I have to start this post by pointing out that while traveling it’s hard to find an occasion to really dress up for. Since being on this particular journey I can only think of a few times that I’d made any real effort in dressing up or even in trying to look good. Putting on makeup seems ridiculous to me as the heat would just melt it off and even shaving legs or plucking eyebrows sometimes goes longer than needed because there isn’t anyone to impress. The only times I did make an effort on Koh Tao (i.e. put on some earings or wore a clean top with my jean shorts) was when I went to Fight Nights because it was the only time I ever went out at night on Koh Tao (pre Anna visiting…).
This all changed the night Anna and I went to the Lady Boy Cabaret on the Koh Tao walking street however… It wasn’t just me but Anna as well… For some reason we felt compelled to make an effort to look good at the show knowing full well that just about every (and I mean EVERY) one of Lady Boys in the cabaret show would look a million times better than us!! And the kicker?? Yes, they are all MEN!!!
Lady boys in Thailand do not carry the stigma as they do in other parts of the world. It is perfectly accepted by the society that a man would rather be and live his life as a woman. Of course, while it’s accepted socially there are apparently a few kinks in other ways as I’d recently been told about (lady boys can’t hold certain jobs and in general have difficulty getting hired in “normal” positions and have to be registered as male making it impossible for them to leave the country since their ID says “male” yet they show up as a female, etc). But in general they at least seem to be more accepted by people of this country and not as people to shame. Yet another lesson to learn from Thailand! Alas, baby steps…
Going to the Cabaret was another on my list of things to do when Anna arrived so after our kayak to Koh Nangyuan, several pre-party beers, plucking eyebrows and fussing over the best dress to wear we headed out to the walking street for some Lady Boy entertainment. Neither of us wore any makeup though because again it’s just too hot, even at night in my opinion, to bother!
From previous walks past the cabaret bar I’d noticed the place was always packed so I rushed us out of the house 40 minutes early to make sure we got a seat. Turned out we were the first to arrive (go figure) so we had the pick of the place and were seated by one of the staff members (who funnily enough is an awesome Muay Thai fighter!!) in the second row center stage. The first row was reserved apparently… Drinks were ordered and for the first 20 to 30 minutes it seemed that perhaps I had been a bit too hasty in shuffling us there so early as the crowd really wasn’t gaining in numbers. However by the time the show was due to begin (about 10:30) the place was absolutely packed! And the people who had reserved the front row didn’t show, so the staff moved all of us from the second row onto the first!! Yay!!!
I tell you what, those ladies put on such a fun show and looked amazing doing it!! They really do put most real women to shame in their beauty and though I know that some are surgically helped along, they still are absolutely stunning! In fact, there was one Lady who if put next to Ariana Grande, I would seriously have a VERY tough time figuring out which was the real Ariana!! And I swear that at least two of them could seriously be Victoria Secret models!! The show was fun and energetic with the crowd getting into each song, singing along, clapping and hootin’ and hollerin’! The lead ladies in each number were spot on in their performances (especially the “Christina Aguilera” lady who not only “sang” perfectly but had the attitude and moves to match) and it was impressive to watch them dancing their hearts out in 6 inch stiletto heels!!
The show consisted of about a dozen or so songs being “sung” (lip-syncing) by a lead Lady with her accompanying dancers but at one point a brave young man was plucked from the audience, sat on a chair, blindfolded and had some naughty acts “performed” on him. That act REALLY riled up the audience with laughter and cheers! It was seriously a great show and honestly better than the show I’d seen in Key West during my time there.
When the show was over the Ladies offered the crowd to take pictures with them for 100 baht a pop (a girl’s gotta make a living!!) so of course Anna and I had to get ours taken with one. This show is definitely one I would absolutely recommend to attend! Admission to the show is free but they require one drink purchase per person which is quite a bit more pricey than other places, but then again their pour is nice as well. I can’t tell you how long the show went, but when we left it was energizing enough that Anna and I ended up staying out till 3am sipping “Pink Ladies” poolside at one of the pool bars called ‘The Office Bar’ (the only one open at that hour in honesty!) not far along the walking path from the club. Ah, such fun nights!!