THE BLOG
11/13/2014 03:31 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Welcome to Myanmar's (Empty) Capital City, President Obama!

President Obama is about to go to Myanmar for the second time in two years - #BIGDEAL alert! - but, after a recent visit to Myanmar's brand spanking new capital, Nay Pyi Taw, I was wondering: Will anyone actually be there to greet him when he gets there? Check this video out. It's INSANE.

In 2005, Myanmar uprooted it's capital from Yangon to a tiny farming community 300 kilometers away, in the middle of nowhere. The plan was that this was ostensibly a better place to rule the entire country. The public line is that from the center of the country, the ruling party can better govern, as opposed to being on one side in the South (although with that reasoning, the capital of the United States should be Omaha, not Washington D.C.) Despite rumors of corruption (the average Burmese person makes $1200 a year, and it cost over $6 billion to make the move), or word surfacing that the capital was moved for "astrological reasons", the Myanmar junta stayed the course. And today, NayPyiTaw sports a huge, golden replica of the famed Shwedegon Pagoda (just one foot shorter than the original!), more five star hotels than almost any other city in the world, gleaming new office buildings, mansions galore, parks and golf clubs - everywhere!
But far from being the "hub of all life in the country", the city is... empty. As in, you could do cartwheels down the middle of the 20 lane highway outside of the Presidential Palace without fear of being hit by a donkey much less a mac truck. This leaves many locals to wonder, "is it the perfect place from which to rule or the perfect fool's folly?"

We just want to know how many people are going to be bussed in to greet President Obama.
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