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Travel & Resources: MYANMAR / BURMA

Please help us keep these listings up-to-date. Special thanks to Skyking, younggun80, stevemuine, ecyc02, Josan, Nikom, Justinwilson, ZAR, KYAWKYAW, Julian, John, Jeewee, Choice C., Luke L., Hamlet, Mike, KyawThet, Mariner, Bob, Dom, Robert and Doug Sanders!

Advisory: Myanmar maintains antique British-colonial legal prohibitions on "carnal intercourse against the order of nature," although there seems to be no history of enforcement. There are no reports of raids or harassment of LGBT-popular venues or cruising areas.

General Information

    Elections in Nov, 2010 saw military rule replaced with a military-backed nominally civilian government, which took office in Mar, 2011. Many recent positive signals have been welcomed by the international community, including the release of political detainees.

    The people of Myanmar want you to visit. Money that you spend there goes directly into their hands to improve their lives. Many of the people you encounter have studied English (they have already placed their bets on Myanmar's brighter future) and they are very grateful for any contact with foreign visitors.

    Myanmar seems frozen in time, but expect everything to change rapidly as the country opens. You can still see Asian daily life here as it existed more than a century ago. Almost everywhere you visit is going to be safe. You must take shoes off at all sacred s, so consider easily removable footwear (and a wet towel to clean feet).

    Women and men still wear charming wrap-around longyis (sarong) as standard attire and decorate their faces with pale yellow powder. The farther upcountry you go, the more colorful ethnic groups will be encountered ("Myanmar" was chosen as the country's name to include all of the dozens of ethnic groups that comprise the nation, not just the ethnic Burmese). Myanmar should definitely be on your dream itinerary for Southeast Asia.

  • Burma/Myanmar Gay & Lesbian News Archive
  • Additional Links and Resources

click to visit MandalayTravel.com


Organizations


Travel Services

    mandalaytravel.com MandalayTravel.com UTOPIA VERIFIED NOV 2015
      Email

      Offering gay-friendly travel arrangements exclusively in Myanmar (Burma). Most tours are arranged on a private and individual basis to offer total travel freedom. See the sunset at the golden Shwedagon Pagoda, cruise on the famous Irrawaddy River, visit awesome Bagan and Mandalay, glide across serene Inle Lake, or relax on unspoiled tropical beaches.
      Utopia Member Benefit: 5% DISCOUNT on holiday bookings plus a FREE DRINK in Yangon.
      Add your review, comment, or correction

  • Tamarind Travel
      PO Box 593 Ashmore City, Gold Coast, Australia
      (61-7) 3103-2434, (61-4) 2419-5456, email

      Gay and lesbian-friendly tours to Myanmar. English speaking team of travel agents and tour guides who organise individual and private tours, custom made tours, group tours, hotel and flight bookings exclusively in Myanmar. Member of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association.
      Utopia Member Benefit: LUNCH FOR TWO (set menu) at Monsoon Restaurant and Bar to value of US$15. This will buy lovely 3 course lunch.
      Add your review, comment, or correction


BAGAN

Attractions

    Bagan
    , Asia's spectacular lost city.



INLE / NYAUNG SHWE TOWNSHIP (Shan State)

Popular Spots

Restaurants and Cafes

    • One Owl Grill UTOPIA VERIFIED DEC 2015
        1 Yone Gyi St
        +95 (0)92-6297-2841, email

        Gay and lesbian-friendly One Owl Grill is Nyaung Shwe's coolest hangout with fresh, healthy food, an extensive drinks menu to suit any mood, and the best tunes in town.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Pub Asiatico UTOPIA VERIFIED SEP 2016
        Museum Rd
        +95 945-209-6741, email

        Gay-friendly pub experience with a unique, cross-cultural design and menu ranging from authentic pizzas to fusion Asian dishes. Their gay-friendly management will be pleased to welcome you.
        Add your review, comment, or correction



MANDALAY

Popular Spots

Accommodations

      Click here for Mandalay hotels and accommodations.


