Inside Burma’s Ghost City
Naypyidaw, the mysterious Burmese Oz, is six times larger than New York. It’s very well-lit and clean, and extremely empty. So why build it?
On a middle-of-the-night bus ride through Myanmar a few years ago, the megawatt glow of lights shining unexpectedly from the moon-lit countryside shocked me from a bleary half-sleep.
The bus had been bumping along a dark, rough road from the bustling commercial capital of Yangon for hours. Now the rough route had become smooth, widely spaced and illuminated.
In front of me glowed an unexpected oasis of modernity in a country where electricity is still rationed, crumbling sidewalks endanger the distracted walker, and once-grand British administrative buildings are jungle-esque and filled with squatters.