Naypyidaw, Myanmar

World / Asia / Myanmar


Myanmar Parliament Building, Nyapyidaw, Myanmar
Myanmar Parliament Building, Nyapyidaw, Myanmar
Author: Mortenmost (public domain)

Naypyidaw is a city in the Naypyidaw Union Territory in Central Myanmar. Located 320 km to the northwest of Yangon, this centrally-planned city was announced on 27 March, 2006, to replace Yangon as the capital of Myanmar. The administrative buildings of Naypyidaw are now under construction, with expected completion some time in 2012 or later.

As it stands, Naypyidaw suddenly has a population approaching a million people, making it immediately the third biggest city in Myanmar after Yangon and Mandalay. The name Nay Pyi Daw means "royal capital" or "seat of the kings". Located about 3 km to the west of Pyinmana, the city was created since 2002.

Uppatasanti Pagoda, Nyapyidaw
Uppatasanti Pagoda, Nyapyidaw
Author: DiverDave (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Places of Interest in Naypyidaw

  1. Myanmar Parliament Building
  2. Statue of Burmese Kings
  3. Uppatasanti Pagoda
By 2005, the Myanmar government began to move government ministries from Yangon to Naypyidaw, timed at the astrologically auspicious 6:37 am. This hasty exodus to Naypyidaw results in lack of amenities for the employees and their families.

The rationale given by the Myanmar government for relocating to the new capital was that Naypyidaw is more centrally and strategically located than Yangon. It is also located at the crossroads of transportation hub, and the relocation of the military closer to the politically volatile Shan, Kayah and Kayin states is hoped to bring more stability to the country. Another official stand of the government is that Yangon has become too congested and crowded for effective expansion of government offices.

Naypyidaw Gem Museum
Naypyidaw Gem Museum
Author: DiverDave (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Observers have speculated that the government moved the capital to ward off possible military attack on Myanmar. As Yangon is on the coast, it is more vulnerable to invasion.

Visiting Naypyidaw

At the moment, visitors wishing to go to Naypyidaw from Yangon has to take the bus. A sparkling new toll motorway connects Yangon to Naypyidaw. Within Naypyidaw itself, there are tuk tuks, called Thaw Lar Gyi, which you can hire to take you around.

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