Massage and Spas

    • LIME Spa UTOPIA VERIFIED JUL 2016
        No 18, 69th St (across from Mandalay University, between 41st St and 43rd St), Maharaungmyay Township
        +95 925-001-5002, email

        Try their signature fusion massage, a combination of Thai and Swedish which will give you a deeper level of relaxation. Ffriendly staff, clean, relaxing private massage rooms with aromatic oils and candles. The masseurs are very professional and courteous. Showers are available for post-massage.
        Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

        Comments from Utopians:

        "Really good place for an amazing massage. We ordered the fusion massage and we highly appreciated the choice. The masseurs were very professional and courteous." -- Larsik, Dec 28, 2015

    • Paradise Spa UTOPIA VERIFIED AUG 2015


Meeting Places

    • There is a young and friendly crowd hanging out around the fitness equipment by the southeast corner of the Palace wall (at 26th and 66th St to be precise), opposite Mandalay Swan and Sedona Hotels. UTOPIAN VERIFIED MAR 2011
      Add your review, comment, or correction


Restaurants and Cafes

      Comments from Utopians:

      The best restaurants in Mandalay: 1. Min Ga La Ba is a great new restaurant for local food. Located just south of the palace walls, on one of the main streets. 2. Mr Chan, new, is a barbecue restaurant where all the meat and vegetables are kept in large refrigerated units with glass doors. You pick what you want cooked. Very cold beer. Located south of the palace walls. Everyone knows where it is. 3. Unitmynmar serves great local food and is one of the few places you can get beer on holidays. It is located at the far east end of 27th St. All the cab drivers know where it is. 4. Small River (Ava) Restaurant is located outside of Mandalay in Ava. You drive to Ava, take a small boat across a small river, take a horse cart to the restaurant. All laid out under large spreading trees. My favorite! ALL of these places are gay-friendly. I often have my Thai boyfriend with me and several local gay guys, including a local ladyboy. Never had any problems. All the local girls always come to admire the ladyboy's nice clothes!" -- Josan, Apr 26, 2016



Taungbyone

General Information

    The Taungbyon Nat Pwe festival is held yearly at Taungbyone, about 20k north of Mandalay. It is held the last part of Aug for six days, up to and including the full moon. Thousands of people from all over Myanmar gather to celebrate the Nats (spirit mediums). Gays from all over Myanmar attend. The large majoirty of Nats in Myanmar are gay men. Also many gay devotees show up just to join in the party, as do hundreds of gays from nearby Thailand. For six days people dance, eat, and drink. The area is covered with food tables and shop stalls. Roving dance groups perform day and night. The atmosphere reflects that of Carnival in Brazil or in the Caribbean. During these days you can do what you feel, not what you have to do during the rest of the year. For this reason many males 'come out' during these six days. Foreigners wishing to attend should take a local along. Many guides or drivers are more than willing go.

      Comments from Utopians:

      "The Taungbyon Nat Pwe (festival) is the largest religious gathering in the country. It is not, itself, a gay event. The big stage shows every night feature regular current singers and bands, with no cross-dressing and no apparent LGBT aspects. The festival is a big country fair, with food, games, rides -- and fancy hats and toy swords for the kids. A distinctive part of the festival are dance performances by spirit mediums and other devotees of the Nats (local spirits) in the main 'palace', or a dozen or so smaller 'palaces'. Most of the spirit mediums are males and most of those are gay. The male spirit mediums will cross-dress if the Nat spirit that is to possess them is a female. If it is a male Nat spirit, they will still dress very elaborately, with make-up, eye shadow, and lustrous clothing, but they will be dressing as males, perhaps as one of the Taungbyon brothers who are the special spirits for this particular Nat Pwe. The performances by the spirit mediums are the flamboyant part of the overall festival, but they blend in with the other aspects of the very large gathering. The spirit medium performances are the special reason for the festival, but the festival is a much larger event, filled with families with kids and young heterosexual couples. Gay spirit mediums are familiar to everyone in Myanmar/Burma, just as trans figures, like kathoey in Thailand are known to everyone in Thailand. The festival is certainly gay positive. Gay mediums and their gay followers co-exist happily with other festival goers." -- Douglas Sanders.



YANGON / RANGOON -- area code +95-1

General Information

    Yangon is like no other city in Asia. It is the definitive setting for an exotic “far east” movie set; a bustling, dusty, and color-splashed city blending nostalgic influences from India, Tibet and Persia into its ancient cultural fabric. The people are simply amazing to look at. Classic colonial facades give way to diamond and gem-encrusted spires of zedis (temple stupas) around which daily life orbits.

