The Ladyboys of Thailand: Ultimate Thai Ladyboy Guide 2023

Have you encountered any Ladyboys of Thailand on your travels to the Land of Smiles? In this world and age, the term Ladyboy is very common in Thailand and it is frequently used to define men that have turned themselves into women.

Thailand’s casual and tolerant attitudes towards “the third sex” have led to the country’s abundant supply of both jaw-droppingly gorgeous transsexuals and the very talented surgeons who perform sex-change operations.

Thailand even has its own internationally acclaimed beauty pageant for transsexuals, called “Miss Tiffany Universe”. One look at the competition’s contestants will validate the point that Thailand’s transexuals are undeniably graceful, poised, and breathtakingly beautiful.

In short, they ooze femininity from head to toe.

However, the abundance of these transsexuals (locally called “katoeys” or “ladyboys”) has created countless broken hearts, most commonly among hapless straight Western men who claim to be “tricked” into intimate relationships by these irresistible Oriental nymphs.

Howls of protests are usually met by incredulous “How could you not know?” from the locals, who are adept at spotting a “ladyboy” from a mile away.

It is the aim of this article to shed light on both the obvious and not-so-subtle factors which can help a hot-blooded heterosexual male distinguish whether his new Thai lady is indeed a real lady.

How To Spot The Ladyboys of Thailand

If you’re visiting Thailand for the first time and you’re hoping to have a nice time with pretty amazing women, then you will need to be very careful so you can differentiate between the beautiful ladies of Thailand and the equally beautiful Ladyboys of Thailand.

In Thailand, Ladyboys tend to live a long, simple life and have all the freedom and opportunity that everyone else has. This makes it possible to find them almost everywhere and because of the surgery, you may find it hard to differentiate who is a boy and who is a girl.

Many tourists have mistakenly taken the so-called Thai Ladyboy back to their room and in the end, they find out that the supposed woman is not as it appeared which in many cases has caused many embarrassing moments and in some other cases violent behavior occurs.

This is why it is always a good idea to ask out straight before you decide to take them to your hotel/room for a more intimate relationship.

Now, if you’re thinking to yourself how to spot a ladyboy, this guide is all you need to differentiate the ladyboys from the real beautiful Thai ladies.

The Adams Apple

This is the simplest and the easiest way to spot a Thai Ladyboy. Although you can easily remove The Adam’s Apple through sexual reassignment surgery, however, in most cases, The Adam’s Apple is the most significant way to sight a ladyboy from a real lady.

Simply look or observe their neck and see if you noticed any protruding adam’s apple if you notice any sign that she might be an Adam, go further to observe any masculine features.

thailands ladyboys

Exaggerated Feminine Behavior

This is another characteristic of ladyboys that you need to look out for when interacting with Thai women. From my experience, I’ve found out that most ladyboys tend to exaggerate some feminine behavior so you can think they are real ladies.

This is probably because they are quite aware of their physical traits and they know this is what brings the bacon to the table so many times, for instance, they tend to stay longer in the bathroom, they tend to look in the mirror (very common among all women) but the ladyboys tend to spend excessive time behind the mirror and also in the way they walk. 

As you know real women don’t need to put too much effort into the way they walk but Ladyboys tend to sway their hips from side to side with as much effort as they can so that they can appear more feminine. Almost like they are walking on a runway fashion exhibition. 

Also, these Ladyboys tend to adjust their hair much more often in order to look more feminine and their dressing style quite often makes them stand out as they tend to put on hot and revealing clothes even when the need does not call for it.

This way, unsuspecting tourists will mistakenly take them for more feminine.

In short, as far as a woman’s physical appearance is concerned, regular women don’t need or try to be pretentious to prove that they are women but this is exactly what the Ladyboys do – excessive hip-swaying, hair adjustment every minute, etc.

Ladyboys of Thailand and Their Penchant for Fashion Theatrics

Typical Thai females are taught to be modest with their clothing. This means not too much skin exposure, negating certain fashion items such as hot pants and tank tops.

And since Thailand is a tropical (hot) country, there is little need for certain fabrics that are not very sweat-friendly, such as satin, velvet, and heavily beaded cloths.

This so-called humility for clothes extends to makeup as well, so it is quite unusual to see a Thai female wearing makeup that is destined for the Rio Carnival, unless s/he is actually a “ladyboy”.

Unfortunately, the popularity of false eyelashes for both real ladies and “ladyboys” means that discerning males now have a tougher time in, for a lack of a better word, discerning their new feminine companions.

Masculine Characteristics

One of the most obvious and easiest to spot “hints” is the height of the lady (literally) in question. Thai females are usually petite (around 155 centimeters tall) with small bones, therefore a lady who towers above most Thai men should be given more observation.

The shoulder and the hip size also plays a major role in spotting a ladyboy. Although these features can easily be corrected with sexual reassignment surgery and good dieting, many Thai Ladyboys still have these features obvious enough for detection.

For some Ladyboys that are not from Thai, you can notice them through their beer belly which is a giveaway.

There are two physical attributes that even the most skillful surgeon cannot alter: the size of hands and feet. A “katoey” can add hips by wearing padded underwear, surgically remove an Adam’s apple and undergo castration to heighten the voice pitch, but s/he cannot shrink the size of hands and feet.

