Naypyidaw, also spelled Nay Pyi Taw, is the capital city of Myanmar, also known as Burma.
Naypyidaw is rather unique in this entire region. It's a fully developed large city, but with very few inhabitants for its size, so you can experience the rather unprecedented Asian experience of never having to be stuck in traffic. Whether this weird situation will remain when Burma's economy begins to boom is another matter since the lack of gridlock is certainly not down to superb road planning and cutting edge traffic control despite the wide boulevards and Parisian-sized roundabouts.
Naypyidaw was a rather secretive construction project by the brutal, ruling military junta in the early 2000s and, in Nov 2005, was suddenly officially announced as Myanmar's new capital. Government workers were given two months notice that they would have to move from Yangon with the re-location of all government offices and ministries. Most embassies and international organisations, like the UN, have not relocated since an education and health infrastructure is not yet in place.
|POPULATION :||City: 924,608|
|TIME ZONE :||MST (UTC+06:30)|
|RELIGION :||Buddhist 89%, Christian 4% (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Muslim 4%, animist 1%, other 2%|
|AREA :||2,723.71 sq mi (7,054.37 km2)|
|ELEVATION :||377 ft (115 m)|
|COORDINATES :||19°45′N 96°6′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48.50% |
• Female: 51.50%
|ETHNIC :||Burman 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Indian 2%, Mon 2%, other 5%|
|AREA CODE :||067|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :|
Naypyitaw Myoma Market is the commercial centre of Naypyidaw. Other shopping areas include Thapye Chaung Market and Junction Centre Naypyidaw. In the "hotel zone" are two medium-sized shopping malls: Junction and Capital, each of which have a supermarket and restaurants. Junction also has a cinema.
THINGS TO SEE:
- King Statues. Three enormous sculptures depicting the three most important kings in Burmese history: Anawrahta, Bayinnaung and Alaungpaya U Aung Zeya.
- National Herbal Park. 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. Free.
- Naypyidaw Safari Park.
- Naypyidaw Zoological Gardens. Opened in 2008 with some 420 animals and a climate-controlled penguin house. It is the largest zoo in Burma as most of the animals were relocated from the zoo in Rangoon at the same time as the government officials were making the same journey. When a well known comedian consequently announced that "all our animals are going to Naypiydaw", he was predictably imprisoned.
- Uppatasanti Pagoda (Peace Pagoda). =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 m high. It also has a Maha Hsutaungpyae Buddha image in the Maha Pasadabhumi Gandhakuti Chamber, four jade Buddha images in the pagoda's hollow cave; a 33 m 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 a pagoda museum.
THINGS TO DO:
- City Park (Behind the city hall). Park with a playground and water fountain complex, which hosts a musical light show every night.
- Golf. Naypyidaw has two golf courses, Nay Pyi Taw City Golf Course and Yaypyar Golf Course.
- Ngalaik Lake Gardens (~10 km from Naypyidaw). A small water park along Ngalaik Dam, near Kyweshin Village on Ngalaik Lake. Has water slides, resorts, lodgings and a beach.
Naypyitaw has a short history, having been founded on a greenfield site in the shrubland some 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) west of Pyinmana, and approximately 320 kilometres (200 mi) north of Yangon, with construction starting in 2002.
At least 25 construction companies were hired by the military government to build the city, including Asia World and Htoo Ltd. The military government began moving government ministries from Yangon to Naypyidaw on 6 November 2005 at the astrologically auspicious time of 6:37 a.m. Five days later, on 11 November at 11 a.m., a second convoy of 1,100 military trucks carrying 11 military battalions and 11 government ministries left Yangon. The ministries were expected to be mostly in place by the end of February 2006, however, the hasty move led to a lack of schools and other amenities which separated the government employees from their families for the time being. The government originally prohibited families of government workers from moving to the new capital. Military headquarters were located in a separate compound from the government ministries, and civilians have been banned from entering either. Vendors are restricted to a commercial zone near the government offices.
On 27 March 2006, more than 12,000 troops marched in the new capital in its first public event: a massive military parade to mark Armed Forces Day—which is the anniversary of then Burma's 1945 uprising against the Japanese occupation of Burma. Filming was restricted to the concrete parade ground which contains three enormous sculptures—depictions of the Burmese kings Anawrahta, Bayinnaung and Alaungpaya, who are considered the three most important kings in Burma's history. The city was officially named Naypyidaw during these ceremonies.
Naypyidaw is located between the Bago Yoma and Shan Yoma mountain ranges. The city covers an area of 7,054.37 km2 (2,723.71 sq mi) and has a population of 924,608, according to official figures.
Chaungmagyi Dam is located a few kilometers to the north of Naypyidaw, while Ngalaik Dam is a few kilometers to the south. The Yezin Dam is farther away in the northeast.
Naypyidaw is organized into a number of zones. As of 2011, the city is still lacking many of the facilities one would expect in a capital city.
The residential areas are carefully organized, and apartments are allotted according to rank and marital status. The city currently has 1,200 four-story apartment blocks. The roofs of apartment buildings are color-coded by the jobs of their residents; Ministry of Health employees live in buildings with blue roofs and Ministry of Agriculture employees live in those with green roofs. High-ranking government officials live in mansions, of which there are about 50. Many of the city's residents, however, live in slums.
High-ranking military officers and other key officials live 11 km (6.8 mi) away from regular government employees in a complex said to consist of tunnels and bunkers; this area is restricted to the public. The city also hosts a military base, which is inaccessible to citizens or other personnel without written permission. Inside the military zone, the roads have eight lanes to allow small aircraft to land.
The city's Ministry zone contains the headquarters of Burma's government ministries. All the ministry buildings are identical in appearance. A parliamentary complex consisting of 31 buildings and a 100-room presidential palace are also located there. The zone also contains the city hall building, which has many characteristics of Stalinist architecture, but with a Burmese-style roof.
The Hotel zone has a handful of villa-style hotels on the hilly outskirts of the city. There are currently twelve hotels located in or near Naypyidaw. Eight of these are located within the Naypyidaw Hotel Zone, and two are located in Laeway (Lewe) on the Yangon-Mandalay Road. Forty villas were constructed near the Myanmar Convention Centre in preparation for the 25th ASEAN summit conducted in Naypyitaw in November 2014. Construction of the villas was begun in 2010 by the government. However funds were limited so the project was later put out to tender for completion by private sector investors. Details of the tender process are unclear but ten companies were chosen to participate in the activity including firms owned by prominent business people known to have close connections with the government.
348 hotels and 442 inns were constructed to house the athletes spectators of the 2013 Southeast Asian Games, which was hosted in Naypyidaw
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