    Have high tea at the classic Strand Hotel, wander the shady markets in the afternoon and then head to the glimmering Shwedagon pagoda before sunset. Here, amidst prayer halls, spirit shrines, and monumental bronze bells, take a moment to sit and watch the crowd of families, tourists, pilgrims, school children, monks, nuns, and worshippers as they flow through the golden light.

    Yangon has a population of over 5 million (that's more than 200,000 Utopians).


Popular Spots

Accommodations

      Click here for Yangon hotels and accommodations.


Bars and Clubs

    • Fahrenheit Bar & Cafe UTOPIA VERIFIED OCT 2016
        38 Bogyoke Rd (near the corner with Botahtaung Pagoda Rd), Pazundaung Township

        Gay-friendly bar serving delicious craft cocktails and tempting Mexican-Asian fusion cuisine. Have a drink at the bar and enjoy the warm and welcoming industrial atmosphere, or sit down at the tables outside and watch the street life of Yangon go by. Drinks prices are very reasonable. Search for Fahrenheit's location on Google Maps.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Ko Ko's

    • Lion World UTOPIAN VERIFIED MAR 2012
        Corner of Anawyatar St and Shwedagon Pagoda Rd

        It is an upstairs restaurant and bar on a balcony connected to one of the overhead walkways (and to a department store above 369). It draws some local gays for a snack or beer. Gays gather at the bar so it's not obvious at first that it's a gay bar. Closes early.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Silver Oak Cafe
        83/91 Bo Aung Kyaw St
        299-993

        The front is a Ko Ko hair salon, the club is in the back. Live music club with very friendly staff. Local food and drinks. Two blocks from The Strand. Busy from 8pm onwards.<
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • The Strand Bar
        92 Strand Rd
        243-377

        Not gay, but the place to be on Fri nights for trendy locals, expats, and visitors alike. Cozy seating and excellent service. Great range of cocktails, wines and spirits, cigars and snacks. Happy Hour special prices. Pool table.
        Add your review, comment, or correction


Discos

    • 369 Disco UTOPIAN VERIFIED MAR 2012
        Shwedagon Pagoda Rd (between Mahabandoola Rd and Anawratha Rd)

        A 15 minute walk west of Sule Pagoda (the central landmark in the British colonial section of Yangon). This largely gay disco has been in operation for a number of years and seems to have fallen on lean times. The crowd is small and the show close to nothing. Entry fee includes a drink. It closes at 2am. Open on Sat and Sun (maybe more nights). Some some foreigners.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • 9th Floor Disco UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUN 2012

        Located in the Mingal Zei group of buildings, north of the old British colonial area and close to Kandawgyi Lake. Tell your taxi driver to go to JJ Disco. JJ is on 8/F and 9th Floor Disco is on 9/F. Can get jammed on Sat with hunfreds of young Burmese. Loud disco music makes conversation difficult and the lighting challenges anyone trying to identify the number of transgenders among the clubbers. Video screens continually show football. The crowd is middle-class, about 90% gay males, plus lesbian couples and some straights. The crowd's too hip to wear longyis (sarong). Basically everyone's in jeans. Entry includes a beer. A sign indicates the disco is open Thu-Sun. It closes at 4am. Few, if any, foreigners.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • fab UTOPIA VERIFIED SEP 2016

        Venue location is announced on their website each month, email. Gay-owned fab is Yangon's first monthly party for lesbians, gays and friends. Every last Sat of the month they throw a party. It's for drinking, dancing and flirting. It attracts a mixed crowd of locals, expats and visitors. Even though it's a mixed crowd, most of the LGBT will eventually attend the party. Organised by YG. Come and dance, flirt, drink and chat in a great mix of locals, expats and tourists, gays and straights. The relaxed atmosphere and great tunes from DJ Bay Tar make for a great night out. Entrance is very inexpensive and includes a free shot. FAB is non-profit: all proceedings go to the Yangon LGBT cause.
        Add your review, comment, or correction


Massage and Spas


Meeting Places

    • Aungsan National Sports Stadium

    • Fitness area at the Olympic swimming pool is a hangout for local gay people. Facilities are very poor (don't expect a proper shower) and equipment is ancient.
      Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Inya Lake park.
      Add your review, comment, or correction

