Due to coup’s, war and an overall sense of foreboding many people are skipping travel to Myanmar right now. Yet much like places such as Kyiv, or even Tiraspol the dangers have largely escaped the big city and much like the former this also means that the Yangon nightlife scene is fairly pumping.
So, in case you have not been following what is happening in Myanmar they had a coup in 2021, which has for all intents and purposes pushed much of the country back into civil war. Despite this and as we have written we feel it is safe to travel to Myanmar right now.
Whether it is moral, or not depends on you, but we have our own opinion on keeping neutrality.
The evolution of Yangon nightlife
Not 12 years ago the nightlife of Yangon was almost not existent. For 40+ years the country had been a closed autarky quasi socialist state, although one with more similarities to Democratic Kampuchea than to the Soviet Union.
This continued after the fall of the Burmese Road to Socialism (link), but would only change significantly when the the Tatmadaw, the Burmese military would start opening the country up to capitalism in about 2010.
This would result in a brief 10 year “Myanmar Spring” where not only democracy flourished, but also a good night out.
Yangon Nightlife in 2024
Yangon is no Phnom Penh, but also to be fair it is no Pyongyang probably fitting somewhere in the middle. There are no real carry super bars, but there are big entrainment complexes, great street food and art least one place we would call “bar street” in Yangon.
Complex wise it is all about The Heart of Rangoon – which spells THOR, which is thus duly decked out in Greek god like decorations. This place has a club, outdoor street food, as well as huge indoor bar serving great food and live music. And despite being one of the more “upper class” parts of the city, expensive here means $4.50 for a Long Island Iced Tea, very reasonable indeed!
But of course one cannot just stay in a complex, one needs to go out and explore the real nightlife, for this you will need to go to Chinatown, or at least the Yangon version of it.
Yang Chinatown AKA Bar Street Yangon
If you want to go to Yangon China town for anything related to Chinese things you will be disappointed, if pan the other hand you want to go here to eat BBQ, drink and people watch you will be all good.
Located on Street 19, or 19th Street this is seemingly the bar area in Yangon, with 6 real pub type places, as well as a plethora of BBQ joints selling beer and BBQ to the masses. This means that the street food here is probably some of the best in Yangom, but also so are the prices.
Depending on the bar one can get a local mixed drink for as little as $1, with some, such as the imaginatively titled Disco School Girl Bar even throwing free shots if you stay long enough.
So, overall while it might not be the most eclectic in the world you will surely not go bored when you. Visit Yangon.
You can check out YPT’s South East Asia Tours here.