Kathoey – Ladyboys – Third Gender

In Thailand, people with so-called “third sex” are quite often found. Most often they are men who for various reasons decided to become women. They take hormones, undergo plastic surgery (face, bust), some also change the sexual organs. In Thai, people are referred to as the term Kathoey. The term was known already in the times of the kingdom of Siam and is deeply rooted in Thai culture. The English term – Ladyboys is more widespread. For those who do not stay in the Thai environment for a long time, it’s hard to distinguish some Kathoey from a real woman. Every day they use a very strong makeup, which they try to cover the male features. Living in Thailand I learned to recognize such people through:

  • Makeup. Ladyboys use very strong make-up every day when Thai women paint very little
  • Adam’s apple – a biological feature of men, just few Ladyboys decide to remove it
  • Hands and Feet – are usually larger than women’s
  • Height – Thai women are not tall women. When we see a height above 170cm + heels, it is very likely that she is not a woman

Interesting fact: It is not possible to change gender in a Thai identity card. So Ladyboys have the sex of birth written down to their end. They are also subject to military conscription, just like other men.

Calypso Cabaret

Ladyboys can be found everywhere: in cafes, hotel receptions, massage salons, and do not even know that the person we talked to is not a woman. However, there is a place where we can be sure where all the “Women” will be Kathoey. Cabaret is such a place. In Thailand’s most popular tourist resorts so you can find (In Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Krabi) .In Bankok is Calypso Cabaret. During the performance appearing Ladyboys and men who parody famous people from pop culture (Elvis, Lady Gaga) and present different gags.

Localization, transport and price

Cabaret Calypso is located at the Asiatique market, in the south of Bangkok. A free boat operates between Asiatique and Sathorn Pier. We get to the marina using the BTS  (more about transport in Bangkok).
The show is played 2 times per day: at 19:30 and 21:00 (in winter an hour earlier) Price: 900THB when booking online. You can also take advantage of the dinner offer  and buy a combination ticket for Dinner + Performance for the price of 1500THB.

Tickets can be booked on the Cabaret website http://www.calypsocabaret.com/

More Things to do In Bangkok