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How To Spend A Day In Myanmar’s NEW Capital City – Naypyidaw


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Tiffany Olguin



Welcome to Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s capital city and a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Nestled in the heart of the country, Naypyidaw is a testament to Myanmar’s rich history, vibrant culture, and rapid development. This modern metropolis boasts stunning architecture, lush green spaces, and a unique blend of traditional and contemporary attractions.


Since its inauguration as the capital in 2005, Naypyidaw has quickly emerged as a prominent destination for both locals and tourists seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of Yangon and Mandalay. With its well-planned streets, extensive parks, and world-class amenities, Naypyidaw offers a serene and laid-back atmosphere that allows visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty and tranquility of Myanmar.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or a foodie looking to indulge in local delicacies, Naypyidaw has something for everyone. From majestic pagodas and lush gardens to vibrant markets and delectable street food, this city has an abundance of experiences to offer.


In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through Naypyidaw, helping you make the most of your time in Myanmar’s modern capital. We’ll show you the must-visit landmarks, where to find the best local cuisine, and the top leisure activities that will leave you with unforgettable memories.


So, get ready to explore Naypyidaw and discover the hidden treasures that make it one of Myanmar’s most captivating destinations.


Getting to Naypyidaw

Getting to Naypyidaw is relatively easy, thanks to its well-connected transportation network. The city is conveniently located in the center of Myanmar, making it accessible by air, road, and rail.


By Air: The easiest way to reach Naypyidaw is by flying into Naypyidaw International Airport. There are regular domestic flights from major cities like Yangon and Mandalay. The flight duration is around 1 hour, providing a quick and convenient travel option for visitors.


By Road: If you prefer to travel by road, you can hire a private car or take a bus from Yangon or Mandalay. The journey from Yangon to Naypyidaw takes approximately 4-5 hours, while the trip from Mandalay takes around 7-8 hours. The roads are well-maintained and offer scenic views of the countryside, allowing you to enjoy the journey to Naypyidaw.


By Rail: For a unique travel experience, you can also consider taking a train to Naypyidaw. There are regular train services from Yangon and Mandalay, offering comfortable and affordable transportation options. The train journey takes longer than traveling by air or road, but it allows you to soak in the landscapes and immerse yourself in the local culture along the way.


Once you have arrived in Naypyidaw, getting around the city is easy. Taxis and private car hires are readily available, providing convenient transportation to explore the various attractions. Additionally, several hotels offer shuttle services for their guests, making it even more convenient to navigate the city.


Now that you know how to get to Naypyidaw, let’s delve into the exciting sights and activities that await you in Myanmar’s modern capital.


Exploring City Landmarks

Naypyidaw is home to several impressive landmarks that showcase the city’s unique blend of tradition and modernity. Exploring these landmarks will give you a deeper insight into the rich history and culture of Myanmar.


Uppatasanti Pagoda: One of the most iconic landmarks in Naypyidaw is the Uppatasanti Pagoda, a magnificent structure inspired by the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Standing at 99 meters tall, this gilded pagoda is a symbol of peace and prosperity. Visitors can marvel at its stunning architecture, explore the prayer halls, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the top. The serene and tranquil atmosphere of the pagoda makes it a perfect place for spiritual reflection.


Gems Emporium: If you have an eye for precious gemstones, a visit to the Gems Emporium is a must. Located in the heart of Naypyidaw, this bustling marketplace is known for its wide selection of high-quality gemstones, including rubies, sapphires, and jade. Whether you’re a collector or simply appreciate the beauty of gemstones, this is the perfect place to browse and shop for unique pieces of jewelry.


Water Fountain Garden: Take a moment to relax and rejuvenate at the Water Fountain Garden. This expansive park features beautifully landscaped gardens, sparkling fountains, and walking paths. It’s a great spot to escape the city’s hustle and bustle, enjoy a picnic, or take a leisurely stroll. In the evenings, the garden comes alive with vibrant light displays, creating a magical ambiance.


Naypyidaw Zoological Gardens: For wildlife enthusiasts, a visit to the Naypyidaw Zoological Gardens is a must. This sprawling zoo is home to a diverse range of animals, including elephants, tigers, giraffes, and various bird species. It’s a fantastic opportunity to observe and learn about Myanmar’s native wildlife in a well-maintained and natural setting.


