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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, Jeewee, Choice C., Luke L., Hamlet, Mike, KyawThet, Mariner, Bob, Dom, Robert, John and Doug Sanders!

Advisory: Myanmar law maintians antique British-colonial 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


  • AIDS/HIV organizations and information
      Organisers of cultural events for LGBT in Yangon and they hosted the first &PROUD Yangon LGBT Film Festival in Nov 2014.
  • Campaign for Lesbigay Rights in Burma (CLRB)
      PO Box 37 Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50202 Thailand, E-mail: myomin@cscoms.com. Aung Myo Min serves as director of this committee established in mid-1996. His guiding passion for empowering lesbigay communities manifests in confidential workshops organized with gay Burmese activists who manage to go regularly to Thailand.

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 Discount

  • 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 Discount

    Comments from Utopians:

    "There is a great gay-friendly tourist driver in Mandalay and to Bagan. Saw Maung (pronounced So Mo) is a native to Mandalay, gay friendly, a great driver and knows his way around Mandalay and Bagan. He also know where all the new gay massage shops are in Mandalay!" -- Justinwilson, May 2, 2015



    , Asia's spectacular lost city.


Popular Spots


      Click here for Mandalay hotels and accommodations.

Massage for Men

        No 18, 69th St (across from Mandalay University, between 41st St and 43rd St), Maharaungmyay Township, email, +95 925-001-5002. Sister branch of Yangon's men's spa. 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 Discount

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


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

Bars and Clubs

    • Ko Ko's
        9 Sayar San Rd, Bahan Township. The first PLU cafe and bar in Myanmar. Ko Ko is a famous hair-stylist with five hair salons around Yangon.
    • Lion World (mixed) 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.
    • Silver Oak Cafe (mixed)
        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.
    • The Strand Bar (mixed)
        92 Strand Road, Yangon, 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.

      Comments from Utopians:

      "J-ONE Sports Bar (mixed) is behind the Union Business Center and 11-F Bocho St, Bahan township." -- Skyking, May 30, 2015

      "Heaven is closed." -- Skyking, May 9, 2015


    • 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.
    • 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.
        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.

        Comments from Utopians:

        "fab is not held at VIP bar at Hotel Yangon any longer. YG announces the venue each month." -- Skyking, Mar 24, 2015

Massage for Men

        98 Kant Kaw Myaing St, Parami, Yan Kin Township, 661-604, and also at 31/37(5-B), 5th Floor, Triple Six Condo, 54th St (Lower Block), Botahtaung Township, 094-2015-6395, email. Founded by the owners of one of Singapore's best men's spas. Try their signature fusion massage, a combination of Thai and Swedish which will give you a deeper level of relaxation. They also have a sister branch in Mandalay. Utopia Member Discount
    • Menbox UTOPIAN VERIFIED AUG 2014
        15/A Tha Pyay Nyo St, San Chaung Township, 502-137, 092-5651-0737, email. Spa for men.
    • The Sands Spa UTOPIA VERIFIED DEC 2014
        59 Bo Min Yaung Rd, Thein Phyu Mee Ya Htarr Quarter, MinGalar TaungNyunt Township, 240-579, 095-211-684, 094-2832-3466, FAX 240-579, email. Gay-friendly massage.
    • Spa D'lax UTOPIAN VERIFIED FEB 2015
        35 Thuka St (next to Seik Taing Kya Tea House), San Chaung Township, 092-5053-5322, email. You can get there either from Pyay Rd or U Wisaya Rd. Get in from Ma Po St and then turn into a smaller lane call Thu Kha St (next to Seik Taing Kya Tea House), then a couple of houses on your righthand side, there it is. Gay-owned spa for men, opened in 2014. Offering grooming and relaxation services, from head to toe, including haircuts, body treatment and aroma massage. Romantic atmosphere with clean, boutique style private rooms; soothing music; polite and professional staff with great customer care attitudes; and friendly management. Utopia Member Discount

        Comments from Utopians:

        "Spa D'lax is every bit as good as others have already written. Try it, I loved it." -- Julian, Feb 2, 2015

Meeting Places

    • Aungsan National Sports Stadium
        National team dormitories under stadium and restaurants surrounding. Soldiers, police and athletes. Take someone with you who can speak Burmese.
    • 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.
    • Inya Lake park.
    • J-Donuts
        Shwe Bon Htar St at Dagon Centre is 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.
    • Lake Kandawgi -- vicinity of Kandawgi Hotel.
    • Mahabandoola Park area, in evening before the park closes at 6pm. UTOPIAN VERIFIED APR 2015
    • Pedestrian overpass at 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. UTOPIAN VERIFIED JUN 2012
    • 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.

Restaurants and Cafes

    • 365 Café (western and Asian) UTOPIAN VERIFIED MAR 2012
        G/F Thamada Hotel, in front of the Rail Road Station. North of Sule Pagoda, over the railway tracks that mark the end of the British colonial area (just before you get to the Park Royal Hotel). A 24-hour café that's a good place to grab something to eat before heading back to your hotel. Always busy and you will see the youth of the new Myanmar middle class here in numbers. You may also see some Myanmar and Western gays here. Several of the waiters are gay and the place looks like the work of a gay interior decorator.
    • 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.
    • Aung Thukha (Myanmar food)
        525-194. Popular with the locals. Have a driver or friend take you there. Everyone knows where it is.
    • 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.
    • Lavender (Myanmar, Korean and Taiwanese food)
        179/181 Botataung Pagoda Rd (about four blocks east of city hall). Gay friendly and later in the evening gay and lesbian couples show up.
    • 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.
    • Ritz Café (western and Asian)
        296/1 Shwedagon Pagoda Rd, Dagon Twp., 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.
    • The Strand Café(Myanmar and international) UTOPIAN VERIFIED NOV 2012
        92 Strand Road, Yangon, 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.
    • The Strand Grill(Myanmar and international)
        92 Strand Rd, Yangon, 243-377. The cities most elegant fine dining in a refined, exotic interior. Excellent service from charming staff.

      Comments from Utopians:

      "Fahrenheit Bar & Cafe at 30-40 Bo Gyoke Road, Pazundaung Township, is a newly opened gay-friendly cafe and bar, serving Mexican/Asian fusion foods and craft cocktails." -- Skyking, May 12, 2015


    • The Golden Tortoise UTOPIAN VERIFIED MAR 2012
        Aung San Market, Bogyoke Aung San Rd. Great contemporary laquerware. Closed Mon.


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