Yangon isn’t the capital of Myanmar anymore. But it is still the biggest city in the country. So it’s also home to a lot of prostitution. There may be some towns in the far north with more going on. In such a disjointed place, who really knows? What I can tell you is that the brothels in Yangon are just one of many types of knocking shops in town.
There probably aren’t as many brothels as you expect in Yangon. Some people seem to think that since the country is considered poorer than neighboring Thailand it must have even more prostitution. There’s definitely plenty of sex being sold in Myanmar. But it’s nothing like the Land of Smiles. In that department, no place really is.
The same goes for prices. Some people think that since the average wage in Myanmar is quite low by world standards that the price of sex must be super cheap. Some guy even commented here this year saying the hottest chicks in Burma fuck for five dollars. Of course when he was questioned further he disappeared. The fact is that sex can go for a little or a lot in Myanmar. It just depends. So it’s like anywhere else. Even New York has drug addicts doing cheap suck jobs on streets only minutes away from escorts operating out of private penthouses!
Brothels in Yangon
I’ve already written about freelance prostitutes in Yangon and the totally unique Yangon fashion show scene. Brothels are a lot more straightforward. They’re basically just set up for sex and nothing more.
While the clubs that do fashion shows or attract freelance prostitutes advertise with signs and everything brothels are more in the shadows. They aren’t all that hard to find, but they don’t have flashing boards on the street saying “sex this way” or anything like that.
Most of them are tucked away in buildings that are full of other shops. They definitely put the available commercial space to use in Yangon. So if you don’t already know where a brothel is in Yangon you might not just wander into one.
Then again you could find one. Single foreign guys stick out in Yangon, even now that the country has opened up so much. That means that guys will sometimes come up to you offering various services. No one is pushing a ping pong show or anything. It’s Yangon, not Patpong. But you might get offered a taxi, a tour of an island, or an introduction to a brothel.
If a tout brings you to a brothel, he’ll probably want a cut. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll pay more. But the place might try to get more out of you to cover the guy’s action. It’s the same sort of thing you see all over Asia. Even in Macau taxis can get a commission for bringing you to a sex sauna.
The price of sex in Yangon brothels
The price of sex in a Yangon brothel can vary. Again, there are only so many brothels in the city. And of those, there are only a few that any foreign guy would actually find. Most brothels a foreign guy might find themselves in would want 30,000 Kyat. That’s just about $20 in American money. Not five dollars to be sure, but not a ton of money either.
They want the money up front too. But they’ll call out all the ladies working inside first. For guys used to going to brothels this isn’t that strange. I guess it’s a cultural thing. It’s like the Asian guys who walk into a bar in Phnom Penh and then turn right around and leave without spending a dime if they don’t see any hot chicks. Some guys understand they’re hiring a woman for a service. Other guys take it personal.
The up front price pays for sex. Blowjobs aren’t that common. The beds are usually just in partitioned sections of parts of bigger rooms too. They don’t throw in a condom. In fact, the managers even try to get 2,000 to 3,000 Kyat for a rubber and a wet tissue.
Some Yangon brothel managers will try to scam first-time foreigners too. Their favorite trick is the “dirty money” swap. After you hand them 30,000 Kyat they’ll claim one of the bills is dirty and ask for another. While you swap the bill, they pocket some of the money you already gave. Then even after you switch the bill they’ll say you still owe more. It’s an easy enough scam to avoid, but it’s a scam nonetheless.
Remember too that the price for doing anything illegal in a country like Myanmar could be monumental. No one seems to be all that clear on what the laws actually are. Then there is the question of what is actually done on the ground.
While countless guys bang prostitutes every day in Myanmar, there is always a chance that an unwitting foreigner could get caught up and carried away to some far off prison run by the Tatmadaw.
That’s why I don’t tell anyone to do anything. I forge my own path in life. I can just tell you what I know. Whatever you do in your own days on this earth is up to you. And that’s really that. Guys who go to brothels in Yangon certainly aren’t alone in the world. But they could also be taking a risk. Potentially a major one. Following the law is a part of being a good citizen. Or something like that.