I was in Yangon (Myanmar) in January 2017 for two weeks. It was more than enough time for me to go to almost all the nightclubs and bars in the city.

Yangon nightlife is better than what I expected, even though it will need a few more years before it becomes travel-worthy. For now, it is still a bit rough around the edges and somewhat repetitive. I counted over 15 nightclubs, but only 3-4 that I really enjoyed. The others are either too loud, too quiet or they simply have too many prostitutes. On the plus side, I was happy to find out that they are usually open every night of the week, sometimes until late, and that Burmese are enthusiastic party-goers.

Finding information was a challenge. Most of what you'll read online about bars and clubs is outdated, inaccurate or completely irrelevant. Hopefully, this review will make it easier for you. You can help me keep it up-to-date by leaving a comment below.

Note: The Myanmar currency is the Kyat (MMK). At the time of writing: 1USD = 1,360MMK

Yangon Nightlife - Quick Summary
If you don't have time to read my whole review, below is a short summary:

Where to stay?
To be close from both the nightlife and the tourist sites, stay in the downtown area near the Sule Pagoda.

→ 5-star:
Shangri-La Hotel Sule: 200$/night - Find the cheapest price on HotelsCombined.

→ 4-star:
Best Western Chinatown Hotel (80$/night) - Check the best rate on HotelsCombined.

→ 3-star:
City Star Yangon (40$/night) - Find a lower price on HotelsCombined.

→ 2-star and dormitory
Backpacker Bed and Breakfast (10$-20$/night) - Compare rates on HotelsCombined.

→ Hotels With Nightclubs
Parkroyal (Music 5), Yangon International Hotel (Pioneer), Inya Lake Hotel (DJ's Bar, Inya Bar) and Kandawgyi Palace Hotel (The Clubhouse).

Where to party?
Backpackers: Go to 19th street to eat, drink beer and meet other travelers (especially Kosan bar). You can also try 7th Joint Bar. If you feel like clubbing, I recommend Channel V or Pioneer.

Expats living in the North: Go to Kanbawza Street for eating, to Kan Yeik Thar Street for drinking. If you are young, Fuse Club in Myanmar Plaza or BME 2 are the best. If you are older (and a guy), go to DJ's Bar.

Tourists/Expats with a comfortable budget: Sunset at a rooftop (Atlas, Penthouse, Yangon Yangon), dinner in Shwe Sa Bwe, Opera, Alamanda or Le Planteur. More drinks in Union, The Envoy or 50th Street. For partying, open a bottle in Clubhouse or listen to live music in Parkroyal (if you don't mind the prostitutes).

Single guys: If you are adventurous, go to Mingalar Mon Market (JJ). Less adventurous, try Pioneer. Even less, go to Music 5 (Park Royal) or DJ's Bar.

Where to meet normal girls?
Tinder: Very limited unless you want to meet tourists/expats
Asia Dating: Some English-speaking profiles, you can check who's online by making a free account here.
→ Badoo: Only 10 girls online
→ WeChat, BeeTalk, Line: Only if you speak Burmese
→ Best bars and nightclubs to meet Burmese girls: Fuse, Eclipse, Harry's, Channel V, The Vibe, Cuba, BME 2
→ Best bars and nightclubs to meet foreign girls: 7th Joint, Kosan, Double Happiness Bar, 50th Street
→ During day time: Myanmar Plaza Mall, Junction Mall, Sule Plaza, United Living Mall (middle class)

You can also read 10 Best Countries to Meet Asian Girls and 15 Best Online Dating Apps and Websites.

How to get around?
Unless you have a car, you can only walk or use taxis.

Taxis don't have a meter so you need to negotiate directly with the driver. Crossing Yangon from Chinatown to Inya Lake costs about 4,000MMK. Traffic jams are a big problem during the day (average speed: 10 kilometers/hour) but it gets better after 8pm.

Walking is fine for short distances, especially during the cooler months from December to February. Sidewalks are generally well-maintained. At night, it is not so safe as the streets are dark and filled with stray dogs. Burmese drive like crazy and they'd run over you just to avoid slowing down.

Travel Insurance
Dog bites, dengue fever, car accidents, food poisoning, etc... Your health is more at risk in Myanmar and the proper hospitals (International Clinic in Parami Hospital) are very expensive. Make sure you have a solid travel insurance that covers your whole trip. If you don't have one, I suggest WorldNomads. You can easily get a quotation in 1 minute: How Much Does Travel Insurance Costs? (click on "Get a Price").

