Naypyitaw: More Than Just Empty Roads

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Although Naypyitaw is only 5 hours away from the financial hub Yangon, it has been more than two years since our writer’s last visit to this capital city.

Unlike many others, we have no business with government officials nor do we ever think of going on a vacation there. But on this recent visit, to our surprise, we began to notice some light and vibrancy in the city once called a “Ghost Town”.

Here is an updated guide on what visitors can actually experience in Nay Pyi Taw.

To get there:
With a distance of around 326 kilometers by flight or 376 kilometers by car, the choice of transportation is up to you.

By private car, it will take approximately between four to six hours. By bus, travel time is around six to nine hours (prices range from USD 6 – 20). If you fancy flying, there are more than 10 airlines, both domestic and international, which fly there regularly. Round trip fares start from USD 200 and the flight usually takes between 30 minutes to one hour.

Recommended:

For time efficiency and for most comfort and convenience, FMI Air would be our most recommended mode of transport. With wide seats and light meal service, attentive staff both on the ground and inflight, it’s no surprise FMI Air is the top choice of travelers heading to Nay Pyi Taw. You’ll also enjoy access to its boutique lounge at Yangon Domestic Airport and Nay Pyi Taw International Airport.

To sleep:

The secret of Nay Pyi Taw lies in luxurious accommodations that come in cheap prices. You can get four- or five-star facilities and services under USD 100 per night. Rooms are generally large, new with nice decoration — in both traditional and modern styles.

Recommended: Emerald Palace Hotel is equipped with four-star facilities, modern and well-decorated rooms and surroundings, and is strategically located near shopping centers, as well as within short distance to ministries and most government offices. All rooms and villas are designed to highlight modern art using a natural look and feel, but with state-of-the-art audio and visual systems. The hotel has 46 Deluxe Rooms, 6 Executive Villas, and 3 Family Villas.

The climaxes for the hotel are their long-stretched urban design outdoors pool and their superb traditional Italian cuisine at Emerald Restaurant, headed by a highly experienced Italian chef.

Address: Yaza Thingaha Rd., Myanmar Phone: +95 67 419 321

To Eat:

We have seen a growing number of restaurants and bars in Nay Pyi Taw, some of which are household names in Yangon, such as Korean restaurant Yoogane and Italian restaurant L’Opera. These certainly add to a wide selection of hotel restaurants and other existing eateries.

Recommended The Teak Royal Thai Cuisine & Hong Kong Seafood

Located within Rich Gems and Jewelry compound inside the gems and jewelry zone, The Teak offers authentic Thai dishes and Hong Kong-style seafood cuisine. The restaurant comprises two zones — the air-conditioned two-level teak house and an outside area at greenery garden by the pool.

Signature dishes for Thai cuisine include the famous Tom Yam Kung, Som Tam (Papaya Salad), Deep Fried Snapper with Fish Sauce and Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab with Garlic and Pepper. Its Stir-Fried Noodle with Seafood Savory Sauce is highly recommended, as it’s not so common to find this dish in most Thai restaurants.

Hong Kong-Style Seafood Cuisine serves proper fresh seafood, scrumptious beef brisket pot, tasty honey-glazed barbequed pork, braised abalone and many more. The star here is large King Prawn Sashimi served in a boat that leaves you in awe.

The restaurant is perfect for private and business lunch or dinner. It can host up to 200 people.

Address: The Rich Gems , JM065, Gems and Jewelry Market , Shwe Kyar Pin Quarter, Dekkina Thiri Township, Nay Pyi Taw Opening Hours: Daily 10 AM – 10 PMPhone: 067-810-2067
To Drink:

Nightlife in Nay Pyi Taw is not as quiet as it seems. Driving around the city and beyond to nearby Pyinmana area, we noticed entertainment complexes and karaoke venues hidden along the streets. That, as new bars are starting to pop up.

Recommended: Royal Maharsan Bar & Restaurant near Thapyaygone Street

Opened late last year, Royal Maharsan Bar & Restaurant has gained popularity among the locals traveling to Nay Pyi Taw due to its cool “Biker Theme” decoration and relaxed atmosphere.

The bar is divided into 3 zones — two-level private rooms zone made from containers, as well as an outside area and an indoor room. Hint: you can’t miss the Mini Cooper and the biker cloths. There is fun anywhere you look – live music band outdoors or darts and table football inside.

The bar offers a wide selection of drinks that range from cocktail, wine, beer, whiskey and cognac to signature cocktails such as the Plum, Palace Sunrise, Jack&Rose, Green Line and A Reason to Lie (5,500 Kyats each), though classic cocktails are also available.

The restaurant caters European dishes with a choice of beef, lamb, salmon, spaghetti and some Thai-inspired Asian dishes.

Address: Near Thapyaygone, Pyinmana Phone: 09979068474

Breeze Bar

Hidden along Pan Ei Street, we were surprised to see a full car-parking lot on a Monday night, not knowing what to expect. It was modern on the outside, but homey and warm on the inside. Bamboo huts covered the tables as a live band played covers of old school Burmese songs. Two thumbs up for the live band. Cocktails are decent with reasonable prices.

If you want to experience local bar culture, Breeze is your place.

Address: No. 3214, Pan Ei Road (Opposite of 145 KTV & Bar), Poung Long 2 Qut, Near with Bawga Thiri Highway Station, Pyinmana Phone: 067 26 122 Opening hours: 10 AM – 11 PM

To See:

There may be no skyscrapers, rooftop spots, or ubiquitous modern architecture buildings in Myanmar’s capital, but it certainly has its own unique charms.

Gigantic 20-lane highways

You want to feel as if you own the roads? Have you ever dreamed of stopping in the middle of the roads, fooling around and taking photos? If you haven’t, make your dream come true in Nay Pyi Taw. You will get the gigantic 20-lane roads all to yourself without the disturbance of any car. As a reference, it’s wide enough for a Boeing jet to land.

Mount Pleasant Hotel

Situated on top of Pho Zaung Hill, 1,557 feet above sea level, Mount Pleasant Hotel is famous for its magnificent aerial view of the decade-old traffic-free city. We suggest you to visit Tower Viewpoint restaurant at the hotel in the evening to enjoy the breathtaking sunset view and a nice dinner.

To Relax: The Teak Spa & Fitness

The Teak Spa provides exclusive and authentic spa experience from Thailand to make you feel fully relaxed from head to toe. Whether it’s a quick head or foot massage, classic Thai Massage, or oil massage, The Teak Spa guarantees cleanliness and soothing atmosphere. The highlight here is its physiotherapy treatment, offered by experienced therapists, which works wonders in treating body aches or sports injury.

Pamper yourself with whitening facial treatment and wrinkle-protect treatment. They also have manicure and pedicure zone to keep your nails polished, neat and tidy.

The Teak Fitness is open for members and walk-in customers. Personal trainers are available upon request.

Recommended: The view from the Foot Massage Zone is stunning, overlooking a round-shaped pool and a garden.

Address: The Rich Gems, JM065, Gems and Jewelry Market, Shwe Kyar Pin Quarter, Dekkina Thiri Township, Nay Pyi Taw Opening Hours: Spa Daily 10 AM – 10:00 PM and Fitness 9 AM – 9 PM Phone: 067-810-2067

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