Yangon nightlife has improved hugely in recent years and the variety of options available to revelers is still on the increase. In the last couple of years, new bars and clubs have cropped up all over the city.Among them, The Vibe has shot to prominence for its decadent party atmosphere and hip hop playlist. It offers a range of shisha – an apparent must-have in the new Yangon bar scene.
“To own a restaurant or bar was my dream since I was young, and I heard this place was ready to rent so I took it and created a lounge club,” said Moe Zaw, owner of The Vibe.Access to The Vibe doesn't come for free: both locals and foreigners must pay a K10,000 entrance fee, and table charges on weekends.
We always try to create a good vibe for our customers,
But, as Moe Zaw notes, this entitles the punter to two “free” drinks.
In a city where early closing times are the norm, The Vibe has gained a steady following with the late-night set. Its music is also a point of difference: while most Yangon clubs are soundtracked by the high-octane whomp-whomp of electronic dance music (EDM), The Vibe is more about hip hop.“We don’t want to say The Vibe is only a hip hop music bar, but we do love hip hop more than EDM. So, I thought there might be some other people like us who don’t like EDM and would like to chill with hip hop at a bar or club,” said The Vibe co-founder Peter.
“Our target customer’s ages range from 25 years and older customers', but we still can see some younger people who love the hip hop music at the bar.”Punters wishing to ask the DJ to play their favourite track will not find any joy at The Vibe: they do not do song requests.“Our DJ is not too proud of himself. Theirs is a reasonable reason – we can’t accept song requests. Customers come to have fun and feel the music,” Moe Zaw explains. “Music has a tempo and if one of the customers asks for some music with a different tempo, there might be a problem for other customers.” Unlike some of the city's sleazier establishments, The Vibe is not known as a hub for sex workers. Not long after The Vibe opened, there was a security-related incident that caused significant online backlash. Guests alleged a patron had been badly beaten by security guards.
Moe Zaw and Peter say they have addressed the issue. “As you know, the bar or club is a place you can find drunken people easily. Our security guys need to handle customers so that they don’t annoy other customers because they are drunk. Every club the around the world has the right to take the drunk people outside for the safety of the club and [their own] safety.” According to the pair, the incident in question involved a drunk patron who spilled beer on a girl at a nearby table. “So, the security guys took him outside and he denied it... So, the mess happened and we already punished our staff for that.” They say it doesn't appear to have altered the bar's standing as a go-to choice for many foreigners. “We always try to create a good vibe for our customers, so if the customers have feedback or advice for us, [we ask them to] tell us openly,” said Moe Zaw. The Vibe is usually open every night of the week, but is sometimes closed for private events. Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest time, with the DJs spinning hip hop and Rn'B from 10PM in The Vibe. It's advised to book ahead if you want a table.The Vibe is located on Kan Yeik That Street, near Inya Lake Hotel.