Nightlife Areas in Yangon
Overview of nightlife areas in Yangon
I created the map above to give you an idea about the different nightlife areas in Yangon. I also made a more detailed Google Maps that you can see at the bottom of this article.

The 6 major nightlife areas in Yangon are the following (ranked from North to South):

1) Inya Lake Hotel Compound
Within the Inya Lake Hotel compound, there are 2 upmarket nightclubs (DJ's Bar and Inya Bar). A few hundred meters away, in Kan Yeik Thar Street, there are some less expensive bars and restaurants targeting both expats and wealthy Burmese (Brave, The Vibe, Joe's Kitchen, Spy and Escape).

2) Myanmar Plaza and Bahan
One of the poshest neighborhoods in Yangon, it is also where you'll find the trendiest nightclubs and bars. They can be found in the brand new mall Myanmar Plaza (Fuse, Eclipse, Harry's), in Kabar Aye Road (Cask 81, The West) or in Kanbawza Street (Genki Kids, PorterHouse and a few more fine dining restaurants). BME 2 nightclub is also there.

3) Kandawgyi Lake and Shwedagon Pagoda
This is not exactly a nightlife area, but you have several rooftop bars and cafés targeting tourists and locals. You can have a drink there at sunset time. Vista and The Penthouse have a beautiful view on Shwedagon Pagoda.

At night, it becomes more sketchy. On the main road, you may encounter ladyboys looking for customers. There are also luxury KTVs such as VIP and The One.

4) Yangon International Hotel Compound
This popular complex next to the Summit Parkview Hotel and the Yangon International Hotel is home to Pioneer club, Muse, Mbox Karaoke and a few more bars.

5) Mingalar Mon Market
The dodgy Mingalar Mon Market is a red-light area with KTVs, massage parlors, freelance prostitutes, short time hotels and discos. Inside high-rise buildings, you'll find the famous JJ Entertainment (the most popular among foreigners) and the more local Nasa, Channel V, 9 Floor and Asia Entertainment City.

UPDATE JUNE 2017: According to some info I've received, all the venues of Mingalar Mon Market have been closed down by the police.

6) Downtown Yangon, Chinatown (19th Street)
This is the older part of town where most tourists stay when they visit Yangon. The clubs, bars and restaurants are diverse and they are scattered around a large area. Some are popular with backpackers (part of 19th Street and particularly Kosan bar), some with Chinese visitors (Emperor KTV in City Central Plaza), some with NGO workers (7th Joint), some with Burmese (Cuba), some with businessmen (Club 5 in Parkroyal Hotel) and some with expats (50th Street Café, Union).

Best Nightclubs in Yangon
Yangon nightclubs are similar to each other, probably because they are owned and managed by just a few different individuals.

Below is a short description of each of them (you can click on the name to read my full review).

Note: Unless specified, the music is almost ALWAYS commercial EDM, especially fast-paced Top 40 remixes (old and new songs).

Fuse Nightclub (Myanmar Plaza)
Located on the rooftop of Yangon's newest mall, Fuse is easily the trendiest nightclub in the city at the moment. It has international standards, attracts a cosmopolitan crowd and welcomes guest DJs at least every two weeks. There isn't much space for dancing so it's better to book a table (and cheaper too).

→ Crowd: 85% rich Burmese (including celebrities and socialites), 15% young foreigners.
→ Prostitution: Not so obvious, but some girls are money-oriented (KTV girls who come after work).
→ Entrance fee: 20,000MMK for walk-in guests. 10,000MMK if you've already booked a table (and a bottle).
→ Open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 3AM.

Channel V (Mingalar Mon Market)
One of my favorites in Yangon, it is perfect for those looking for a more local clubbing experience. Great atmosphere and cheap. Busy any night of the week.

→ Crowd: 99% Burmese, 1% random foreigners
→ Prostitution: Difficult to know, let's say 50% of the girls.
→ Entrance fee: 5,000MMK
→ Open every day until 2AM

Pioneer (Yangon International Hotel)
Maybe the most famous nightclub in Yangon. Crowded on most nights and not so expensive. Full of prostitutes. The DJs are better than average.

→ Crowd: 90% Burmese, 10% foreigners (tourists and expats, mostly guys)
→ Prostitution: 90% of the girls
→ Entrance fee: 10,000MMK with one beer
→ Open every day until 3AM

Club 5 (Downtown)
Live music bar and club of the 5-star Parkroyal Hotel. More expensive than average. Many freelance prostitutes.

