Myanmar has pulled out all the stops to dazzle the estimated 12,000 visitors to Naypyidaw for the Games. Drive down one of the city’s new “hotel zones” and you will see vast, sprawling, hotel compounds which have been built just for the biennial. The compounds are so big that most require a short ride on a buggy to get from the lobby to one’s room.
Perhaps nothing shows more how much the country wants to impress its neighbours, than last night’s dazzling ceremony. A breathtaking light show and fireworks display enthralled everyone in the 30,000-seater stadium, which was so packed that many had to sit on steps to take in the showcase.
The locals were out in full force, and nationalistic pride was evident when the crowd spontaneously erupted into chants of “Myanmar! Myanmar!” in between performances.
Here are some pictures from the opening ceremony on December 11.
The article related to these pictures was first published in The New Paper on December 12, 2013.