C - 30°C
Great time for sightseeing
MAR - MAYHot season - sunny and blazing hot
30°C - 40°C
Bring plenty of water when out and about