Ask any long-term Yangon resident and they will tell you that there were times when there were little, if any, options available if one wanted a drink late into the night. The term Nightlife in Yangon barely existed. That has changed drastically, and more and more venues are opening up on a regular basis, while the venues that previously existed are busier as the country opens itself up.
Compare it to New York, or even neighbouring Bangkok and you’re likely to be disappointed by the options on offer in terms of nightlife in Yangon, but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to do or nowhere to go. Trendy bars, relaxing rooftops, nightclubs and late night Karaoke bars are all viable options for those looking for something to do late into the night in Yangon. And don’t miss some of the Drinking Options in the end together with our Pub Crawl!
Drinking in Comfort
Union Bar & Grill – Located just along from The Strand Hotel, this trendy bar attracts some of the city’s more “high-so” clients. With its impressive collection of cocktails, it is quickly becoming one of Yangon’s most popular venues. 42 Strand Road, Botahtaung township.
50th Street Café Restaurant Bar – One of Yangon’s most popular expat haunts, 50th Street Bar is a little slice of home for many of the city’s expats.
With comfortable seating, great western food and live sports matches, it often offers some much needed sanctity when Yangon-life can become a bit too manic.
9/13, 50th St., Botahtaung township.
Captain’s Bar – This bar, attached to the Savoy Hotel, is a quaint, friendly place for a beer or cocktail from the impressive menu. Nautically themed, it also offers a fine selection of cigars. Captain’s Bar, Savoy Hotel, 129 Dhamazeddi Road, Bahan township.
Sule Shangri-La’s Gallery Bar – Located on the second floor this bar offers one of the few classy pub experiences in Yangon. Impressive decorated walls and a large pool table. The happy hour is easily one of the best in Yangon with a daily 2-for-1 no matter if you order wine, drink, beer or a bottle before 8pm.
A Bar With a View
Vista Bar – This rooftop bar is quickly emerging as a popular destination, if only for the breathtaking view it offers of nearby Shwedagon. The layout could do with a little work, and there are times when the music doesn’t entirely fit the otherwise laidback feel, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a more breathtaking view elsewhere in the city. Also provides shisha. 168 West Shwegonedine Road, Bahan township.
Sapphire Bar – “Bars with a view” have a regular theme in Yangon, simply because it is hard to rival any view that offers the amber glows of the Shwedagon. Sapphire Bar, atop the Alfa Hotel just north of Yangon’s downtown, is another great spot to take in the pious site, while offering a good selection of cocktails.
Alfa Hotel (rooftop),41 Nawaday Road, Dagon township.
The Space Bar – A little far away from Shwedagon to offer too great a view, but you can just make out the golden glow against a jet-black backdrop. It’s a pleasant spot for a drink, except when the rains begin and you’re forced inside to a dark, soulless room which is completely at odds with the pleasant experienced offered outside.
126 Kabar Aye Pagoda Road, Bahan township.
19th Street – There may be a day when this lively street in Chinatown becomes Yangon’s answer to Bangkok’s Khao San Road, but for now it remains a lively place for food and drink, as well as a genuine experience of Asian street-life. A popular spot is the Kosan Bar, which is famed for its cheap cocktails. 19th Street (between Mahabandoola and Anawratha Roads, Latha township.
Kosan Bar, Hledan – The little brother of the downtown venue listed above, this is a bigger venue which offers sport on the TV, the perfect people-watching spot, as well as the great, cheap cocktails that are offered downtown. 18 U Tin Lin Chan Street (off Insein Road just after Hledan junction), Hledan, Kamayut township.
Beer Stations – With their plastic chairs, rickety tables and rustic fans, it’s hard to differentiate between the local version of pubs. Some personal favourites include the one located at Shwegone dine junction and Zaw’s Bar, located shortly after the Hledan Bridge on Baho Road. Any Beer Station, Anywhere.
Kandawgyi Park – Outdoor seating, lake view and many different restaurants and beerstations. Fee to enter the park area.
Sports Bar – Sounds like it only shows sports but it also doubles as a restaurant and bar. All outdoor. Very popular in evenings by the local crowd.
20 Pearl St, Mya Yeik Nyo Royal Hotel, Shwe Taung Gyar Ward (2)
The Trendy Spots
Escape Gastro Bar – The venue if you’re interested in a spot of Myanmar-celeb-spotting, this trendy bar is located in the far north of the city.
The music’s loud, the women are scantily-clad – particularly by Myanmar standards – and there is a fine selection of drinks and food.
31D Kan Yeiktha Street, Yankin townsjip.
Ginki Kids – Pictures of Kurt Cobain line the wall and there’s some quirky furniture in this mainstay of Yangon’s drinking scene. It was once one of Yangon’s most popular spots but has since lost out to some of the more centrally located bars, but remains a popular spot some nights of the week, particularly for the local crowd.
18 Kanbawza Road, Bahan township.
Bar One 4 – Will provide you with a nice, chilled out atmosphere, you can get shisha, good food and drinks at reasonable prices.
