ARE YOU READY FOR A LADYBOY CABARET?
ARE YOU READY FOR A LADYBOY CABARET?by 双儿 2017-03-07
Sampling local specialties; enjoying extravagant entertainment; being enchanted by breath-taking scenery; experiencing local customs and traditions. These are all part of the holistic experience that is travelling, and Thai lady-boy cabaret undoubtedly has its own special place.
Lady-boys are common in Thailand and are an entertainment in their own right. From the editor’s perspective, we’d go as far as to suggest that the lady-boy has a beautiful face, a graceful figure, a moving smile and a demure demeanor. There is something captivating about their presence.
The origin of the lady-boy is much deliberated. Some believe that during World War II American soldiers in Thailand engaged in a variety of salacious activities, leading to some Thai families encouraging their sons into a transgender proposition in order to solicit business. Others argue that the practice derives from the Indian hermaphrodite, similar to the eunuchs of China. Whatever the provenance, the lady-boy has prevailed in Thailand and cabaret shows now have their own special place in Thai culture.
It’s time to give in and enjoy the spectacle that is Thai lady-boy cabaret!
Golden Dome Lady-boy Cabaret Show in Bangkok
No article about lady-boy cabaret is complete without a mention of The Golden Dome show in Bangkok. The theatre is large enough to seat one-thousand guests, with mainly Chinese tourist groups frequenting the venue, so the majority of the show revolves around songs and dances of an east-Asian origin. Intricate stage sets, vibrant lighting and beautiful lady-boys tease and astonish every visitor.
The show lasts around forty-five minutes so sit back and enjoy as the curtains draw to reveal an elaborate stage set with performers dressed in flamboyant costumes. As well as the strong focus on Chinese content, Korean, English and Japanese elements feature prominently on the set list.
As you gaze across the stage, there’s a chance you won’t even notice the fact you are watching lady-boys. Their attractive appearance and shapely figures do little to reveal their underlying masculinity. Alongside performing, watch as they interact with the audience to set hearts racing and feet tapping; lady-boys allure tourists on stage, sit them on chairs with blindfolded eyes and tied hands before the fat or older lady-boys step out from behind the curtain; proceeding to untie their hands, pull off the blindfold and reveal the underhand goings on!
Highlights: With elements of entertainment and interaction, there is a variety to Golden Dome that is unavailable elsewhere, whilst it caters strongly towards a Chinese audience. Did we mention you will also have the opportunity to meet Rose, an ex-Miss Tiffany? An unexpected surprise of the show.
Location: 252/5 Soi 18, Ratchadapisek, Huai Khwang, Bangkok, Thailand
Show-time: 17:00; 19:00; 21:00 (Show time may be slightly adjusted according to the months, so please review the timetable provided by Golden Dome)
Tiffany’s Lady-boy Cabaret Show in Pattaya
In the sleepless town that is Pattaya - with its salacious red-light districts - lady-boy shows are world-famous with the Tiffany Cabaret show among the best-known. Originally started in 1974, this was the first lady-boy cabaret in south-east Asia and involves elaborate surrounds, well-equipped stage settings and gorgeous costumes. Dances imitate those of a Broadway musical while some of the better-known performers are famed for the awards they have won.
The Tiffany Cabaret boasts its own theatre located in the center of Pattaya and is easily found. A baroque-style building of palatial splendor, it has as well-appointed interiors as exteriors, with state-of-the-art audio and lighting equipment as well as top-class performers.
The visual feast that is a Tiffany show lasts over an hour, starting out with an English introduction. Performers run through an array of European and American operatic pieces, as well as other international songs and dances, incorporating acrobatics and other unusual showpieces to captivate audiences. The unique creativity delivered with apparent ease is as enjoyable for children as it is adults.
Following the show, performers return to the stage to sing the Tiffany song, after which they wave to the audience and depart the stage. Photos are forbidden during the show, but once it is over you are welcome to find the performers and snap a quick picture.
Highlights: The Tiffany lady-boy Cabaret show has glamorous decorations, superior equipment and a select group of professional performers, all of which helps bring this visual feast to life and is suitable for all ages.