It is by no means that a lady who fits into all the physical characteristics mentioned above (unusually tall, big-boned, and possesses large hands and feet) is automatically a “ladyboy”. There are a few other factors to consider.

thai ladyboy

National ID

Thai citizens are mandated to carry a government-issued national ID with them everywhere they go. So, if you are in doubt as to their gender, you can simply ask them and verify the title that goes along with their names.

This is in most cases the best way to determine the gender of any Thai citizen. 

The national ID is the only proof way to actually know if a person is born a male or a female. The three titles that are commonly associated with Thai names are MR. Mrs, and Ms and these titles cannot be changed irrespective of you going through any surgical operation to change your gender. 

Some claim that insisting on seeing a potential “katoey”‘s ID card will dispel all doubts, as all “katoeys” are still listed as male on their Thai ID cards as stated above.

However, since Thailand is infamous for producing and selling countless counterfeit items from bags to drugs, it is not a surprise that fake ID cards are also easy to procure.

What’s more, if these “ladyboys” have their way, they might succeed in convincing Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly to allow transsexuals to legally change their status on their ID cards from “Mister” (male) to “Miss” (female).

Just Ask

Although this might sound a bit confrontational or seem a bit embarrassing, it seems it’s one of the most logical ways to avoid unpleasant situations with the Thai Ladyboys.

Asking them upfront before taking them to your room for intimate sessions is usually not as hard as it seems and many of these Ladyboys don’t take it the wrong way when they are asked to identify their gender. 

Many Ladyboys in Thailand will gladly tell you their gender when you ask them because in Thailand there is no discrimination as to how the society looks at transgenders.

So, if you really can’t differentiate between a real lady and a Ladyboy, then asking them is your best bet to avoid untold embarrassment when you get to your apartment.

And if the question seems too embarrassing for you to ask, you can ask for help from other Thai people around you because they might likely know the person or probably good at spotting a Ladyboy more than you can.

Although all these may seem like a lot of work – spotting a Ladyboy from a real lady, however, to avoid an upcoming embarrassment, they are all worth doing. Remember, Thai people, are quite pretty, to say the least, and are quite good at hiding their real gender.

So its ideal that you go through these laid down methods of spotting a ladyboy from a girl so that you can have a good start in a real relationship with the right gender.

How To Back Out From Ladyboys Tricky Situation


As explained earlier, differentiating between a Ladyboy and a real girl can be sometimes very difficult in Thailand, and it’s not uncommon to find a situation where you thought the person you made a move on is a woman only to realize that she is not.

If you are the type that quickly gets angry, such a situation can turn into an ugly confrontation which is why you need to calm down when you find yourself in such a predicament.

So, if you find yourself with a Ladyboy instead of a real girl, do not get angry but stay calm and be very friendly (even though it might seem hard at first)

Here are ways to avoid an unpleasant confrontation with ‘her’

  • Compliment on her beauty and apologize to her for the misunderstanding.
  • Explain in a calm and cool voice that dating the same gender as you are not your thing
  • Buy ‘her’ a beer and give her additional tip (money – it’s all about money anyway)

Make sure you don’t say things that will offend her which might make the situation worse than it already is.

It’s likely that at this point she either goes away angrily or she might try to convince you to give her a try.

Just remember that breaking away from such people shouldn’t be a big issue provided you don’t make a big deal out of it because many of them are nice people and they understand that Thailands Ladyboys are not for everybody.

However, make sure when you are breaking off from these Ladyboys it never results in a fight, after all, they are boys themselves, and when they combine that with biting and nail assault, you know there will only be one outcome.

Check out the First-hand account of a real local Thai man below to learn the TRUE SECRET to distinguish between a beautiful Thai girl and a beautiful Thai Ladyboy.

The Local Who Had Second Thoughts

Perhaps one should take into consideration the plight of a local Thai male who almost bedded a petite, small-boned, modestly dressed, Adam’s apple-less “katoey” with feminine voice and small, dainty hands and feet.

He claimed that even with absolutely no clothes on, s/he looked every bit a real female.

So what gave it away?

It was the scalp smell.

This local Thai male (whose female friends earlier told him that they were 100% sure his new companion must be a real female) developed second thoughts when he caught a whiff of his soon-to-be partner’s head.

In short, the aroma was distinctly male. It was by no means an unpleasant smell, but masculine nevertheless.

“It smells so masculine, like the smell of the boys’ locker room,” he stated.

His suspicions were confirmed when his oh-so-feminine companion admitted that s/he had indeed undergone a sex change operation.

Suffice to say, the night’s amorous longings died faster than a newly arrived tourist getting scammed at Patpong.

So until mighty scientists find a way to alter the smell of a human with a Y chromosome to something more (literally) womanly (the XX pill, perhaps?), discriminating males in Thailand should stick to following their noses if they don’t fancy romantic surprises of the unpleasant type.

Dating a Thai Ladyboy is something that men come to Thailand from all over the world for. It’s just another thing that makes the Land Of Smiles an amazing and unique place to vacation and even a retirement destination.

If you’re interested in learning more about a city that has a large population of Ladyboys and even “Ladyboy Bars” and other amazing nightlife check out our Pattaya: First Trip Guide.

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