The thought of going to a cabaret show where the main performers are ladyboys might not be everyone’s idea of a good night out. However, the truth is that these types of shows can be great entertainment and a really fun way to spend an evening. As for ladyboy shows on Koh Samui, you should look no further than Chaweng Beach, which is home to some of the best ladyboy cabaret shows outside of Bangkok.
Thailand’s ladyboy scene is famous throughout the world for a number of reasons. First of all, in Thailand you will find more ladyboy’s than in any other country in the world. They are a mainstay of Thai society and culture, which considers them to be the ‘third sex’ and as integral to normal life as men or women.
The other reason why Thai ladyboys are so renowned is because that so many of them look so feminine and it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between a ladyboy and a regular Thai woman! This is something which many unprepared male tourists might end up finding all about!
Whether you visit one of Koh Samui’s ladyboy shows out of curiosity or for nothing more than a good laugh, one thing for sure is that these kinds of shows are always entertaining and will almost certainly make for a fun and memorable night out.
The majority of the ladyboy shows in Chaweng can be found along the Chaweng Beach Road, in the area not too far from the Centara Grand Beach Resort and also next to the Soi Green Mango.
Here is a selection of some of the ladyboy shows that can be found on Koh Samui:
Starz is one of the leading cabaret shows on the island. Here you will find a more comical show than at other ladyboy clubs. Expect the ladyboys to poke fun at each other or to pick on an unsuspecting member of the audience, all of which makes for an absolutely hilarious night. Drinks are reasonably priced and shows are at 8pm and 10pm, daily, apart from Sunday.
Open: 7pm to late
Where: Chaweng Beach Road, next to Khun Chaweng Hotel
Christy’s Cabaret is one of the oldest and most popular cabarets on the island. The show itself is very professional and the girls are great at singing (or lip syncing!) and performing on stage. As recommended on the Lonely Planet website, you won’t be disappointed if you choose to visit Christy’s Cabaret. Shows start from 10pm.
Open: 8.30pm to late
Where: Chaweng Beach Road, central Chaweng
Tel: 081 894 0356
Moulin Rouge Cabaret
The Moulin Rouge Cabaret is Koh Samui’s only free ladyboy cabaret show – you don’t even have to pay an entrance fee to get in! However, drinks are pricier than at the other shows on the island. The show itself is excellent and even though the drinks might cost you a little bit more, overall Moulin Rouge offers good value for money. There are 3 shows every night at 8pm, 9.30pm and 11pm.
Open: 7pm to late
Where: Close to Burger King on Chaweng Beach Road, opposite Khao San Resort
Tel: 982 815 4843
Labyboys on Koh Samui
As with anywhere in Thailand, wherever you go on Koh Samui there is a good chance that you will see or come into contact with a ladyboy. They are in fact a common part of Thai everyday life and many ladyboys hold down regular jobs such as teachers, shop assistants or hairdressers.
However, it is fair to say that you will probably find the largest amount of ladyboys in areas which are popular with foreign tourists; this is because they are likely to get a lot more attention than if they were anywhere else in Thailand.
A lot of the ladyboys on Samui work in bars or cabaret shows were ladyboys perform most evenings. Some will work in these places in the hope of being picked up by a foreign tourist, whereas others will work in restaurants or hotels on the island.
Some of Koh Samui’s ladyboys are so convincing that you would struggle to tell the difference between them and a normal woman. Generally speaking, many Thais are very slightly built and when this is combined with natural good looks and more than an air of femininity, some Thai men can actually pass themselves off as stunning women quite easily.
Although some ladyboys can be quite convincing, generally speaking, spotting them on Koh Samui isn’t that difficult. Indeed, it is true that a lot of ladyboys are very glamorous, wearing fancy dresses and plenty of makeup. However, this in itself can be a dead giveaway, as the majority of Thai women tend not to wear that much make up and normally dress quite conservatively. It is almost the case that a lot of ladyboys almost try too hard to look like a woman and this is another characteristic which causes them to stand out from other Thai women.
Also, many ladyboys in Thailand can be very tall. Often, they are not just taller than Thai women, who are on average about 5ft 3in, but they can also be much taller than many Thai men. This has been suggested that it is something to do with their hormones. Whatever the reason behind this, just remember that ladyboys are tall! You have been warned!!
How To Spot a Ladyboy on Koh Samui
If you do go for a night out in Chaweng or Lamai, how can you be sure that the beautiful girl that ends up chatting to you all night, isn’t actually a man? What should you be looking out for?
To ensure that you aren’t in for any unexpected surprises, here are a few pointers that will able to help you determine if she is really a he:
Ladyboys are tall
As mentioned, ladyboys tend to be much taller than Thai women, and are often taller than Thai men too. If a leggy 5ft 9in Thai girl, wearing high heels and mini skirt approaches you in a bar or club, chances are she will be a ladyboy.
This might not be as easy to spot as you might think, particularly when you consider you might be speaking to someone in a different language or whose first language isn’t English. Also, some of the regional accents in Thailand have a slightly harsher sounding tone, which can come across as sounding quite deep to unfamiliar ears. However, generally speaking, look out for Thai girls with deep voices!
Trying too hard to be feminine
Like we said above, many ladyboys just try too hard to be female. They are often very flamboyant, and will really go overboard with what they wear and how much make up they put on. If you see a girl like matching these characteristics don’t bet against her being a bloke.
Overly flamboyant gestures
Another thing to remember is that Thai girls are usually quite shy and reserved. However, ladyboys are not. Expect lots of hand gestures, plenty of waving and batting of the eyelashes, all of which will probably seem just a little over the top.
The Adams Apple
This is a fairly obvious one guys. If a ‘girl’ has an Adams Apple then steer well clear! However, this isn’t always straightforward as some ladyboys undergo a medical procedure to have their Adams Apple removed.
Thai women usually have very slim, narrow figures, with particularly narrow hips. Ladyboys tend to have wider shoulders, with even narrower hips, that can result in the body almost looking ‘V’ shaped. If you girl has wide shoulders, you could be in for the shock of your life!
Again, Thai women are generally pretty small and will often have really dainty feet. If the girl chatting you up is wearing shoes that look big enough for you to wear, then she is almost certainly a he!
Thai women normally have small hands. Ladyboys do not. Enough said!