This deteriorating Victorian-style clubhouse was built in 1882 just outside of what was then Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar). It was constructed during the annexation of Burma by the British, as an exclusive watering hole for soldiers and officials of the British Army.
The complex features long, two-story mansions that served as ballrooms, salons, and private rooms. It was one of the most prestigious and popular of the gentlemen’s clubs built in Southeast Asia during the height of the British Empire. The club wined and dined British royalty and many high-ranking officials within its walls, and its name lives on through its signature gin-based cocktail, the Pegu Club, that’s still served in bars today. Sadly, the racist membership policy of the time limited admission to whites only, and locals were only allowed in the club as workers.
Somewhat surprisingly, the club stayed open for about two decades after Burmese independence was gained. It was eventually taken over by the Burmese military and later abandoned and left to rot. For years, the old colonial-era clubhouse remained in a state of decay, desperately in need of repair. After significant restorations, it reopened for business in November 2018.
Visit Myanmar (Burma) with Atlas Obscura Trips
Photographing Myanmar's Ancient Sites and Landscapes
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