YOU might not associate Yangon with nightlife but if you do find yourself at a loose end of an evening there are certainly some classy and happening places around where you can sip a cocktail or beer into the late night hours.
Many of these are located in the city’s upmarket hotels and offer stunning views of the city’s skyline. However some of the best night experiences are simply spent sitting in a teashop by the roadside sipping local beers so in this list you’ll find a range of places that should suit a variety of interests and budgets.
Kipling Bar, Governor’s residence
35 Taw Win Road, Dagon Township, Yangon, Tel: +95-1-229860, open 7am-11pm.
For a country somewhat adverse to colonial overtones, it is suprising to find a bar named after the famed English story teller. Still there is much that is incogruous about Myanmar/Burma and the bar is certainly in keeping with the colonial-style mansion that dates back to the 1920s. The Governor’s Residence is actually a hotel in Yangon’s embassy quarter. There is much that reeks of a bygone era with teak armchairs and a definitive air of relaxed exclusivity – the perfect spot for a cocktail, glass of wine or even a freshly brewed coffee.
Check rates and availability at The Governor’s Residence Hotel on Agoda.com
Sky Bistro, Sakura Tower
20th floor, Sakura Tower, 339 Bogyoke Aung San Rd, Kyauktada Township, Yangon, Tel. 255 277. Cafe open 9am-6pm, bar 6-10.30pm
This amazing bar is aptly named and located on the 20th floor of Yangon’s highest structure. Have a drink, dine or carouse the night away on draught beer, cocktails and wines taking in panoramic views of Yangon all around you. Each direction offers another view of the city from Shwedagon to Sule and the river. The menu features a selection of western and asian dishes. There are also fruit juices and coffee available.
Zawgyi House Cafe, Yangon
372 Bogyoke Aung San road, Pabedan Township, Yangon, tel: 380 398
While more a cafe than a bar, this is an excellent place of an evening simply for the people watching it affords on busy Bogyoke Aung San Road. It’s a short stroll from Traders and the Sakura Tower so in theory you could do a bit of a bar/cafe hop. Zawgyi is particularly renowned for its excellent shakes and sundaes, it also serves up some good Myanmar beer and lots of local dishes and Western food.
Golden Dragon Teashop
Cnr 49th Street, Anawratha Road, Yangon
Teashops are kind of Myanmar’s version of a local pub. They don’t look like much but they’re a fun way to spend a few hours drinking local beers, tea, eating snacks and hanging out with the locals. Many of these open in the morning for breakfast and stay open into the late evening. The best way to find one is to look for a popular place with many people out on plastic chairs and head on in. The Golden Dragon is one of a number of rustic places on Anawratha Road and a very popular local joint. The menu features Chinese and Bamar dishes.
Gallery Bar, Traders Hotel
Level 2, Traders Hotel, 223 Sule Pagoda Road, Tel. 95-1-242828. Open 5pm – 11pm on Mon – Wed, 5pm – 1am on Thurs – Sun
Traders is another of Yangon’s upmarket hotels and its Gallery Bar is a great place to escape the heat and noise of the busy city streets for a few hours. There’s a happy hour here every night with plenty of liquers, wines and beers to choose from (local and imported) and snacks and menu items to go with it.
Check rates and availability at Traders Hotel, Yangon on Agoda.com
Mr Guitar Cafe
22 Saya San road, Yangon, tel. 951-700446, www.facebook.com/pages/Mr-Guitar-Cafe/270477723004587?v=info. Open Mon – Sun 8:00am-11.30pm
This place gets unfailingly good reviews and I’m sorry to say I’ve never actually made it – perhaps on the next trip Mr Guitar? Mr Guitar is actually a famous Burmese singer and otherwise known as Nay Myo Say. Apparently other top singers drop in from time to time to jam with the local house band. This place is popular with locals and foreigners so you should meet some groovy young and upcoming Yangonians. Food and drinks are served but they do close before midnight.