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The nightlife in Yangon, Myanmar was much more fun than what I was expecting!
The Burmese people are very social and they enjoy drinking booze, which makes Yangon nightlife a fun time. The best local beer is called Myanmar Beer (an award-winning lager) and the most common liquor is Mandalay Rum (a delicious rum for just $3USD per bottle!) I drank a lot when I was there because I could get pretty drunk for just $5USD.
Around town, there are several districts which have fun bars and clubs. 19th street around Chinatown is a fun area for bar hopping. I like to start drinking at beer stations (the ones with the dim lights and there is a girl singing on stage). It’s like a mini-model show, and you can hang out with the girls and they’ll bring you drinks for a small price. I found it to be quite funny.
But the real fun in Yangon is at the nightclubs! I was looking to hear to some EDM and see Burmese models dancing on stages, and I found the area. Many of the best clubs are in and around the Tein Gyi Zay Plaza.
This bizarre story that you are about to read happened at a club called Channel V.
Over the last 3 years, I’ve been clubbing in upwards of 35 countries, and nothing compares to what happened at a club in Yangon, Burma. I mean holy shit – this was the most bizarre clubbing experience I’ve ever had.
It was a beautiful Tuesday evening in January, 2015.
I had only been in Myanmar for a few days and everything was going great. I met this local Burmese guy, named Sai, and he was showing me around Yangon (the biggest city) everyday. It was amazing to have a local experience of Yangon!
At my hostel, I met a bunch of British people, and Psi agreed to take us all out to his favorite club. To be honest, I had absolutely no idea what to expect for Yangon nightlife, as I was still trying to wrap my head around the general culture of Myanmar.
We had a crew of about 10 people. It was me, my blogger friend Vanessa from Wander Onwards, 6 British lads, Sai and his other Burmese friend.
We went to dinner at a delicious local restaurant and we drank lots of Mandalay rum and coke. After a few too many drinks, we jumped in a taxi and headed for the club.
What in about to tell you next is 100% accurate from my experiences. I just can’t make this shit up.
We pulled up into this sketchy little district with a few neon signs and distant clubs. Immediately after we stepped outside the taxi, we were approached by about 20 young men dressed in white button downs shirts, slacks and black ties. They were all trying to drag us into their respective club by pulling our arms. I honestly felt like a celebrity with all the attention that we were getting. (Keep in mind that Burma recently opened their doors to tourism, so they still aren’t used to seeing many white people.)
Pushing people out of my way while following Psi’s lead, we took an elevator to the 9th floor of this building. Each person was required to pay $2USD (2,000 kyats) to enter the club and we got a massive black stamp of the letter “D” on our forearm.
And everyone was required to give their fingerprints.
Getting fingerprinted to enter a club was a first for me. I was thinking “what the hell do they need my fingerprints for? What may have happened here in the past? Am I going to die?!”
Behind the entrance doors, I could hear fast paced Techno music. We were escorted inside by about 10 security guys who still wouldn’t leave our sides. They were breathing on our necks the entire night.
Inside the club was a massive black room with a few lazers on the dance floor, which was surrounded by about 100 couches. The club was held up by these massive pillars that were seen everywhere inside. The music was so loud that I couldn’t talk to anyone and I couldn’t really think. The club was decently crowded, especially for a Tuesday, with 90% of people on the dance floor. We were obviously the only foreigners inside.
I took this photo inside the club near the end of the night.
The security guards, who were more like 22 year old kids dressed up in suits, took us to a private table in the back.
They immediately served us all free beers. So up to this point, I had only paid $2 for entrance and a free beer.
Then my Burmese friend ordered a bottle of whisky and the party was officially started!
The music was actually pretty good. The DJ was playing lots of solid techno and EDM songs, but the beats were twice as fast- almost like drum and bass style. We all danced for a while.
The security guards were staring me and my friends down the entire time and I felt really uncomfortable. They were really strict and I could feel their presence everywhere I went. It kind of pissed me off. When I tried to take photos with my phone, and they wouldn’t let me. I’ve never not been allowed to take photos in a club before.
This was the only decent photo that I got from the night with my friend Vanessa. We were in the back of the club at our table.
Okay, now onto the most bizarre experience of the night. It was in the bathroom.
As I was standing at the urinal to pee, some Burmese dude (who was working inside the bathroom) starting giving me a back and neck massage. It took me about 4 minutes to start peeing because it felt so awkward. Then, the guy asked me for a tip when I was finished, but I was so off-struck and disgusted that I just darted out the door.
Apparently this is the standard at clubs in Myanmar- to get a massage while peeing at clubs.
Eventually we left the club around 1AM after we felt sketched out and headed to another club, where I experienced much of the same thing.
It was an absolutely insane night that I’ll never forget!
Where to Stay in Yangon?
From cheap hostels to luxury condos, Yangon has a large variety of places to stay that will satisfy your budget needs. For a comprehensive list of hotels in Yangon, check out TripAdvisor and book your stay today!
1) For budget travelers – 20th Street Hostel (Book online now)
*rates – $9/night for an 8 bed dorm
2) For mid-price – Taw Win Garden Hotel (Book online now)
*rates – $81/night for a deluxe room with breakfast
3) For luxury – Shangri-la (Book online now)
*rates – $219/night for a deluxe room with breakfast
Thanks for reading! If you have any more questions about the nightlife in Yangon, or anything related to travel in Myanmar, then please contact me! I’m happy to help you out 🙂