Mohana Gill’s Column 29

Wonders of Myanmar - A Letter from Aunty Mohana -
Naypyitaw the new capital of Myanmar

author:
posted: October 19, 2015
Shwedagon Pagoda

Naypyitaw has a shot history, having been founded in the shrubland some 3 km west of Pyinmana, and approximately 320 km north of Yangon.
Construction started in 2002,and the move to the new capital began in 2005.Divided into districts, the most important zones house military residences and headquarters, government ministries residential areas and hotels.
Although more central than Yangon-it lies closer to the three other important states of Shan, Kayah and Kachin- Naypyitaw remains quiet and pristene. With its wide boulevards and landscaped public spaces, there is a striking absence of inhabitants and traffic jams are not a problem in this city.

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At the heart of Naypyitaw lies the parliamentary complex. It is made up of 31 palatial buildings designed with pagoda-style roofs to represent the 31 planes of existence in buddist cosmology. Manicured lawns flank the buildings and a grand 11-lane road leads up to the main complex.

The planetarium, found within the compound of the zoo was opened in 2009 with the aim of serving as a public recreational center, to encourage interest in astronomy among the country’s youth. The modern, artistic dome-shaped building boasts modern, state of the art equipment.

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To facilitate travel to and from Naypyitaw, express coaches and private taxis run every day along the Yangon-Naypyitaw highway.
Coaches and taxis wait for passengers at the main bus station in Naypyitaw, mortorbike taxis, called thaw lar gyi, offer an efficient means of transport.

At night, the Naypyitaw Water Fountain Garden lights up and creates a magnificent vision of delight. In the background stands the Uppasanti Pagoda,which resembles the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Its name means “peace” or “protection against calamity”. The pagoda houses a Buddha tooth relic, a gift from China, and a museum.
There is an enclosure nearby home to a pair of well-fed Albino elephants, beasts which are believed to be auspicious and who bring good fortune.

The city, is six times larger than New York City, is very desolate as there are not many people who live there. The super high ways are wide and well built but there is not much traffic and no traffic jams.
Huge roundabouts glow with colorful fountains. It is like a fairy land, very well planned but there are not enough people at the moment who can enjoy this beautiful city.

Perhaps with time and as more and more people settle into Naypyitaw and take advantage of all the beautiful buildings and infrastructure it will one day be a hustling and bustling city like all the big cities in the world.

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Profile

the author of the book “Myanmar : Cuisine, Culture & Customs” and the world prestigious “Best Asian Cuisine in The World” winning author.

Works

“Myanmar : Cuisine, Culture & Customs”,

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