Ghost cities are not only seen in apocalypse movies. They do exist and we can rarely get a glimpse of the ultimate silence in these places. Naypyidaw is one of them. Strangely, this ghost city became Burma’s capital a decade ago when the government announced it’s moving the capital from Rongoon for no obvious reason. Six times larger than the size of NYC, it barely has any population.
Burma is a country in Southeast Asia and has one of the strictest military regimes on the planet. It is therefore often compared to North Korea for its dictatorship. Naypyidaw, as its capital is housing one of the strictest military regimes in existence. Tourists are not allowed to enter the country.
You are not the only one who does not know about it. Even people in Burma have no idea about its existence, although it cost billions to build.
It was supposed to house millions of people, but now the metropolis is basically vacant. The only population in the city are the government workers you can see on the streets.
The Guardian visited this ghost town in the beginning of 2017 it earlier this year. This is how they described it: “an eerie picture of post-apocalypse suburban America; like a David Lynch film on location in North Korea.”
Can you believe the whole city has wifi? It is built in the middle of a jungle, and there are only a few people there, and no restaurant or hotels function. Well, at least someone is using the wifi.
The streets are huge, build to meet the every-day traffic jam. However, they are completely abandoned, as there are barely any vehicles.
There are rumors that Burma actually contacted technicians from North Korea to build underground tunnels underneath the deserted city. Surprisingly, Naypyidaw’s history is basically a mystery. No one knows when construction began, or exactly who built it. Doesn’t it make a good script for a movie?
Although it’s official that the population is 1 million, the photographs are telling another story. The only pedestrians are street cleaners, not knowing who they are cleaning for.
And in case you wondered what these few people feel like, travel writer Robert Reid has the answer. He went to Burma several years ago to seek out privately run services for Lonely Planet’s Myanmar (Burma) guide. He also made a stop in Naypyidaw where he spoke to locals. They anonymously revealed they felt like they were living in a video game.