Location: 464 Moo 9 Pattaya 2 Road, Pattaya City 20260 Thailand
Show time: 18:00（Tiffany lady-boy cabaret show); 19:30（Tiffany lady-boy cabaret show); 21:00（Tiffany lady-boy cabaret show + Joe Labero fantasy conjuring show）
Lady-boy Cabaret Show in Chiang Mai
The bastion of Thai culture that is Chiang Mai may not immediately scream ‘lady-boy cabaret’ but so ingrained is the activity in Thai tradition that even here, you can find a show. Not far from The Mercure in the northern quarters, the show first arrived in 2014 and has evolved into a streamlined outfit over the years.
The theatre is relatively small, seating up to 500 visitors, but as the selection of 100 performers files onto the stage, a real vibrancy enters the auditorium. Chinese songs, comedy sketches and Broadway classics are a familiar sight at this cabaret but it perhaps doesn’t quite hit the heights of the other shows around the country. As a more conservative part of Thailand, some of the style of the cabaret show is lost, however the historical aura of the surrounds adds a real zeal to the performance lending its own unique sense to the show.
This is the first cabaret to hit the north so comes with expected hiccups but as Pattaya’s team introduce their professionalism, the quality is rapidly approaching that which one would expect from the best of Thai cabarets.
Highlights: Chiang Mai is the first official cabaret show in the north and as Pattaya's professional team become more involved, the performances have improved. The show is of Lanna-style and is a fusion of cultural impact and more progressive styles.
Location; 8 Siriach Road Patong Beach, Patong Beach
Show Time: 20:00
Simon Lady-boy Art Troupe in Phuket
There are three renowned cabarets in Thailand: Tiffany’s, Alcazar and the Simon Lady-boy Art Troupe. Less exuberant than the other two but no less charming, the Simon Art Troupe was founded in 1991and was the only lady-boy cabaret available on Phuket until the end of 2011.
In the lively district of Patong beach, this was once the only government-supported cabaret given its unique status on Phuket and although it is not as big as some of the other cabarets, the 700-seater theatre often fills out. There is sense of VIP about this show, particularly from the second-tier where most seats are reserved for the more important crowds, but guests of all ticket types are made to feel welcome. Over the course of an hour, excitement builds, enthusiasm abounds and the entire crowd leaves feeling like they have seen more than fair value for the ticket price.
Known as a troupe, rather than just any old ordinary show, there is a sense of artistry about this particular performance. The collection of eclectic and diverse acts includes Beijing opera, Broadway drama, as well as a rendition of Gangnam-style. Enjoy a cultural melting pot throughout the show as performers jump between outfits and put on a less risqué show that is suitable for all ages.
Highlights: As the only lady-boy show in Phuket, Simon Lady-boy Art Troupe is high-quality and reasonably priced, as well as showcasing a diverse selection of arts to bring a distinctive flavor to the performance.
Location: 8 Siriach Road Patong Beach, Patong Beach
Show time: 18.00; 19:30; 21:30
Bar Lady-boy Cabaret Shows in Koh Samui
Whilst Koh Samui has its fair share of attractions, the lady-boy cabaret often goes unnoticed amongst the melee. It may be the fact that the shows lack the quality and allure of those in the main cities meaning that people are not so enticed by the amateurish performances.
You have two main choices when visiting Chaweng Beach: Taeng Corner Bar and Christy’s Cabaret. Taeng Corner Bar has two free shows at 22:30 and 23:00 each night, whilst Christy’s run at 20:00, 21:30 and 23:00. As each show progresses, performers lose more and more clothes and by the end of event, visitors are often besides themselves with the excitement of the event.
Highlights: If you want to enjoy lady-boy cabaret on Koh Samui, head to a bar and find the entertainment for free. Christy’s is the earlier starter, whilst Taeng Corner is perhaps more enticing.
Locations:Chaweng, Koh Samui, Thailand
Show Time: 20:00; 21:30; 23:00（Christy’s Cabaret) // 22:30; 23:00（Taeng Corner Bar)