The name for a Thai Ladyboy is a Katoey, and in Patong there are a good number of Katoey bars as well as one of the best Cabaret shows featuring the most beautiful Katoeys in Thailand.
Really the whole Ladyboy scene needs some explaining as there are lots of interpretations of what compromises a Katoey and how this all came about.
Thailand has a very high percentage female population with something over 70% being girls.
Within that 70% there are a high number of guys who, it might be said, are on the edge. They are male, but with a strong sense and feel of being and wanting to be female.
Visitors are sometimes a little confused in places such as the cosmetic counters of department stores and the waitering staff at restaurants.
Thai Ladyboys on Patong beach PhuketIt is often very difficult to work out if the person serving you is male, female, very camp, gay or is in fact a Ladyboy. There are Thai boys who look so effeminate that they look and sound more like girls, and many do nothing to change that. Some are guys who simply like to dress as women.
They will wear ladies clothes, take on the stance and demur of a female but are not really lady boys. They are also often the ones involved in crime, particularly crimes against tourists.
Visitors should be aware that the female impersonator who lures a tourist into taking them back to their hotel often has only one thing in mind and that is to drug the tourist, and rob their belongings. Robberies such as this are quite common in Pattaya, but less so in Phuket.
However there are the ‘real’ Katoeys who transform their appearance from boys into some of the most beautiful female persons any one would wish to see. They have a real skill at applying make up, and can make themselves into female looking people perhaps more adeptly than many females.
These may be boys who look fantastic as girls or they may be those who have taken the final step and had ‘rearrangement’ surgery, as it is known.
It is possibly no coincidence that the most famous and respected plastic surgeon in the world for this kind of operation, works out of Bangkok Phuket Hospital.
There are very high quality Cabaret shows such as the world famous Simon Cabaret in Phuket and this is the main Ladyboy show on the island and has been the forerunner for many years.
The stage shows are spectacular theatre with some of the most beautiful performers in Thailand. Anyone who simply enjoys a good, well choreographed dance show will enjoy this.
Patong beach ladyboys PhuketIn the smaller complexes off BangLa, the most popular entertainment area in Patong, such as Soi Crocodile, there are bars with Katoey performers, but nothing like the scale of Simon Cabaret.
Another favorite spot for Ladyboys is in the Paradise Complex where there are some 50 clubs and bars attracting Ladyboy customers, tourists and staff. Paradise also has a British style pub called the Flying Handbag which has a reputation for being a good place for fun and entertainment.
It should also be added that many Ladyboys have a terrific sense of humor and on many occasions tourists and even foreign residents will get along fine with a Ladyboy, simply on the basis that they enjoys each others company.
In these situations there is no sexual connotation – just good fun and friendship. Usually both parties are aware of this, so it makes for a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
So visitors who appreciate good company, or like to see a spectacular show will also enjoy being around Ladyboys.
But the visitor who goes ‘goggle eyed’ at the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen may be in for a surprise. Sometimes that gorgeous person is just too good looking to be true and is in fact a guy!!
See more of Ladyboys from Thailand