This article provides information about visiting Naypyidaw, the new capital of Myanmar, how to get from Naypyidaw to Yangon, and things to do in Yangon, the old capital of Myanmar.
Naypyidaw is the new capital of Myanmar since 2005.
We were told, by other travelers, that it was a place to see for ourselves. Two words come to mind when talking about Naypyidaw : modern and empty.
We were intrigued and interested.
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After a short layover to check out the new (ghost) capital of Myanmar, we headed towards the old (lively) capital : Yangon.
How to get to Yangon from Naypyidaw
From Naypyidaw bus station, cost is 5,000 Kyats (USD $5) per person for a 4hr-ride to Yangon. There are food stalls at Naypyidaw bus station if you find yourself hungry.
Where to Stay in Yangon
Cost : USD $22 for a double room with shared bath
Amenities : Double bed, free WiFi, fan, no windows, clean shared bath, breakfast included (probably the best thing about this hotel : great breakfast buffet on the roof). It should also be noted that there is no elevator and the stairs are narrow.
[Additional Note : the hotel was perfectly located for us because it was walking distance to the Embassy of India.]
Getting around Yangon: Public and Local Transportation in Yangon
Walking: If you enjoy walking and don’t mind the heat, it is a great way to discover the city.
By bus : very easy to do and the cheapest way to travel, after walking. The locals are also very helpful and let you know when to get off the bus.
By tuk tuk : always negociate the fare before hopping in.
By taxi : same with tuk tuks, agree on the fare before getting in – even though there is a meter, it may not always work.
What to do in Yangon – Activities in Yangon
Yangon is “the city”, it is packed and bustling compared to the rest of the country. Two days in Yangon is enough time to do the following:
Shwedagon Pagoda: the main and most famous pagoda to visit in Yangon, we stayed there an entire afternoon. Entrance fee: USD $8
Sule Pagoda: a stupa located in the center of Yangon. Entrance fee: USD $2
See Aug San Suu Kyi’s House: there is not much to see except for the iron gate (which, you can’t see through) but just standing there is a great reminder of everything that this country has gone through and a way to pay homage Aung San Suu Kyi.
Inya Lake: close to Aung San Suu Kyi’s home, it is the largest lake in Yangon. It is now a quiet park where people come to jog and a popular place for lovers. A nice ballad.
From Yangon to Mawlamyine/Hpa-an/Kyatktiyo
From Aung Mingalar Bus station : about 12 miles from the city center, it is the main bus station.
Ask your hotel or hail down the public buses and tell them you want to go to Aung Mingalar Bus station. If needed, ask your hotel to write it down for you in Burmese. The person on the bus collecting fees will indicate you which way to go. The ride should take a little more than an hour, depending on traffic – which can be pretty bad at peak hours (4-7pm)
Once at the bus station, it will be easy to find your bus company. There are also local restaurants at the bus station if you need to grab a meal.
From Yangon to Mawlamyine: night buses available, ride takes about 7hrs, expect to arrive in Mawlamyine between 3-5 in the morning. Trains, flights and boats are also available for this journey. Cost: 11,000 Kyats per peron (USD $11)
From Yangon to Hpa-an: night buses available, ride takes about 7hrs, expect to arrive in Hpa-an between 3-5 in the morning. Cost: 14,000 Kyats per peron (USD $14)
From Yangon to Kyaktiyo: about 5hr-ride, early day trip might be a better alternative than night bus (there is an additional bus to ride up to the Golden Rock which takes about 45mins, last bus leaves at 5pm when completely full). Taking the train is an alternative for this journey. Cost: 7,000 per person Kyats (USD $7)
From Yangon to the Airport
Buses do not take you directly to the airport, but it can bring you nearby, if you do not want to take a taxi, find out here how to get to Yangon airport.
Cost to Yangon Airport by taxi: 7,000Kyats (USD $7)
How long did you stay in Naypyidaw and Yangon? Did you stay overnight in Naypyidaw? What else did you visit in Yangon? Share your travel stories with us! We love to hear from you!
View our other travel tips from Myanmar for travels on a budget.