Naypidaw

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Naypidaw, Mandalay Region, Myanmar

Naypyidaw may be one of the world's only capital cities that has virtually no tourists. In 2005, the military government began moving the capital and it was built entirely from scratch, hastily and expensively. Its name was announced on Myanmar's Armed Forces Day in 2006.

The city was the brainchild of Senor General Than Shwe, but little is known about the rationale for moving the capital and many believe it was simply a vanity project. Still, the city is more centrally located than Yangon and acts as a hub linking Shan, Kayah and Kavin States.

The official explanation for the move was that Yangon was too crowed with little room for any future expansion. The city is divided into numerous zones including residential, military and administrative areas, and there are few sights worth visiting.

If you are traveling through Naypyidaw, however, there are a few different museums including the National Museum (Naypyidaw) whose exhibitions are dedicated to showcasing Myanmar's culture and power and the Memorial to the Fallen Heroes which honours military and civilians who died fighting for independence. The city's largest pagoda, Uppatasanti Pagoda, was completed, and is similar in shape and scale to Yangon's Shwedagon Pagoda.

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