Visitors wanting to enjoy the night life in Mandalay may be disappointed with what the city offers. Unlike Yangon, Mandalay has very limited options when it comes to night time entertainment and drinking as the city does not have pubs and bars. However, just because there are no beer stations, it does not mean that the city is not alive at night. The night life in Mandalay is quite unique, especially when compared to other cities.
Instead, Mandalay has satire and puppets. The city has its own version of the 'West End' with the Moustache Brothers, who combine comedy, tradition and political commentary. Theatre arts are also represented at night thanks to the Mandalay Marionettes. The absence of pubs does not mean the absence of beer, which can still be enjoyed in the city with some restaurants serving both local and foreign beer.
In Mandalay, hotels can also be considered as nightspots and one of them is the Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel, which is home to the Gem Club. The establishment is more for drinking that eating, as the place only serves light snacks.
Opening Hours: 19:00-23:00
Location: No. 9, Kwin (416.B), 10 Street (at the foot of Mandalay Hill).
Kipling's Lounge is another place in the Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel that night owls would love. This one is better than the Gem Club in terms of entertainment, mainly because the Lounge offers patrons live music nightly. Like the Gem Club, this hotel bar only serves drinks and light snacks.
Opening Hours: 15:00-23:30
Location: No. 9, Kwin (416.B), 10 Street (at the foot of Mandalay Hill)
At night, tourists can expect a different kind of entertainment in Mandalay, specifically a puppet show. The small theatre, which was opened in 1986, holds hour-long shows every day. The shows are mostly recreations of zat pwe (Buddhist Jataka tales) and stories from the Indian epic Ramayana. Traditionally, these cultural shows are used to educate and deliver the news.
Opening Hours: Regular Show: 20:30-21:30
Location: 66th Street, Between 26th and 27th Street, Mandalay.
Like the Shwe Taung Food Centre, this place is a dining spot and known for serving good Chinese cuisine. What makes this place included in the list of night life destinations is the beer, as it is common to see locals enjoying Tiger Beer. There is even a Miss Tiger to represent the brand.
Opening Hours: 07:00-22:00
Location: 83rd Street, Mandalay.
Drinking beer is an important part of this city’s night life and in Mandalay one can find beer in an unusual spot: an ice cream bar. At the Nylon Ice Cream Bar one can enjoy a shake, lassi or a scoop of ice cream but when the sun goes down, patrons gather in this popular spot to drink Myanmar Beer.
Opening Hours: 08:30-21:30
Location: No. 173, 83rd Street, Between 25th and 26th Street, Mandalay.
The Shwe Taung Food Centre is more of a restaurant than a nightspot. However, it gives night owls a nightly music performance that starts at 19:30. This is a rather formal, air-conditioned establishment, which will certainly be enjoyed by people who wants a respite from the heat and dust.
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:30
Location: 35th Street, Mandalay.
The Moustache Brothers is not the name of a nightlife destination; it’s the name of a troupe famous for their brand of comedy. The performances are held in the troupe's garage, on a mini wooden-crate stage, and the audience sits on plastic chairs about a metre away. The Brothers are well-known because they describe the social and political situation of the country through comedy and traditional dances. The troupe is only allowed to perform in English and for foreigners.
Opening Hours: Show Starts at 20:30
Location: 39th Street, Between 80th and 81st Street.