    • J-Donuts
        Shwe Bon Htar St at Dagon Centre

        Cruisy in the day and early evenings 5-7pm on weekends especially. -- eye contact is crucial. Once you make contact, you'll find a friend. Beware of the hustlers but most times they just want to get to know a foreigner who will help sponsor them and help them get out of a life of tyranny and unemployment.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Lake Kandawgi -- vicinity of Kandawgi Hotel.
      Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Mahabandoola Park area, in evening before the park closes at 6pm. UTOPIAN VERIFIED APR 2015
      Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Pedestrian overpass
        Thein Gyi Zay (Anawyater St and Shwedagon Paya Rd)

        In the evenings between 7-9pm. If you make a new friend, head to nearby Lion World Beer Garden for a drink. Young men stand here in the evening hoping to find a boyfriend. There is also a facility at the northwest corner of this junction and people also stroll along the section of Shwedagon Pagoda Rd north of this junction.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Sule Paya Rd starting about 4:20-5pm at an outside tea shop. There are two cinemas here. Next to one of those is the tea shop with a blue awning. Every evening, but especially on the weekends.
      Add your review, comment, or correction


Restaurants and Cafes
    • 50th Street Cafe Restaurant and Bar UTOPIAN VERIFIED NOV 2012
        9/13 50th St (just off Merchant Rd), Botahtaung Township,
        397-060

        Lovely, gay-friendly café and bar in a restored colonial building. It has pool tables, newspapers, sand-blasted brick walls and warm wood trim. Very fashionable. Excellent Burmese food and cold beer. A well known hangout frequented by both the expat and local crowd.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Aung Thukha (Myanmar food)

    • Golden Duck

        Several branches around, including one near the jetty to cross the river that has a great view and atmosphere, plus really cute waiters who are sometimes bathing outside at the far end of the restaurant.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Lavender (Myanmar, Korean and Taiwanese food)

    • Monsoon (Myanmar, Thai, Vietnamese, and Cambodian cuisine) UTOPIAN VERIFIED NOV 2012
        85-87 Theinbyu Rd, lower block, Botataung (east of city hall about six blocks)
        295-224, 705-063

        Expensive, but the food is good and the waiters cute. Very gay friendly.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • Ritz Café (western and Asian)
        296/1 Shwedagon Pagoda Rd, Dagon Township
        253-680, 243-934

        A short walking distance over the rail lines from downtown Yangon. It is a small quiet place for food, drink, and talk. Very gay friendly.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • The Strand Café(Myanmar and international) UTOPIAN VERIFIED NOV 2012
        92 Strand Road
        243-377

        Their Myanamar set lunch is a great introduction to local cuisine, including seasonal specialties like a fantastic tomato salad with crunchy peanut dressing, savory butterfish curry, and delicious sweets. Their daily high tea is also a wonderful way to relax during the heat of afternoon while you absorb the ambiance of this classic colonial-era hotel.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • The Strand Grill(Myanmar and international)


Shops

    • The Bodyguard Hair Salon & Healthy Massage Center (For Men) UTOPIA VERIFIED AUG 2015
        Room-A4/A5, Yadanar Mon Housing (corner of Yadanar Rd and Waizayantar Rd, just beside Aung Yadanar Specialist Clinic), Thingungyun Township
        099-7499-0197, 092-6007-4199, 097-9628-1643, email

        Gay-friendly hair salon and healthy massage center for men. Services and packages are professionally designed for the purposes of relaxation, health, beauty and recreation. Their staff are physically well trained, service orientated, humble, nice looking and certified to serve professionally. They care about quality of service, guest relations, cleanliness of their environment and peacefulness of the surroundings. They listen and try to understand and provide service solutions tailored to your needs.
        Utopia Member Benefit: 5% DISCOUNT.
        Add your review, comment, or correction

    • The Golden Tortoise UTOPIAN VERIFIED MAR 2012

    • Yangon Hair and Beauty Center (for men) UTOPIA VERIFIED JUL 2016
        G/F No. 78 Kyaik Ka San St, Tarmwe Township (near United Living Mall)
        +95 97-9388-3889, + 95 92-6383-2408, LINE: nhtp22, email

        Welcome to a gay-friendly haven, a one-stop shop for all of your grooming needs, a place where you can leave behind the stress of humdrum daily life and experience tranquility and harmony. They offer you personal time and space to revitalize your body, mind, and spirit. Their team is dedicated to serving you each and every day. Open 10am-10pm.
        Utopia Member Benefit: 10% DISCOUNT on any item.
        Add your review, comment, or correction



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