Thapyay Golf Course: Golf enthusiasts will be delighted to know that Naypyidaw is home to the Thapyay Golf Course, one of the finest golfing destinations in Myanmar. This 18-hole championship course offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and provides a challenging yet enjoyable golfing experience. Even if you’re not an avid golfer, the lush greenery and serene atmosphere make it a great place to relax and unwind.


Exploring these city landmarks will give you a glimpse into the essence of Naypyidaw. From its grand pagodas to its bustling markets and serene gardens, you’ll find a perfect blend of tradition and modernity in Myanmar’s capital city.


Visit to Uppatasanti Pagoda

A visit to Naypyidaw would not be complete without exploring the majestic Uppatasanti Pagoda. This iconic landmark, also known as the “Peace Pagoda,” stands as a symbol of peace and tranquility in the city.


The Uppatasanti Pagoda is an impressive structure that draws inspiration from the famous Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Its grandeur is evident as you approach its towering spires and intricate architectural details. The pagoda is adorned with beautiful golden ornaments, exquisite paintings, and intricate carvings, making it a delight for art and architecture enthusiasts.


As you enter the pagoda complex, you’ll be greeted by the sight of devout Buddhists offering prayers and paying homage to the Buddha. The serene and calm atmosphere adds to the spiritual ambiance of the place, providing visitors with a peaceful and reflective experience.


Inside the pagoda, you’ll find several prayer halls and meditation rooms, providing a space for visitors to engage in spiritual practices. The main prayer hall houses a massive Buddha statue, which is a sight to behold. The surrounding walls are adorned with intricate murals depicting the life of the Buddha, offering a captivating visual narrative.


One of the highlights of visiting the Uppatasanti Pagoda is the opportunity to ascend to the top of the pagoda. As you make your way up the stairs or take the elevator, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Naypyidaw and its surroundings. This vantage point allows you to appreciate the city’s well-planned layout and the expansiveness of the pagoda complex.


For those seeking a deeper understanding of Buddhism, there are often teachings and dharma talks conducted by resident monks. These sessions offer insights into Buddhist philosophy and provide a chance for visitors to engage in meaningful discussions with the monks.


Visiting the Uppatasanti Pagoda is not only a spiritual experience but also a cultural one. It offers a glimpse into Myanmar’s devotion to Buddhism and its architectural brilliance. Whether you’re a religious pilgrim or an admirer of art and culture, a visit to the Uppatasanti Pagoda is sure to leave a lasting impression.


Shopping at Gems Emporium

If you have a fascination for precious gemstones, a visit to the Gems Emporium in Naypyidaw is a must. This bustling marketplace is renowned for its vast array of high-quality gemstones, making it a treasure trove for those seeking unique and exquisite pieces of jewelry.


The Gems Emporium is located in the heart of Naypyidaw, and upon entering, you’ll be greeted by a dazzling display of gemstones in vibrant colors. From deep red rubies to brilliant blue sapphires, and from rich green emeralds to lustrous jade, the emporium offers a wide range of gemstones to suit a variety of tastes and preferences.


Browsing the collection at the Gems Emporium is a delight in itself, as you’ll find an assortment of loose gemstones, intricately crafted jewelry, and even antique pieces. The emporium showcases the skill and craftsmanship of Myanmar’s artisans, who have perfected the art of shaping and polishing gemstones to enhance their natural beauty.


When purchasing gemstones at the Gems Emporium, it’s essential to be discerning and knowledgeable. Gemstone merchants at the emporium are known for their expertise and can provide valuable insights into the quality and authenticity of the stones. It’s advisable to consult with them and ask any questions you may have before making a purchase.


In addition to gemstones, the Gems Emporium also offers a variety of gold and silver jewelry, each piece intricately adorned with gemstones. Whether you’re looking for a statement necklace, an elegant pair of earrings, or a sparkling ring, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye and fits your style.


While the Gems Emporium offers a wide range of prices, it’s important to remember that gemstones can be a significant investment. It’s recommended to set a budget and have a clear understanding of the value and grading of gemstones before making a purchase.


