Yangon is the new wild child of South East Asia. Yes, this is not Bangkok with its multitude of hotels, bars, massage bars and all you can have gogo bars. However if you feel a little adventurous this city can give you lots of memories.
What you’ll find here is a combination of old traditions and new crazy fun imported from the big neighbor Thailand. The nightlife is good but of course you have to know where to look for. The girls are young and beautiful but again you have to distinguish between the “working girls” and the ones that just want to meet people and have fun. Well, the second category is barely emerging.
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Obviously the best thing in Yangon is the price. Everything is so cheap. Well, with the exception of hotels and some travel agencies. Also, the atmosphere. It feels good to be here. Sometimes strange but still awesome. Be a little adventurous and you will be rewarded.
Entrance fees from 5000 Kyats (MMK) which is about 5 USD
Drinks starting at 1 USD. Full Service Massage starting at 30 USD
Myanmar people are very honest. You don’t have to worry about that. But as everywhere else ask (at the hotel for example) how much is the taxi fare to certain destinations. Complaints are not many. Most common is the hygiene – some establishment can be a little dirty. And the toilets? Wow.
Main locations are of course in Yangon’s central areas, Chinatown and near Shwedagon Pagoda but also at the Mingalar Mon Market which is across the river.
Looking for a hotel in Yangon?
Here are some hotel recommendations for Solo Travelers in Yangon. We recommend that you stay centrally as the suburbs are less developed and with little infrastructure. Still a lot of fun! Especially the famous Mingalar Mon Market. IMPORTANT! Hotels are on the expensive side in Yangon and most places in Myanmar. You have to do your homework and book in advance as well.
People have different favorites based on their personal experiences and so on. I’ve been to 5 nightclubs in Yangon and my favorite is still JJ Entertainment in Mingalar Mon Market. Be warned though that this place is a little seedy. But the massage is best!
That depends on what type of fun you’re into. Some taxi drivers might charge a bit extra. Especially if they are recommended by your local date girls.
Yangon Bars Review
Among best Yangon bars and night clubs are the following listings. This city is growing fast and so are the entertainment options.
Location: Very good, in the middle of city near the most famous place in town which is Shwedagon Pagoda and also in the same neighborhood as big hotels and resorts.
Entrance fee: 5000 Kyats including one drink. (Update. I am told that the entrance is now 10000 Kyats and this needs to be confirmed)
Feel: I thought that the staff was a bit bored welcoming foreign tourists which is the vast majority of the clientele in the club. It is easy to make friends just by smiling and saying hello. Some locals invited me to their table and almost forced me to drink lots of whiskey shots. Apparently they need to clink glasses each time one from the group decides to have another drink. This is a modern dance club and you will listen to good DJ music so if dancing and having a few drinks while talking to new people is your objective than this is a good location. The crowd is very international seeing some locals, Westerners, Chinese and quite a few Indian guys which are jumping straight to the girls asking them how much. My understanding is that the girls here provide “full massage” or “erotic massage” at your room for about 80000 Kyats but if you can negotiate and there are not too many guys then you can bring the price down to about 50000 Kyats.
Likes: Location is very good if you are staying in the area. The girls are not jumping on you in groups like in other Yangon Bars. The lighting is still OK and you can actually the person you are talking to. Unlike most other clubs.
Dislikes: Music is loud and the place is small comparing to other clubs. If you want to go there looking for local girls then don’t bother. There are only a few, not the cutest and they seem to get a lot of attention so either they ask for too much or are not too interested. Drinks prices tend to be a bit higher than in other establishments.
Hotels close by: Summit Parkview Hotel, Hotel Yangon International, The Governor’s Residence Hotel, Hotel Panda, Vacation Garden, Diamond Crown, MGM Hotel, Hotel Bahosi, Hotel Olympic and Alfa Hotel.
Location: Close to the Yangon City Hall and Chinatown
Entrance fee: 5000 Kyats and includes a beer, coca cola or other drink.
Feel: When you enter the place which is located the 5th floor you will get a guy which is a sales person and a guide. He will explain everything and usually stick with you through the night. I found them very helpful and funny at the same time. If you get there early around 8 PM or so there will be many freelance girls jumping on you and trying their English. They all know how to say “I love you” but that’s pretty much it. Well there are some exceptions but those girls are harder to get and if you have to do some dancing and ice breaking. Another good reason to get there early is that the lighting inside allows you to see the faces of everyone else but once the fashion shows start you won’t be able to see much except the girls on the stage. The nightly “fashion shows” are basically mamasans parading their teams of girls for the rich locals who pay to take them for the night. They rotate a few times until most girls get selected. Interested spectators would show their interest by buying them flowers. Some of them look really good but the stage lighting and their clothing might make them appear sexier. There were a few receiving many flowers from a group of old Japanese guys. Prices for a night with one of the girls on the stage is anywhere between 80000 and 200000 kyats. I did not see any foreigners around except this one guy from France which I believe was a regular.
Likes: Friendly, and quite big as a club.
Dislikes: The only reason to come here is to get a girl with you. Not many people to make friends with since most customers are locals, Chinese, Japanese and other Asian businessmen.
Hotels in this neighborhood: Traders Hotel, Hotel Grand United, Parkroyal Yangon, Thamada Hotel, Central Hotel, Panorama Yangon, May Shan and City Star Hotel.
JJ ENTERTAINMENT CLUB
Location: Near Kandawgyi Nature Park and Lake and Mingalar Mon Market.
Entrance fee: 4000 Kyats with a drink or 5000 kyats and includes a massage and a drink. That was the promotion when I was there. Not sure if still valid.
Feel:JJ Entertainment is probably the largest and most famous night club in Yangon. However its fame is controversial since this is not only a disco and dance bar but firstly a place to meet local working girls. I guess JJ is sort of an outsider competing with other clubs in central Rangoon. Opinions are pro and against this place but I’ve been here quite a few times and always had a good experience albeit very similar. Should you like any girls just smile at them and they will tell you the price for the night which is usually around and above 50000 kyats. I have not seen one single Westerner during my nights there. Mostly Japanese, locals and some Chinese from China, Taiwan and Singapore.
Likes: We love the massage given at the parlor which is part of the building. If you get there early and the main club is not open yet you should go for that – either foot massage or whole body massage. Unpretentious venue with a large dance floor and many people actually dancing when the music is playing. The girls are very friendly and some very cute. Other clubs to explore in the area. Drinks are cheap.
Dislikes: Have to take a taxi to this place. Building looks dirty on the outside. Elevators are always full.
Hotels close to this area: Kandawgyi Palace Hotel, Baiyoke Hotel, Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake Yangon, Hotel Nikko, Green Hill and Fame Hotel.