The 400km (250 mile) journey from Rangoon to Burma's new capital Naypyidaw takes 8-10 hours. Road repairs cause frequent jams, as men and women work with little machinery.
Teak trucks are a constant sight, amid allegations that the military government is funding the new capital by giving logging rights to construction companies.
Much of the new capital still resembles a building site, with huge areas of undeveloped scrubland lying between newly finished government buildings.
Around 80,000 workers are involved in building the new city. Allegations of forced labour surrounded the early building work, though the government denied them.
Broad highways and boulevards connect the new city's areas. The quality of the roads is in stark contrast to the rest of the country. There are plans to widen some highways to 12 lanes.
The ruling generals say a seven-step roadmap to democracy is moving forward, though they are still at step one. No one knows when the new parliament building could be occupied.
City Hall sits surrounded by new lawns and gardens. There are still few signs of life in most government buildings, despite the forced movement of thousands of civil servants from Rangoon.
Apartments have reliable water and electricity, unlike much of Burma, provided at no cost. But people express unhappiness at the lack of shops, restaurants and public transport.
Statues of Burmese kings overlook a vast parade ground. His motives are unclear, but some critics believe General Than Shwe wanted to mimic them by moving the capital.