Visiting the Gems Emporium is not just about shopping; it’s a chance to immerse yourself in the rich gemstone trading culture of Myanmar. The bustling atmosphere and vibrant energy of the emporium create an exciting experience as you interact with gemstone merchants and explore the hidden treasures within.


Whether you’re a gemstone enthusiast, a jewelry collector, or simply appreciate the beauty of these natural wonders, a visit to the Gems Emporium promises an unforgettable shopping experience in Naypyidaw.


Enjoying Local Cuisine

A trip to Naypyidaw is not complete without indulging in the local cuisine, which offers a delightful mixture of flavors and influences from various regions of Myanmar.


One of the must-try dishes is Mohinga, Myanmar’s national dish. This hearty and flavorful breakfast soup consists of rice noodles served in a fish-based broth, flavored with lemongrass, ginger, and a medley of spices. Topped with crispy fritters, boiled egg, and fresh herbs, Mohinga is a comforting and satisfying dish that will leave you wanting more.


For a unique culinary experience, seek out the local teashops scattered throughout Naypyidaw. These casual eateries serve a variety of traditional snacks, such as samosas, parathas, and steamed buns filled with savory fillings. Pair these delectable treats with a cup of sweet and milky Myanmar tea, and you’ll have a perfect snack to fuel your adventures.


If you’re in the mood for something spicy, try Lahpet Thoke, a traditional Burmese salad made with fermented tea leaves. Mixed with crunchy peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, and various other ingredients, Lahpet Thoke offers a refreshing combination of flavors and textures, making it a favorite among locals.


No culinary journey in Naypyidaw would be complete without savoring the diverse range of curries available. From the hearty and fragrant Beef Curry to the flavorful and aromatic Fish Curry, there’s something to suit every palate. Don’t forget to accompany your curry with a serving of fluffy steamed rice or Myanmar’s famous fermented rice called htamin jaw.


Street food enthusiasts will also be delighted by the food stalls scattered throughout Naypyidaw. Here, you can sample a wide variety of snacks and delicacies, such as Shan noodles, grilled skewers, and crispy fried tofu. Exploring the local markets, such as Thiri Mingalar Market, is a great way to discover these hidden food gems.


To satisfy your sweet tooth, try traditional Myanmar desserts like Mont Lone Yay Paw, a delicate layered cake made from rice flour and coconut milk, or Kyauk Kyaw, a jelly-like dessert made from agar-agar and flavored with coconut or pandan.


When it comes to dining in Naypyidaw, there are options to suit every taste and budget. From humble street food stalls to upscale restaurants, you’ll find a culinary adventure waiting to be discovered.


So, don’t miss the opportunity to tantalize your taste buds with the rich and diverse flavors of Naypyidaw’s local cuisine. Indulge in the mouthwatering delicacies, embrace the vibrant food culture, and create lasting memories through the joy of food.


Exploring Water Fountain Garden

One of the serene and picturesque spots in Naypyidaw is the Water Fountain Garden. This expansive garden is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and those seeking a tranquil retreat from the bustling city.


The Water Fountain Garden is a beautifully landscaped park adorned with lush greenery, colorful flowers, and, of course, an array of stunning water fountains. As you enter the garden, you’ll be greeted by the sight of intricately designed fountains that dance to the rhythm of soothing music. The interplay of water, lights, and music creates a mesmerizing spectacle that is sure to captivate your senses.


Take a leisurely stroll along the garden’s pathways, and you’ll discover various themed sections, each offering unique sights and experiences. From cascading fountains and gentle waterfalls to serene ponds filled with lilies, the garden is a harmonious blend of natural beauty and man-made marvels.


Visit the amphitheater situated within the garden, where you may witness cultural performances and local musicians showcasing their talents. The open-air setting surrounded by the lush greenery creates a magical ambiance that adds to the charm of the garden.


For those looking to relax and unwind, find a quiet spot overlooking the fountains and immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere. The gentle sound of water cascading and the fresh breeze rustling through the trees provide a perfect backdrop for meditation or simply enjoying a moment of tranquility.


