As a new city, Naypyidaw doesn’t offer too much of interesting contents, but it certainly has enough to entertain its visitors for a day. The city was also the host to the 2013 Sea Games, so extensive infrastructure for sports was built and still serves to local residents and visitors.
Sports and Shopping
Royal Myanmar Golf Club- the biggest golf course in Naypyidaw, with almost 6600 meters of grass fields. It was built in 2010. This course contains a pro - shop, a large dining room, multipurpose function room, private golfer bar for players to relax in, and men and women locker rooms with full shower facilities. It also has a restaurant within its premises. For those who are not so skilled at the game, there are professional trainers provided. The price for using the course one day is $50 for foreigner tourists.
Yan Aung Myin Golf Course- one of the city’s attractions designed to give it a feel of a modern, wealthy town. It is located on the left side of the road, just after entering the city from Yangon—Mandalay Highway. There are actually 4 golf courses in Naypyidaw containing 18 holes, and many smaller, or mini-golf courses. This is one of the objects designed for the 2013 Sea Games.
The Teak Spa & Fitness Centre- although called Spa & Fitness Centre, this establishment also has a restaurant, swimming pool, massage room, karaoke bar, etc. The restaurant serves Hong Kong and Thai cuisine. It might even be classified as cheap, considering the prices in Naypyidaw, and the variety of services it offers. The Centre is located in Rich Games building, in Gems & Jewellery Zone.
Junction Square Naypyidaw- located on Raza Thingaha main Road, in front of Hotel Zone, this ultra-modern shopping mall has it all; from supermarkets to 3D cinema. It covers an area of approximately 121,200 square feet.
Myoma Market- situated very close to Naypyidaw Central Railway Station and the town of Pyinmana. This market is the shopping centre of Naypyidaw. It has around 650 grocery and under shops within its premises. Tourists can taste some of the Myanmar’s local products, such as mohinga, served in huge pots, or try out some of the local clothes, and having them custom-tailored on the spot. It is especially lively at the night bazaar.
White Elephants- there are two places in Naypyidaw where tourists can see these rare animals; below the Uppatasanti Pagoda and near Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda. White elephants have always been very important in Burmese culture, because they are believed to bring power from mystical forces to the rulers who own them. Today they are just rare animals, very appreciated among locals and foreign visitors.
Day-trips and Excursions
Pyinmana- a small town located southeast of Naypyidaw. It only takes about 20 minutes to get here by car or bus. This town, which is now known for its logging and sugarcane productions, has great significance for the Burmese people, because it was the base of the Burma Independence Army during WWII. Some monuments and remains still stand here to mark that period, such as statue of Bogyoke Aung San in his army 'great coat'. Many festivals are held in the town, especially at Mingalar Lake, which is situated at the centre of the town.
Lewe -another small town next to Naypyidaw,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.
Beikthano- one of the ancient cities of the Pyu Kingdom, and one of 3 World Heritage Sites in Myanmar. It is located around 130 kilometers north of Naypyidaw, which is around 2 and a half hours ride. It existed from the 1st Century AD to the 5th Century AD, when the city gates and the Palace Walls were burned to the ground. Beikthano was defended by two walls; a City wall and an inner Palace Wall. The city was burned down (probably by enemy armies) and rebuilt at least twice in its history. The word Beikthano means “preserved” in Vishnu.
Whether visiting Myanmar’s newest capital for shopping, sports, or historical sightseeing, it is clear one can find something to their liking in and around the city. It is recommended to designate one day, or even more, to visiting the landmarks in or around the city, whether it’s a day-trip outside or a simple sightseeing in the city.