One thing that this new city has in abundance is landmarks. From enormous, almost unreal government buildings, to pagodas and huge parks, Naypyidaw has it all, and has it big. The town of Pyinmana, although much smaller, also has its own landmarks, and we will list all in this article.
We have to mention that there are some very interesting and equally huge landmarks that are off-limits to visitors, such as the statues of Three Old Kings, presumably designed to reflect the power of the generals, which are visible from a great distance and present one of Naypyidaw’s most famous sights.
There are also several gardens, or parks, situated in or around Naypyidaw and Pyinmana Township, which should also be a must-see sights for tourists in one of these two places.
National Landmark Garden- a very unusual, grand, and most of all, interesting project by the new government. This is actually a field, rather than garden, in which there are many contents, such as shops, restaurants, amusement parks and scale models of landmarks of each of the states and regions in Myanmar. For instance, Naypyidaw is represented by the Uppathasanti Pagoda , and Myanmar International Convention Center (MICC), among other models. Visitors can see famous and outstanding commemorative buildings, Pagodas, and other sites, and then go shopping or relaxing in one of the shops or restaurants. The Park covers some 400 acres.
Zoological Garden- The Zoological Garden is situated in 1062 acres of land in Nay Pyi Taw Yezin. A total of 39 species of mammals, 30 species of birds and 12 species of reptiles are put on display at 27 booths. Among them, the rare and endangered wildlife species are being shown at the booths including the very rare white tigers, and icy land inhabitants- penguins.
Water Fountain Garden- covering around 67 ha, this water park features a main pond with three fountains inside and 11 small ponds with 13 different fountains inside, a 30-feet (9.1 m) high clock tower, many recreation centers, two smaller gardens, two stone gardens and ten feet wide footpaths. Still, the main and best known feature of the Garden is the steel archway at its very entrance. Every night, the water beams streaming out of its fountains is “dyed” in different colors. Music is also played sometimes, synchronized with the water beams.
Jade Garden- jade is the national gem of Myanmar. As such, it is represented in every aspect of the Burmese people life’s, and it has parks and museums dedicated to it. The biggest one is located in Naypyidaw, near to the Gem Museum. It features dense greenery encrusted by real Burmese jade stones. The garden is especially scenic at night time.
Uppatasanti Pagoda- perhaps the most famous pagoda in Naypyidaw. It features a 325-feet high golden stupa, which is lit at nights, and can be seen from basically any part of the city, and further. Uppatasanti is a replica of the sacred Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. The stupa is surrounded by the terraces, which are reached by lifts. Unlike the original one, the Uppatasanti Pagoda is hollow and can be entered in. Inside the pagoda, the Jataka stories are carved. There are also many very important Buddhist edifices inside and around the Pagoda, such as four jade Buddha statues in the cave of the pagoda, the 108-feet high flagstaff, the Bo Tree Garden with Maha Bo Tree and the images of the 28 Buddhas; the garden of 108 Sacred Bo Trees, etc. It is considered to be the most important religious building in Naypyidaw and many ceremonies are held here throughout the year.
Thatta Thattaha Maha Bawdi Pagoda- this pagoda is a perfect Maha Bodhi Temple replica, which is the spot where Buddha was enlightened. The pagoda is situated at Udayayanthi Hillock in Pohbba Thiri Township, and is 49 meters tall, only 3 meters shorter than the original; this was done probably on purpose, out of respect for the original temple.
Pa-Ya-Koe Suu Pagoda- this is one of the temples located in Pyinmana, at the very corner of the Mingalar Lake. This religious complex consists of nine small stupas built in the Shan style, dated from around 1305 AD. In the centre of the building is a large seated Buddha image made of bronze, whilst the perimeter of the complex is decorated with 264 paintings of Buddha's former life, the Jataka stories.
Lawka Yan Hnein Monastery- this is also a religious complex in Pyinmana, located right next to the Pa-Ya-Koe Suu Pagoda. It comprises of teak-wood buildings, and its central stupa was built by King Theebaw. Many festivals are held in this complex, although not many monks live here during the year; this gives it a feeling of complete serenity and calmness.