In the evening, the Water Fountain Garden transforms into a realm of enchantment as the fountains are illuminated with vibrant lights, casting a magical glow over the surroundings. The combination of water, light, and the peaceful atmosphere creates an ethereal experience that is truly captivating.


Whether you’re traveling solo, with your loved ones, or seeking solace in nature, the Water Fountain Garden offers a serene and rejuvenating escape from the bustling city. Take your time to explore the garden, admire the beauty of the fountains, and recharge your senses in this oasis of tranquility.


Be sure to bring your camera along to capture the picturesque scenes and create wonderful memories of your visit to the Water Fountain Garden in Naypyidaw.


Visiting Naypyidaw Zoological Gardens

For wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers, a visit to the Naypyidaw Zoological Gardens is a must when in the capital city. Spanning over a vast area, this well-maintained zoo is home to a diverse range of animal species, providing a unique opportunity to observe Myanmar’s native wildlife up close.


The Naypyidaw Zoological Gardens offer a sanctuary for various animals, including elephants, tigers, leopards, giraffes, and a wide array of bird species. As you explore the zoo, you’ll have the chance to see these magnificent creatures in naturalistic habitats that closely resemble their native environments.


One of the highlights of the zoo is the elephant enclosure, where you can witness these gentle giants bathing, feeding, and interacting with each other. The sight of the elephants splashing around in the water or munching on vegetation is truly awe-inspiring and offers a glimpse into their natural behavior.


For those interested in avian species, the zoo boasts an impressive collection of birds. From colorful parrots and majestic peacocks to rare and endangered species, bird enthusiasts will be delighted by the diverse range of feathered creatures on display.


As you make your way through the zoo, you’ll also come across animal exhibits that showcase Myanmar’s diverse ecosystems, such as the tropical rainforests and wetlands. These exhibits not only educate visitors about the country’s rich biodiversity but also serve as a reminder of the importance of conservation and preserving these ecosystems.


Aside from the animal exhibits, the Naypyidaw Zoological Gardens also offers recreational activities for visitors. You can enjoy a leisurely boat ride on the lake or explore the beautifully landscaped gardens surrounding the zoo, allowing for a serene and peaceful experience amidst nature.


Visiting the Naypyidaw Zoological Gardens is not only a chance to appreciate and learn about Myanmar’s wildlife, but also an opportunity to support conservation efforts. The zoo actively participates in breeding and conservation programs to protect endangered species and preserve biodiversity.


Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or simply have a fondness for animals, a visit to the Naypyidaw Zoological Gardens is sure to leave you with a deeper appreciation for Myanmar’s natural heritage and the importance of wildlife conservation.


Relaxing at Thapyay Golf Course

For golf enthusiasts seeking a leisurely activity in Naypyidaw, the Thapyay Golf Course offers a perfect retreat. This 18-hole championship course is known for its well-manicured fairways, stunning landscapes, and world-class facilities, providing a truly memorable golfing experience.


Set against the backdrop of Naypyidaw’s picturesque scenery, the Thapyay Golf Course offers a serene and tranquil environment for both seasoned players and beginners alike. The lush green fairways, bordered by tall trees and floral arrangements, create a calming ambiance that enhances the overall golfing experience.


Designed by renowned golf architects, the Thapyay Golf Course presents a challenging yet enjoyable layout. Golfers of all skill levels can test their abilities as they navigate through strategically placed hazards, undulating greens, and well-placed bunkers. The course’s design takes advantage of the natural contours of the land, offering players a chance to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the surroundings.


Aside from the excellent course, the Thapyay Golf Course also boasts top-notch facilities to enhance your golfing experience. The clubhouse features modern amenities, including locker rooms, a pro shop, and a restaurant, allowing players to relax and unwind after a fruitful day on the greens. The restaurant offers a variety of local and international cuisines, making it a perfect place to satisfy your appetite while enjoying panoramic views of the course.


For those who are new to golf or wish to improve their skills, the Thapyay Golf Course offers professional coaching and practice facilities. Whether you’re looking for private lessons or group clinics, experienced instructors are available to help you refine your swing and enhance your game.