→ Crowd: 20% rich Burmese, 80% foreigners from Europe, US, Australia and Asia (expats and businessmen)
→ Prostitution: 90% of the girls
→ Entrance fee: 12 US Dollars (16,200MMK) with a beer (free for hotel guests)
→ Open every day until 1AM

The Vibe and Brave Bar (Kan Yeik Thar Street)

Two popular hangout spots among young, upper-class Burmese. They'll normally be busy on Friday and Saturday. Hip Hop/Rn'B DJs start playing at 10PM in The Vibe. In Brave, the music is EDM. Reasonably priced.

→ Crowd: 85% Burmese, 15% foreigners
→ Prostitution: 10% or less
→ Entrance fee: Free (except when special events)
→ Open every day until 1AM (weekdays) or 3AM (weekends)

BME 2 (Bahan)
Upmarket bottle club near Inya Lake. Small but friendly crowd.

→ Crowd: 90% Burmese, 10% expats.
→ Prostitution: 20% + KTV girls/Hostesses.
→ Entrance fee: 15,000MMK with one beer.
→ Open every day until 4AM

The Club House (Kandawgyi Palace Hotel)
Modern club with international standards. Nice design. Good DJs. Unfortunately not so crowded when I visited.

→ Crowd: 80% rich Burmese, 20% foreigners.
→ Prostitution: None.
→ Entrance fee: I didn't pay any
→ Open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 3AM (4AM on weekends)

DJ's Bar (Inya Lake Hotel)
Popular with foreigners (and prostitutes). It has 3 different areas: A beer garden with a large screen, a bar, and a small nightclub.

→ Crowd: 30% Burmese, 70% young foreigners.
→ Prostitution: At least 80% of the girls
→ Entrance fee: 10,000MMK with a beer or a glass of spirits
→ Open everyday until 4AM

Inya Bar (Inya Lake Hotel)
A nightclub walking distance from DJ's Bar. Rather small and quiet. Mid-to-upper class customers, including some working girls.

→ Crowd: 95% Burmese, 5% foreigners
→ Prostitution: I'm not sure but I would say more than 50% with some KTV girls.
→ Entrance fee: 10,000MMK with one beer
→ Open every day until 4AM

JJ Entertainment (Mingalar Mon Market)
A very famous club among expats and tourists (looking for sex). The area is dodgy but the place in itself is luxurious by Myanmar standards. Early in the night, they will have a fashion show. Two floors above they have a spa with massage plus plus.

→ Crowd: 20% Burmese, 80% foreigners (Koreans, Chinese, Japanese mostly)
→ Prostitution: Close to 100%
→ Entrance fee: 5,000MMK for men and 3,000MMK for girls with a beer
→ Open every day until 2AM.

9-Floor (Mingalar Mon Market)
Also called 9-F, it is a large, local club with a very young crowd. Not very clean, a bit too dark, but friendly.

→ Crowd: 99% Burmese, 1% foreigners.
→ Prostitution: Hard to tell... Maybe 70%?
→ Entrance fee: 4,000MMK with 2 beers in a plastic cup.
→ Open every day until 2AM

Nasa Club and KTV (Mingalar Mon Market)
Maybe the most underground nightclub I've been to in Yangon. It is like a softer version of the ecstasy discos in North Jakarta. Busy on most nights, even during weekdays.

→ Crowd: 99% Burmese, 1% young foreigners (or less).
→ Prostitution: Probably more than 70%. There is a short-time hotel in the same building.
→ Entrance fee: 5,000MMK with 1 beer.
→ Open every day until 2AM

Muse (Yangon International Hotel)
A new club targeting wealthy Burmese, but not busy unless they have special events.

→ Crowd: 95% Burmese
→ Prostitution: There were very few girls, at least half were prostitutes.
→ Entrance fee: I didn't pay
→ Open every day until 3AM

Asia Entertainment City (Mingalar Mon Market)
The largest nightlife complex in Yangon, there is a spa, a KTV, a fashion show lounge and a disco. A bit old, mostly popular with Chinese.

→ Crowd: 40% Chinese, 35% Burmese, 20% Other Asians, 5% Westerners
→ Prostitution: Close to 100%
→ Entrance fee: 5,000MMK with a beer
→ Open every day until 2AM

Emperor KTV (Chinatown)
For mysterious reasons, this brothel is popular with tourists (even Western girls). Inside, you'll find a main room with mild "fashion" shows and several karaoke rooms.