The Hluttaw (Parliament) - this enormous complex is made up of 31 buildings, with the Presidential Palace nearby. It is believed that it has 31 buildings in honor of the 31 'planes of existence' in Buddhist cosmology. This very unusual government complex covers the area of 800 acres of land.
Naypyidaw City Hall- another huge government building in the nation’s capital. Although it has many features of Soviet architecture, the building is decorated with Burmese-styled roof. Water Fountain Park is located behind the building.
Myanmar International Convention Centre (MICC) - located in Zabuthiri Township, in Naypyidaw, it has a floor space of 312, 000 square feet and is spread over 16 acres of land. The MICC has a plenary hall that can accommodate up to 1900 persons.
Planetarium- the Planetarium is located on Yangon-Mandalay Highway, near the Zoological Garden, between Naypyidaw-Pyinmana and Naypyidaw-Tatkon roads. It features exhibits of planets and other celestial bodies, and wonders of the world. It also hosts many shows and exhibitions for astrologists and astrophysicists.
Gems Museum- the Myanmar Gems Museum, as it is sometimes refereed to, is located in Zabuthri Township, and is probably the best known museum in Naypyidaw, at least to foreign tourists. Auctions of precious stones are held here several times a year. They are very well attended, since Burmese gems, such as jade, or ruby and sapphire, are known to be of the highest quality, but can be bought very cheap in these auctions. Museum also hosts permanent displays of gems for its visitors, some of which are very highly valued. The museum is open from 9am to 4pm, except on Mondays and holidays.
National Museum- the National Museum of Myanmar is situated in Ottarathiri Township in Naypyidaw. It was opened in 2015 and covers around 14 ha of land. It has five wings and a number of displays, such as the Primates and Fossils Exhibition Room, Myanmar Art Gallery, Myanmar Performing Arts Exhibition Room, etc.
Defence Services Museum- located on the mild slope on the northeastern part of Naypyidaw, this museum covers 603 acres of land. It consists of a collection of buildings, and is divided into three sections: the Army, Navy and Air force. Around the buildings are collections of old and more recent military machinery, planes including Spitfires, tanks, guns and ships.
National Library- located next to the National Museum, this is a modern library, with a large circular station of laptops for checking the catalogue and the whereabouts of the books. The main Reading Room, where there are stacks of books, the Library presently holds some 400,000 volumes. To one side of the large hall are shelves of palm-leaf manuscripts, mostly religious or medicinal works. There is also a collection of archaeological books, and part of the collection is on micro-film.
Naypyidaw- Hot Spring Spa Tour- the Naypyidaw Hot Spring Spa is situated on a 55 acre land, near Taungkya Village at on Naypyidaw-Pinlaung Road. The temperature of the hot springs at noon range between 75° C and 98° C, and solar lamps are used at night. There are also four elephants within the spa, on which visitors can ride through the spa and its surroundings.
Naypyidaw- Lewe Tour- this tour takes visitors to visit the ancient town of Lewe, located only a few kilometers south of the capital. At the very centre of the town stands a 1,200 year old Phaung Taw Chat Ma Pagoda, with a large golden stupa topped off with a beautiful gem. In one corner of the Pagoda’s terrace, there is an old banyan tree, under which sits a Buddha statue surrounded by five disciples.
Naypyidaw Safari Park Tour- Naypyidaw Safari Park is located by the Yangon-Mandalay Highway, near Myanmar’s capital city. Its 300 acres are divided into Asian, Australian and African-themes areas. Some animals have been especially imported for this park, whilst others have been moved from the Yadanabon Zoological Garden and the Yangon Zoological Garden. Visitors can see over 100 species traveling through the park by tram, or specially protected terrain vehicle.
Pho Kyar Elephant Camp Tour- this park is located 113 kilometres south of Naypyidaw. It is also situated in the vicinity of a stream, which provides water for the elephants and the entire camp is surrounded by lush flower meadow. The camp has six elephants trained to entertain visitors with various performances, including playing football. Visitors can learn how the elephants are harnessed for transportation and extraction work, and watch them bath. Of course, visitors are also given an option to ride on the elephants’ backs into the surrounding forest.