Even if you’re not an avid golfer, the Thapyay Golf Course is still an excellent place to unwind and enjoy the serene surroundings. You can take a leisurely stroll around the course, breathing in the fresh air and basking in the natural beauty. The peaceful ambiance provides a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.


Whether you’re a golf enthusiast or simply seeking a serene and relaxing activity, the Thapyay Golf Course in Naypyidaw offers a wonderful retreat. So, grab your clubs, tee off, and immerse yourself in a world of beauty, tranquility, and the joy of golf.


Departing Naypyidaw

As your time in Naypyidaw comes to an end, it’s important to plan your departure to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey. Whether you’re heading back to Yangon, Mandalay, or another destination, there are several transportation options available to suit your needs.


If you prefer to fly, Naypyidaw International Airport offers regular domestic flights to major cities in Myanmar. Check the flight schedules and book your ticket in advance to secure your preferred departure time. The airport provides modern facilities, making your departure experience comfortable and convenient.


For those who prefer land travel, you can hire a private car or take a bus to your next destination. Naypyidaw is well-connected to Yangon and Mandalay by a network of well-maintained roads. Several bus companies operate routes between these cities, offering comfortable and affordable transportation options. It’s advisable to book your bus ticket in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.


If you have the time and want to experience a different mode of transportation, consider taking a train from Naypyidaw Railway Station. Myanmar’s railways offer a scenic journey through the countryside, allowing you to admire the beauty of the landscapes and interact with locals along the way. Check the train schedules and book your ticket ahead of time to secure your seat.


Before leaving Naypyidaw, take a moment to reflect on the memorable experiences you’ve had in this unique capital city. Whether it’s the awe-inspiring Uppatasanti Pagoda, the vibrant Gems Emporium, the serene Water Fountain Garden, the diverse Naypyidaw Zoological Gardens, or the relaxing Thapyay Golf Course, Naypyidaw has left an indelible mark on your journey through Myanmar.


As you bid farewell to Naypyidaw, consider collecting any souvenirs or local products that caught your eye during your stay. The city offers various markets and shops where you can find handicrafts, traditional textiles, spices, and more. These mementos will serve as reminders of your time in Naypyidaw and make for meaningful keepsakes.


As you embark on your onward journey, carry with you the cherished memories and experiences of Naypyidaw. Remember to check your travel documents, pack your belongings, and ensure you have transportation arrangements in place.


Departing Naypyidaw may mark the end of your time in this city, but it opens up new opportunities to explore other remarkable destinations in Myanmar. Whether you’re continuing your adventure or returning home, the memories of Naypyidaw will stay with you, reminding you of the captivating beauty and charm of Myanmar.



Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s modern capital city, offers a wealth of attractions and experiences that cater to every traveler’s interests. From exploring majestic landmarks like the Uppatasanti Pagoda and shopping for precious gemstones at the Gems Emporium to indulging in the delectable local cuisine and immersing yourself in the tranquility of the Water Fountain Garden, Naypyidaw has something for everyone.


Visiting the Naypyidaw Zoological Gardens allows you to witness the richness of Myanmar’s native wildlife, while a round of golf at Thapyay Golf Course offers a chance to unwind amidst stunning landscapes. As you prepare to depart Naypyidaw, take a moment to reflect on the memories and experiences you’ve collected during your stay in this vibrant city.


Whether you’re captivated by Naypyidaw’s modern infrastructure or charmed by its historical and cultural treasures, the city offers a unique blend of tradition and progress. As you journey onward, carry with you the beauty and spirit of Naypyidaw, and let it serve as a reminder of the rich cultural heritage and warm hospitality that Myanmar has to offer.


As you explore other destinations within Myanmar, don’t forget the hidden gems you discovered in Naypyidaw. The majestic pagodas, bustling markets, serene gardens, and cultural landmarks all contribute to the captivating tapestry of Myanmar’s diverse offerings.


So, whether you’re a history buff, an adventurer, a nature lover, or a food enthusiast, Naypyidaw deserves a place on your travel itinerary. Experience the beauty, immerse yourself in the culture, and create memories that will last a lifetime in this remarkable capital city of Myanmar.