→ Crowd: 80% Asian guys (Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Burmese), 20% Western tourists
→ Prostitution: 100%
→ Entrance fee: 5,000MMK with one beer
→ Open every day from 7PM to 12AM

J-One (Kandawgyi Lake)
When I visited, it was really empty. I think it only gets busy on specific nights. In particular, they hold LGBT friendly events and Hip Hop nights.

→ Crowd: 95% Burmese
→ Prostitution: No girls when I visited.
→ Entrance fee: 5,000MMK with a beer
→ Open every day from 9PM to 12AM.

Recommended Bars and Pubs
You can't just walk around and expect to find bars in Yangon. The city is too big and the number of bars too small.

Here are some of the most famous, by neighborhood (for the exact location you can see my Yangon nightlife map at the end of the article).

Downtown Yangon
This large area (3.5 kilometers long and 1 kilometer large) has the highest number of bars in Yangon. Some of my favorites are:

As I mentioned before, 19th street is the busiest nightlife area in downtown Yangon. Many backpackers will hang out there every night. The best bars are Double Happiness and Kosan (both belong to the same people). Friendly and cheap (1,000MMK for a mojito, 800MMK for draught beer).

Note: Avoid the overpriced street food in the whole 19th street. Go to 18th street instead.

50th Street
It used to be the place to be among expats but it is now much quieter. Still a cozy place to drink, eat, watch sports and play pool/foosball.

7th Joint:
A small, Jamaican reggae bar with daily live music. Open mic nights on Tuesdays are very crowded. Full review: 7th Joint Yangon.

Union
Upmarket restaurant and bar, popular with expats. It was created by a group owned by an English guy who is also behind Parami Pizza and Tin Tin 118 (a tiny Mexican restaurant). Regular event such as Salsa and live music nights.

Gekko
Japanese/Korean bistro with some of the best cocktails in Yangon.

Blind Tiger
Speakeasy bar popular among expats. Serves Western and Asian food.

The Envoy
Restaurant with live Jazz every Saturday night. They have DJ events with techno, deep house and minimal every once in a while.

Fat Ox British Pub
Expat bar, they have decent pub food but the prices are high. Pool table in the back.

Cuba
Local bistro on two floors with a terrace. Very crowded at night with mostly middle class Burmese. The food portions are huge. One of my favorite places in Yangon for eating.

Hyper Pub
Similar to Cuba, it is a local bar with cheap beer and some local food.

Oriana 24
Another local pub with eclectic music, Western food and a few backpackers. In Chinatown.

Kan Yeik Thar Street
This is a good street to begin your nights out on Fridays and Saturdays (if you stay in the North). You can have dinner in Joe's Kitchen or Escape bar, then grab a beer in Brave (local crowd) and finish your night at The Vibe. The prices are reasonable.

Myanmar Plaza
The mall has several hangout spots but the best one is Harry's sports bar. You can also go to Eclipse rooftop (just next to Fuse) but it will be more expensive.

A Hard Rock Café will open there in 2017.

Kanbawza Street/Kabar Aye Road
On a 500-meter stretch of road, there are a few upmarket bars and gourmet restaurants. Expats tend to go to Genki Kids while very rich Burmese prefer the Whisky bar Cask 81.

Kandawgyi Lake
You need to pay to access the park around the lake (like 200MMK). Inside, there are several cafés, none of which really memorable. Two of the busiest when I visited were YGN Bus Café and Off the Beaten Track.

Yangon International Hotel Compound
There are several bars (P2, Alchemy Rooftop, The Cup Sports Café), coffee shops and restaurants. None are remarkable but they are interesting if you are planning to go to Pioneer later on.

Yangon Nightlife Map
I've listed all the venues mentioned in this review in the following map:

6 comments to '' Yangon Nightlife - Best Nightclubs and Bars 2017 "

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  1. Great current info, this guy gets around!
    Thanks for the effort.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nasa Club and KTV, JJ, 9th floor, Asia entertainment city from Mingalar Mon Market were already shudown in this month.

    ReplyDelete
  3. heard Mingalar mon market pubs reopend for weekends only!
    not sure though.
    picked this up from one of the "girls" at the park royale club

    ReplyDelete
  4. since the y made tons of money, police didn't close this spot. it's been sold, going to be a high rise shopping and condo deveopment

    ReplyDelete