Holidays to Naypyidaw, Myanmar (Burma)

As capital cities go, Naypyidaw is a strange one. It stands in what was – up until 2002 – a largely rural area and it wasn’t announced as the capital until 2005. Over a decade on and the city still doesn’t feel like a capital city, but it’s worth a visit if only to get a sense of its oddness.

The actual infrastructure of the city is fairly small, but it’s spread out over a huge area effectively slicing the city into well-spaced-out zones. The result is government buildings, hotels and malls, all connected by often traffic-less super-sized eight-lane highways. While it has understandably been labelled Myanmar’s ghost town, it’s worth exploring as it’s like nowhere else in Myanmar. And despite a seeming lack of people, there is actually a surprising amount to do and see. As well as government buildings, the city houses a zoo, safari park and multiple golf courses as well as several interesting museums.

Head to the National Museum and check out the beautifully displayed work including eleventh century jewellery, paintings by twentieth century Myanmar artists and fossils such as 40-million-year-old anthropoid jawbones. Next up visit the Defence Service Museum and check out an impressive range of military gear including helicopters, tanks and airplanes. The Gem Museum is also worth a wander and boasts an impressive collection of precious jewels such as jade, ruby and sapphire as well as the largest pearl in Myanmar. While you cannot get up close and personal with the impressive looking Parliament Building (complete with twenty-lane highway leading up to it), it’s worth taking a look at from a distance just for the sheer scale and grandiose nature of it.

You’ll get a decent overview of the county at The National Landmark Gardens. Spread across 400 acres it shows off the country's most revered cultural sites in miniature. A golf car will take you past all the big show stoppers like Golden Rock and Inle Lake. If you’re not gardened out, make some time for the Water Fountain Garden. Over 165-acres you’ll find swinging bridges, ponds, sculptures, playground and, of course, fountains.

You’ll also find plenty of temples and pagodas to explore such as the Thatta Thattaha Maha Bawdi Pagoda, a replica of the one built on the spot where Buddha achieved enlightenment. The most visible site is Uppatasanti Paya, a 321ft golden pagoda which looks very impressive at a distance.

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Naypyidaw trip ideas

Here are some trip ideas that include Naypyidaw All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you.

Places to stay in Naypyidaw

Map of Naypyidaw