No.(711/719) Merchant Rd, 2nd floor, between 26th and Kon Zay Dan St, Pabedan Township, Yangon T: (09) 7320 2920, (01) 374182
If you can make it up the dark, foreboding stairs, you’ll find Golden Star Guesthouse, a new, very clean Yangon guesthouse that offers air-con, satellite TV, desks and comfy beds with great service for a price that makes it one of the better value for your money in the city’s downtown.
This guesthouse is part of the new generation of guesthouses that have been popping up in Yangon; they’re cleaner and better equipped than their older counterparts, but have the accessibility of a speakeasy. Once you’ve found the address, you’ll have to walk up some grimy stairs — there’s no lift in this building — past rusty antique electrical boxes. Children will usually be found singing or playing lava monster on the first floor and if you’re arriving in the late evening, you’ll also see a mosquito net set up for the guy who sleeps on the landing. Once you get to the second floor, you’ve reached it — your clean sanctuary full of pumping air-con, comfy beds and friendly receptionists.
Rooms at the Golden Star start at US$22 a night but for an extra US$3 you can have your own bathroom. The bathrooms come with complimentary toiletries including shampoo and toothbrushes, but not every bathroom comes with a toilet, so be sure to check that it’s not just a shower and that you’re still using a shared toilet. The shared bathrooms are quite clean and usually available since not too many people stay at this guesthouse at any given time.
A queen-sized mattress on bottom and a single on top in bunk bed-style fill the room, ready to sleep up to three comfortably as you toss your belonging onto the desk, flip on your Burmese satellite TV and enjoy the quiet air-con for one of the best sleeps at this price in the city.
They have a fridge full of cool drinks, including Myanmar and ABC Stout beer, which they sell close to the market prices, making it one of the few places in downtown where you can pick up a late night bottle or nightcap. At the sound of a beer order, the staff will leap to set up the standard plastic table and chairs outside on the landing, complete with ashtray and traditional Burmese two-handed service. Although there are no meals to order, it is not uncommon for snacks to show up on the table by the hands of the owner.
Golden Star Guesthouse is on Merchant Road at the end of Kon Zay Dan Street at the bottom of downtown, in a more traditional building that stands sturdy and stout just west of the newer, more plastic and neonlight covered Classic Strand that towers above. Just behind the building, Strand Road and the harbour carry on while you face inward towards the rest of Yangon.
By Christopher Smith
Last updated on 2nd October, 2013.