Yangon isn’t the capital of Myanmar anymore but it’s still loaded with the most women. Lots of the ladeies are traditional, whatever that means. Things are changing though. You now see girls out on their own or with their boyfriends hanging out in the park and drinking Coca Cola. Even before things changed there was plenty of prostitution in Yangon. Most of it was for local dudes, but like pretty much anywhere foreigners pay for it too.
That doesn’t mean that the streets are littered with massage parlors and go go bars. There’s none of that in Yangon even now. I don’t think there will be any time soon either. Basically, the game is limited some fashion shows, one or two brothels, some street walkers that usually go with broke local guys, and a handful of freelancers that look for foreign customers.
Word is that one of the major fashion shows was actually shut down not long ago, but that’s for another post. Today I’m going to tell you about the last category. It’s not huge but it exists and since I haven’t really seen anyone else write about the freelance prostitutes in Yangon I figure I might as well do it!
The Music Club
The Music Club is located in the basement of the PARKROYAL Hotel. It is more or less the main place where foreigners find freelancers in the city. It’s no high class place like BRIX in Singapore but it’s not bad either.
There are two entrances. One leads to the outside. The other way to access the hotel is to come in through the hotel. Inside you basically find a big round bar with a screen on one end and lots of chairs around.
The bar tender speaks English. Beers are about $4 a piece. Not horrible but not great either. Yangon isn’t cheap at all if you’re into creature comforts. Anyway, at about 10 on most nights some freelancers will start showing up at The Music Club.
There’s usually only four or five freelancers around. You see the same faces all the time. They can speak English but a lot of them are older and honestly a little worn out. Hey, whatever. Guys are into it I guess. The going rate for these chicks is about $100 US.
British Club is just outside of the PARKROYAL. It’s your standard Southeast Asian disco affair. It’s definitely not the greatest place even if you love clubs, but freelancers will sometimes set up inside. They can be hard to find though because they basically hang around in the shadows instead of actively hunting out guys.
I’m not a fan of this place. You gotta take out a kind of membership just to get in and buy some drinks. That’s pretty lame if you ask me, especially when the most exciting action is in the streets around the place.
A lot of times you’ll see a mix of ladies and ladyboys hanging around in the streets between PARKROYAL and British Club. They’re selling sex at a discount. Some of them only want a few thousand Kyat which comes out to be a couple of bucks.
DJ’s Bar by Inya Lake is more or less a nightclub where liberated locals and some foreigners go to have a good time in a dark crowded place with loud music. As is the case in a lot of Southeast Asia it also attracts its share of prostitutes.
The hookers at DJ Bar usually hang out in the bar area. That doesn’t mean that every girl sitting down is selling her body, but you don’t see a lot of the chicks on the job mixing it up in the middle of the dance floor at DJ Bar. Even the sex workers in Myanmar still stick to traditions of modesty in a lot of ways.
The chicks at DJ Bar usually speak a little English but there are really no guarantees with anything in Yangon. They normally want between 50000 and 80000 Kyat depending on the guy and how they’re feeling.
When they quote prices in US dollars it’s usually a lot higher than the actual exchange rate. For example a chick might ask for $100. Then you ask her how much she wants in Myanmar money and she says 100,000 Kyat. Well 100,000 Kyat is about $75 at an exchange place!
Club Pioneer is probably the most westernized club in Yangon and maybe even Myanmar. If you’ve ever been to a club in Europe where people in trances bounce around to overly loud EDM music you’ll find this place to be pretty familiar. Well, except for the freelancers inside.
The freelancer scene here seems to go up and down. One time I went in and there were chicks grabbing on to me almost as soon as I went in. Other times they were harder to spot even though the place wasn’t exactly dead. So I guess it depends what time you come and what has been going on locally.
As with the other clubs freelancers usually want the equivalent of between 80 and 100 American dollars but everything in Southeast Asia is negotiable. I try not to cheat people in poor countries who ask for reasonable sums for whatever it is they’re selling, but I’m not a sucker who pays rip off rates either.
Street walkers can be found in various parts of the city. A lot of them work little restaurants and places truckers stop. They have some of the toughest lives of any sex workers anywhere from what I can see and from what I’ve read a sadly high number of them are infection with HIV. Still, they do what they have to do to survive.
In the street just in front of PARKROYAL you will sometimes see street walkers at night. Some of them are definitely ladyboys though.
You also see street walkers camped out in the dark in some of the big parks around town. After getting through the communication barrier some offer blowjobs for less than a dollar right then and there. It could definitely be a dangerous proposition but then again that could be said about a lot of things.