With the changes that are taking place in Myanmar, Yangon’s nightlife is now flourishing. Until a few years ago, there was little to do after 10pm, but there are now an increasing number of bars and clubs open late, here are some suggested addresses for you.
Best Bars in Yangon
Gekkõ: is a atmospheric bar/cocktail lounge/restaurant set in a charming colonial-era building. It has an open kitchen with a Yakitori grill and also serves Vietnamese and Korean dishes. Location: 535 Merchant Street, Kyautada Township (downtown).
Union Bar and Grill: offers the closest downtown has to a regular upmarket western-style bar/restaurant, with good food and wide choice of drinks. Location: 42 Strand Road, Botahtaung township (downtown).
50th Street Bar: is Yangon’s longest-standing expat hangout. Set in a colonial building, it has a pool table, multi-screen sports and and happy hours (including all day Sunday). Location: 9-13, 50th Street (east downtown).
The Envoy: provides an elegant downtown setting. Its best feature is its large balcony – a respite from the busy streets below where you can indulge in a beer or cocktail. Location: 108, Bo Aung Kyaw Street (downtown, near the corner of Merchant St).
Vista Bar: is a pleasant rooftop hangout with some of the best views in Yangon, located as it is to the north of the Shwedagon Pagoda. Location: 168 West Shwegonedaing Road, Yangon. K3,000 taxi from downtown.
7th Joint: run by a Jamaican expat, this is Yangon’s first and only reggae bar! Lively atmosphere, often with live music and one of the few places downtown open till late. Good range of food and drinks. Location: Mahabandoola Street and 48th Street (downtown).
If you’re after something a bit different, there are regular boat parties on the Yangon River during the dry season (monthly on Saturdays, check local listings) and occasional DJ nights at the Institut Francais.
Yangon’s clubbing scene is pretty limited, and entrance fees and drinks can be pricy. However, there is fun to be had – although male travellers should be aware that many local women at these places may be ‘ladies of the night’! Here are some of the nightclub options, all of which are a taxi ride to the north of downtown:
The Vibe: is perhaps Yangon’s most foreigner-oriented nightclub. Open till late, generally there is a good selection of tunes, drinks and a mix of locals and expats. Located to the north of Inya Lake. Location: 31 Kanyeikthar Road; K3500 taxi from downtown.
Mbox and Pioneer: MBox has occasional DJ nights at the weekends which cater largely to the expat crowd; it also has karaoke rooms. Pioneer has good music, lighting and new décor, although a large number of the women there tend to be professionals. Both venues can all be found in the Yangon International Hotel compound. Location: 330 Ahlone Road; K2000 taxi from downtown.
GTR, more locals and a bit rougher around the edges than Pioneer, but all the more fun for it. Located next to Inya Lake Hotel. Location: 37 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road; K3500 taxi from downtown.
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