Myanmar Ghost CityBurma Ghost Town
Myanmar's ghost town of Naypyidaw
Traveling around Myanmar is a special pleasure for anyone who has ever been to a land full of people. It' simple to drive several long hrs even in the more touristic places like "Bagan" and "Inle Lake" without seeing another traveler, something special, especially in a land that is so secure and inviting and has so much to see.
Myanmar unexplored feeling is driven to its peak in the new, ultra-large capitol "Naypyidaw". Until November 6, 2005, "Yangon" was the nation capitol and seems better suited than Naypyidaw in every respect. Famed for the breathtaking Shedagon Pagoda, a mixture of religion, dense edifices that evoke emotions, as I imagine Hong Kong's'Old Kowloon' will if significantly weakened, and a populace consistent with other world capitals (about 7.5 million).
Naypyidaw, however, has very little to boast in economic, tourist or historical matters.... this is not as if Vietnam moved its main cities from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi in 1996; it is indeed hard to find a settlement, perhaps just think that the USA made'Atlanta Airport' their capitol, apart from the fact that the timetable was cut to three daily departures.
However, I strongly suggest you come and see Naypyidaw on your journey to Myanmar; indeed, the city is good enough reasons to come and do so. Now, for a place of such size, with such a growing capacity and such a contrast to modernity in comparison to other towns in the land, it is astonishing that it is there and that it just felt like such a prerogative to be.
Pyongyang, the DPRK capitol, has more to do than Naypyidaw, yet it is the capitol of a land that wants to open up to people. RICHARDSON: How To Get To Naypyidaw: From Inle Lake we came down, it was hard to find a boat pass, but obviously not inconceivable.
We' ve often been asked why we wanted to go by Ticketshop holders who have been insisting that we jump over the city and go directly to Yangon instead. I write it all from my mind, about 2 years too belatedly, but when I look at a card, I remember the place where we purchased the tickets on Yone Gyi Street in Nyaungshwe, although it shouldn't be that hard to find.
So we wanted a overnight coach to get there in good season (5am) and reserved our transfer from and to Naypyidaw for 10am (same day). We' re in the countryside in early April, the best season for mountain fire. I didn't felt alone, I felt full, although there were no other westerner and no sign of other westerner doing what we did.
The city really does feel like a "ghost town" - a shell of what should be a flourishing city on the top. Naypyidaw is a very pricy hotel, so we only had one forenoon, about 5 h. Transportation is also costly; we bought $25 for a 3-hour cab ride, which was rewarding because the city is far too big to walk.
However, the actual climax of our brief stop in Naypyidaw was when our cabbie suggested to take us back to his home so that we could clean ourselves and have a little something to eat before our trip to Yangon. Me and my friend were looking at each other in the back of the cab, alone in a huge city, without a sign of us, except for a coach pass in a ticketing store in Inle Lake....then we were again about 2 hrs in the back of this man's cab and he hadn't taken us anywhere against our will yet, so why would he ask us for it before?
Also we have made him his proposal and our decision to do so has shown even more how friendly the Myanmar population is. Living in a groundfloor apartment in a pleasant-looking neighborhood'somewhere' in the city. There was a typical Myanmar meal with small aromatic seafood, some teas and the opportunity to talk to the whole group.
In Myanmar, it seems common for a family to have large drums of tapa and a smaller pail to replace a saucer. After 23 and a half years in Myanmar, we wished we hadn't exhausted or revised our visa because we felt we had been missing so much. Except you're in a hurry to book a date for Naypyidaw.
It is not only untypical of Myanmar, but also provides a one-of-a-kind adventure you won't find anywhere else in the game.