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The top seven bars to visit in Yangon, Myanmar

It’s official. Yangon, Myanmar is Asia’s new boomtown. The tradition of drinking in Myanmar is different to other parts of the world, and although it can be difficult to find places that operate past 9:00pm, the city’s nightlife scene is ever-growing.

Thanks to Park Royal Hotels & Resorts, here are the top eight bars to visit in Yangon.

 

7th Joint Bar & Grill
Open from 6:00pm onwards.
Aiming to introduce the Caribbean culture and lifestyle to Myanmar, this reggae bar’s friendly service and easy-going, atmosphere attracts a diverse crowd. It also features nightly live bands and guest DJs playing a wide range of music genres. This is definitely the place to let you hair down and dance the night away.

 

19th Street
Open from 5:00pm to midnight.
Chinatown’s 19th Street is where the locals go to drink and make merry. It drums up huge crowds every night of the week, which stands testament to its atmosphere and unbeatable offerings.

 

Vista Bar
Open from 6:00pm to 1:00am.
This rooftop hangout has some of the best views that the city has to offer of the Shwedagon Pagoda, a shining golden temple. Known to be very popular amongst the expat crowd, it offers great cocktails at reasonable prices as well.

 

Yangon Yangon
Open from 4:00pm to 11:00pm.
Located on the rooftop of the Sakura Tower above Thiripyitsaya Sky Bistro, guests are able to take in the panoramic view of the city’s skyline on the open rooftop, while having a glass of champagne or two.

 

Blind Tiger
Open from: 4:00pm to 12:00am (closed on Sundays).
Launched in November 2014 and relocated to its current address in the heart of downtown Yangon in 2016, this bar draws a regular crowd of discerning cocktail fans with their potent concoctions, beautifully designed interiors and cool vibe. Inspired by the slang term for speakeasy bars during the American Prohibition, Blind Tiger also serves up a delectable selection of tapas and promotes local artists with artworks adorning the walls, which are also for sale.

 

Gekko Restaurant
Open from: 11:00am to 11:00pm daily.
This snug little Japanese-inspired yakitori grill and whisky bar is located in the Sofaer Building, the hub of a Baghdadi-Jewish family enterprise during Rangoon’s turn-of-century heyday. One of the key highlights of the place – open bar and delicious Asian bar bites aside – is the beautiful floor tiles imported from Manchester, England, and the historical photographs on the walls.

 

The Basement
Open from: 4:00pm to 12:00am daily.
Located in a former hair salon, this 88-seat basement bar and grill restaurant opened its doors in early 2016 and has been serving up its signature and classic cocktails since, alongside a delectable menu that focuses on fresh ingredients sourced from the local market every morning. It’s a must-visit.

Getting around

An old Burmese saying declares, “Mandalay for eloquence, Moulmein for food and Rangoon for boasting.” And historic Yangon still can. Currently it boasts (among other pleasures) two curiously named conveyances, the Elephant Coach and the Circular Train. The former is a World War II Chevy ‘Blitz’ truck that has been impeccably reincarnated as a sightseeing coach, with exquisite, faux-colonial woodwork, plus a liveried chauffeur and hostess. The Circular Train, far more democratic, is a popular option for travellers wanting to see authentic Yangon, closeup and rattling. This suburban train trundles a 48-station loop where passengers hop on or off at will. We do six mid-city stations, about half an hour, with our carriage aisles alive with vendors, commuters, kids, families and fun.

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