14A, Kanbawza Street
Mojo – Bar downstairs, dance floor upstairs. There’s a balcony that catches the breeze, and a nice area outside where you can sip on some of their exotic sounding cocktails and shisha. No.135, Inya Road
Late Into the Night
Pioneer – Probably Yangon’s most genuine club, it’s a lively spot that pays some mildly questionable music, but unlike some of the city’s other late-night venues, the crowd appears to be here to enjoy themselves without any ulterior motives. Next to Yangon International Hotel, 330 Ahlone Road, Dagon township.
DJ Bar – With loud music, protective bouncers and a rickety dancefloor, it can be fun – but make sure you’re pretty drunk first. 37 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, Yankin township.
GTR – The self proclaimed ‘most modern club in Yangon… A must place to go when you are looking for a good time.’ Caters for the young and hip. It’s one big room, the music’s not too loud which allows for some conversation in the seating area. Music is latest hits, r&b, hip hop. Probably one of the only places in Yangon where you can’t smoke inside. 37, Kaba Aye Pagoda Rd. 9pm-3am
Cafe Liberal – Moved to a new location 2013, now by the Chatrium hotel. Playing dance music interspersed with the latest hits it attracts the hip Yangoners. There’s a nice seating area where you can chill and chat. Open till the wee hours it tends to be a place where people go as a last stop before the night closes in. Expect to see your fair share of ladies of the night. Natmauk Road, (Next to the Chatrium hotel). Usually open at weekends till about 5-6am
KTV – Like any Asian city, Yangon has plenty of options if you want to drunkenly shout into a microphone at some godforsaken time of night. If you’re after purely a musical experience, only frequent the ‘family’ bars, the others are usually fronts for another type of entertainment. One popular venue is the Family KTV Bar shortly after Shwegone dine junction on Kaba Aye Pagoda Road. Music box and G6, Relax are among some of the good ones. Music box by Yangon International Hotel, 330 Ahlone Rd; G6 at 6 mile, Pyay Road and Relax on No. 126, Dhamazedi Rd
Some Drinking Options
The Downtown Experience – Start the evening with a civilised drink in the impressive Gallery Bar at Trader’s Hotel (corner of Sule Pagoda and Bogyoke Aung San roads), where you can grab a 2 for 1 drink before 8pm. After that, take a quick venture into the Indian Quarter on Anawratha Road where there are plenty of options for cheap, delicious eats. From here, it’s a 10 minute walk to 19th Street (turn left at Anawratha road and 19th Street) where there are plenty of bars to finish the evening in a friendly, lively atmosphere.
Last Wednesday of the Month – DeBar (60, A1B Bo Yar Nyunt Road) is a quiet bar located just north of the city’s downtown, but on the last Wednesday of every month it hosts a lively pub quiz. A good option for this night is to pick up a great Myanmar dinner at Aung Mingalar restaurant (south-eastern corner of the junction of Bo Yar Nyunt and Nawaday Roads) before venturing a few hundred metres up the road to DeBar for the quiz, which starts at 7.30.
A weekday with a visitor – Most people living in Yangon have had a visitor in the mood to experience the city a weekday. A good bet is to start of with drinks at Union Bar, then 50th and end with drinks and dance at Pioneer. If you are in the other side of the city. Consider go to Escape bar, usually fairly busy any day of the week, then close to midnight you can head over to GRT or DJ Bar for some loud music.
A Friday – Friday’s have changed the last year. From the traditional Strand Hotel Happy Hour to 9pm, then 50th to midnight and then off to GTR or similar, there are now many more choices. However, you will not be wrong to start of with a drink at either Trader’s Gallery Bar, mingle with other expats at Strand Hotel or enjoy the sunset at Yangon Sailing Club. Thereafter, Union Bar is a hot spot that goes on to midnight and 50th is the same as usual, open till the last person leaves. If you want the more hip local scene Escape Bar is packed and their bottles are cheap. From there you can easily crawl to GTR and DJ Bar.
The Myanmore Pub Crawl – While at Myanmore we encourage responsible drinking, now and again it’s ok to get yourself out into the city and enjoy yourself in a variety of venues – which is why we’ve come up with the Myanmore Pub Crawl. Unfortunately, with the city’s layout, it’s pretty difficult to take in a pub crawl that is entirely in walking distance, but with the relatively cheap cost of taxis, it’s relatively easy to ferry yourself about town at little cost. Of course, there are plenty of variations of a Yangon Pub Crawl, but Myanmore has put together its very own pub crawl for the city, but we are of course open to other ideas.
Start in the north of the city at Kosan Bar, Hledan (18 U Tin Lin Chan Street – shortly after Hledan junction, just off Insein Road at Giordanos), which is the perfect spot for some daytime beers and to take in the lively street. From here, you might have to detour very slightly to Super Win Bar (turn left on Insein Road and it’s 100 metres along on your left), which is one of the city’s liveliest and most popular beer stations. A short taxi ride takes you to Friendship Bar (corner of Dhamazedi and Inya roads) for some relaxing outside beers. If it’s after 6pm, when Vista Bar (168 West Shwegonedine road) opens, take the short taxi ride to take in the breathtaking view of sunset at Shwedagon, before a short walk to the Shwegone junction beer station. Suitably inebriated by now, another taxi ride takes you to 19th Street, which is likely you start warming up around 7.30 pm. If you’re still standing by this point, end the night at 50th Street Bar, which is lively practically every night of the week.