There are 27,000 km of roads of which 11.9% are paved. The US Department of State Travel Advisory noted that “Rangoon's main roads are generally in poor condition…Some roads are in serious disrepair…Most roads outside of Rangoon consist of one to two lanes and are potholed, often unpaved, and unlit at night…Few, if any, streets are adequately lit.”
There are 77 airports of which 37 are paved. Yangon International Airport is the main international airport. It is located 15 km north of the center of the capital. A new terminal that handles international passengers was completed in 2007. The old terminal is now used exclusive for domestic passengers. The airport has a capacity of 2.7 million passengers per year. Myanma Airways is the majority government owned national carrier. It has a very poor safety record and many foreign governments urge their nationals to avoid using it. Among the airlines that service the Yangon airport are Air China, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Indian Airlines and Thai Airways International. There are flights to Bangkok, Beijing, Chiang Mai, Guangzhou, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Taipei
The government has spent heavily on the construction of the new capital trying to make it a showpiece of modernity. A new 323.2km 8-lane highway connecting Yangon with Naypyitaw was completed in March 2009. The airport at Naypyitaw is being upgraded. When work is finished in 2011, it will be able to accommodate 10.5 million passengers a year. The government has also announced plans to build a new railway station at the capital. A new parliament complex that has 31 buildings is under construction. The city has 5 golf courses, 7 resort-style hotels, drinkable tap water, a Western-style shopping mall, a large zoo and 24-hour electricity in a country that is beset by constant power outages. There is a 20 lane boulevard, which is rarely used because there are few private cars. The population is 930,000 but that includes 4 surrounding townships. The government has not disclosed the cost of building the new capital.
An additional 1,868 km of railroad has been constructed since 1988 bringing the total to 5,030 km. Much of the rail network is in very poor condition. Passenger service is slow and overcrowded and there are frequent accidents. The maximum speed for freight trains is just 24 km per hour. During the monsoon season, much of the rail network is impassable because of flooding.
The port of Yangon is the principle port handling about 90% of the exports and imports. It is operated by the Myanma Port Authority, which is a government entity. The Myanmar International Terminals Thilawa Port, located 25 km south of the Yangon, is also considered part of the port complex. It is a multi-purpose container port that was constructed and is fully owned by Hutchison Port Holdings of Hong Kong. The Yangon Port is accessible to vessels 167 meters long with a draft of 9 meters. The Thilawa port can accommodate vessels of 176 meters long and 10 meters deep. The Indian government has announced plans to spend $103 million to upgrade the dilapidated port of Sittwe to provide India’s landlocked northeastern states with access to the sea via the River Kaladan.
There are 2,228 km of natural gas pipelines and 558 km of oil pipelines. In December, 2007, China signed a contract worth $2.5 billion to build a 2,000km cross border oil and gas pipeline, linking the port of Sittwe with Chongqing municipality in south-western China. The project is spearheaded by CNPC, which will also be building a 10 mn ton oil refinery. Another pipeline agreement signed with China in 2009 involves constructing 1,200 km of oil and natural gas pipelines from the port of Kyauk Phyu to southwest China. The estimated cost of the project, which includes building a railway, a 1,950 km highway, an oil terminal, waterways and upgrading the port facilities so it can accommodate the largest container ships in the world, is estimated at $10.5 bn. China will use the pipelines for importing natural gas and oil from the Middle East and Africa. The maximum capacity for the oil pipeline will be 402,000 barrels per day (bpd). It will provide a cheaper and quicker alternative to shipping oil and natural gas to China via the Malacca Strait. The pipeline is a joint venture between CNPC, who holds a 50.9% stake and state-backed Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise, who owns the remaining 49.1%.
A spring 2009 outbreak of diarrhea in poor neighborhoods of Yangon highlighted the inadequate state of water and sanitation conditions in the capital. Many of the households in the capital lack a sanitary toilet system and as a result, human waste contaminates many underground water sources making drinking water unsafe. Tap water in much of the capital is not fit for consumption. Most residents rely on water wells or ground water for their drinking water. The cost of bottled drinking water is beyond the economic means of many of the residents. The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers Health Advisory for Myanmar noted that “all local water should be considered contaminated. All water used for drinking, brushing teeth, and making ice cubes should be boiled.”