What You Need To Know
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.
Area: 2,724 mi²
- The monetary unit of Myanmar is the kyat (MMR): 1 kyat (which is pronounced as ‘chaat’) comprises 100 pyas. The government’s official exchange rate is typically around MMR6 to US$1. Banknotes are issued in denominations of MMK5,000, 1,000, 500, 200, 100 and 50. Coins are available in denominations of MMK100, 50, 10, 5, 1; and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 pyas.
- Currency exchange options are limited to the exchange desk at your hotel and the riskier black market. Traveller’s cheques are not always accepted, and their acceptance tends to depend on the current political situation.
- No ATMs are available, so it’s important to be sure that you’ve brought sufficient cash for the expenses you incur during your stay.
The climate in naypyidaw is tropical. In winter, there is much less rainfall than in summer. This location is classified as Aw by Köppen and Geiger. The temperature here averages 26.8 °C. The rainfall here averages 1167 mm. April is the warmest month of the year. The temperature in April averages 31.2 °C. In January, the average temperature is 22.3 °C. It is the lowest average temperature of the whole year.
Burmese is the principal language of the city. English is by far the preferred second language of the educated class. In recent years, however, the prospect of overseas job opportunities has enticed some to study other languages: Mandarin Chinese is most popular, followed by Japanese, and French.
Nay Pyi Taw Hospital opened in 2006. There is also the Defence Services Obstetric, Gynaecological and Children’s Hospital, 300-bed facility which is among the teaching hospitals of the Burmese Defence Services Medical Academy. The nearby towns of Lewe, Pyinmana, and Tatkone each have one hospital.
Motorbike taxi 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).
Tuk tuk is 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.