Our last trip to Myanmar and the capital city of Nawpyitaw was an experience which taught us much about the city. The information about the planned capital is sparse online. Not many tourists make it a destination since it is assumed to be uninteresting and only for government functions. Nothing could be further from the truth, there are spectacular buildings to explore, museums, temples a nearby old city and excellent luxury hotels.
The reality of getting around:
The city is quite spread out because it has been built on a massive scale. It is truly visionary, it is not the “ghost town” people claim it to be, just a city planned to hold many more millions than it currently does. Infrastructure and roads rival some of the best boulevards in the world. There is as yet no public transport system, so the only way to get around is to hire a private car. This can be the hotel car of wherever you are staying (most expensive) a taxi, or even getting a motorbike ride (cheapest).
Everything we had read online prior to our arrival indicated that a hotel car is safest and taxi’s were expensive to hire. It is not uncommon in Myanmar to hire taxis even for long haul routes as well as exploring a city, but this gets expensive. Hotels will of course repeat to you that their vehicles are safest due to the accountability of the driver, but it is not that taxi’s are unsafe. There can be a language barrier, misunderstanding of directions or cost that can happen anywhere. Our impression from online research was that a taxi rental to go around Naypyidaw for the day would be $50-90USD.
What we found:
The price of 50-90 USD might indeed be the price one pays in Naypyitaw if approaching or negotiating with a taxi on your own. In our case however we asked the hotel concierge to recommend a driver or company. Our concierge was excellent and hands on, she connected us with a driver who charged a standard rate of $10USD per hour. This young man spoke some English, was exceedingly friendly and made every stop we asked him. His car was clean and he charged us exactly the amount of hours we spent with him. We enjoyed his services and fairness so much we gave him all our business in Naypyitaw and told him we would recommend him to others.
Taxi Hire contact information Naypyitaw:
Our Driver was named: Pyae Phyo Kyaw
He can be reached at Car Rental Services: (+95) 9-420747885 or 9-420747885