Thailand is famous for its Thai Ladyboy. Depending on where you are traveling in Asia, ladyboys are also referred to as kathoeys, katoeys, and even baklas (in the Philippines). This is a term that you will likely hear a lot and if you don’t know what it means, you could find yourself not only confused but possibly in an awkward situation.
These individuals are just as their name implies; they are a lady and a boy. This is a word used primarily in Thailand to describe an effeminate gay male. These individuals may be male but they are associated with feminine behavior, nature, style, mannerisms, and gender roles.
Nearly all transsexuals in Thailand and the Philippines consider themselves gay and are comfortable with you referring to them as ladyboys. They are also traditionally very honest and will tell you if they have male parts or not. If you are like most others you probably think you’ll be able to recognize one but won’t.
Nearly all tourists are fooled at least once, even those who visit regularly. A good example is Nong Tum who starred in the Beautiful Boxer.
Why they are Difficult to Recognize
Ladyboys are without a doubt going to be some of the most beautiful people you will encounter during your visit. In many cases, there’s not a chance that you will hook up with a female as good looking. There is also a lot of confusion regarding them because they are all different in so many ways.
Some katoeys are closer to what westerners are familiar with when they think of an effeminate gay man. These are the ones who still dress like a man but talk like a female and may wear just a touch of makeup. Then, there are those you will not be able to recognize because they have had breast implants, Adam’s apple reduction, buttocks augmentation, hormone replacement therapy, and even genital reassignment surgery is done.
If you are looking to pick up ladyboys, you’ll have a much easier time in Thailand than in the Philippines. Although it’s not illegal to have relations with someone who is the same sex in the Philippines, it is frowned upon and there are laws against public displays of affection there. Thailand on the other hand is an entirely different story.
There is a good chance that if you spend some time at Nana Plaza or Soi Cowboy, you will be hit on by just as many katoeys as females. There are actions and appearances that are accepted here that are not appreciated anywhere else in the world. Behaviors that are permitted here include:
Interest in home-keeping
Heavy Makeup use
Female traits or gestures like a limp wrist, hair toss or hand on the hip stance
Strong interest in fashion, especially female attire
Interest in female topics like hair and fashion
It is important to be aware that not all katoeys are prostitutes. The last thing that you want to do is assume that the person beside you in line for a cup of tea is interested in sex. These individuals in Thailand work in an array of occupations in hair salons, spas, shops and restaurants.
They are also known to put on some of the best shows in tourist centers. Alcazar and Tiffany’s are two establishments In Pattaya that are top recommended for great entertainment.
It is suggested that ladyboys are so accepted here primarily because it is a Buddhist country. This culture offers a high-tolerance on many subjects. Buddhists actually believe that katoeys should be pitied because their actions are a result of transgressions from their past lives. This comes from their strong belief in karma.
Everything You Want to Know About Thai LadyBoys
Some of the most striking beauties you will find on your visit are Thai ladyboys. Just who are these bombshells? Well, they are certainly not the females that you think they are and while they may not be for anyone, many people say that they can provide some of the hottest sex in Thailand.
Ladyboys also go by the name of she-males, transvestites, and katoeys and they are commonly found all over the country. Because of the Buddhist culture’s extremely laid back and tolerant nature, bisexual practices are very much accepted.
While you may assume that Thai lady boys are restricted to only specific areas like the bar girls, you will actually come across them nearly everywhere from small villages to tourist areas.
Encountering Thai Ladyboys?
Thai ladyboys are famous, not only for their sexy looks but also for their known potential to provide you with a sexual experience that is slightly sleazier than what you may be used to. Born as true men, it is said that because of their sexual orientation, they are open to more experimental practices that the average bar girl wouldn’t be up for.
Lady boys work in regular beer bars and Go Go clubs, mixing in with the real girls while others are freelance prostitutes. Sometimes, with their large silicone implants and exceptional looks it can be very challenging to tell if the girl in front of you is a male or a female. Also, not all lady boys work as prostitutes, there are plenty that you will find as hairstylists, waitresses, shop vendors or even as performers in transvestite cabaret theaters.
Although you can run into Thai lady boys everywhere, if you are specifically looking for them, there are special nightlife and entertainment areas where they can be found such as Walking Street, Pattaya Beach Road and Soi 6/Yodsak.
Ladyboys Of Thailand
No, not all Thai ladyboys are created equal. So, how does a newbie tell them apart?
Transvestites – These are men who simply dress up as women and although they may be attractive, they are physically a man.
She-Male – These are the most common types of ladyboys. Thanks to plastic surgery, they usually have perfectly sculpted breasts so they are easy to spot since most Thai women have smaller ones. However, although they may appear to be female, they are still very much a male under their skirts so they combine physical attractions from both sexes.
Katoeys – These Thai ladyboys have undergone full sex reassignment. They have also had primary sex characteristics altered too. So, while they may have been born men, you would never know it
Quality plastic surgery is rather costly in Thailand so you will find that most are simply transvestites. They are usually very honest and will tell you if they have male parts or not so you really don’t have to worry about taking one to your hotel room and then having a surprise.
When searching for ladyboys, Thailand makes it easy! In fact, if you hang out at the right place, you don’t have to search at all, they will flock to you. Some of these individuals are shy and quiet others are unbelievably vulgar and will be very vocal about what they would like to do to you, whether you’re into that sort of thing or not.
It does not matter how they come across, most are quite sensitive. Not taking their feelings into consideration is not only cruel, but it can also be dangerous. If you are not interested, there is no need to be rude or to embarrass them; they are just trying to make a living.
If you are visiting Thailand for the first time and you’re interested solely in women, don’t be offended when katoeys hit on you, it’s bound to happen. It does not mean that they think you’re gay, they simply look at everyone as a potential paycheck.
When it comes to ladyboys, Thailand has some of the most clever ones. These people are professionals! You are much better to go to a gay disco, pay a bar fine, and take a legitimate worker back to your hotel than to hire a random one on the street. The katoeys in the bar are at least on payroll and can be tracked down if there is a concern.
When you hire one off the corner, you run the risk of being drugged and/or robbed. It doesn’t matter where you are; always keep your money, wallet, etc., in a front pocket. These workers can pick a pant or jacket pocket and you will never know until later.
Although most katoeys are easy to get along with, violence is known to be a problem. Again, this goes back to where you’re hanging out and how you treat them. Don’t be afraid to ask the sex of someone before you hire them. Both male and female workers in Thailand are generally pretty honest. They don’t want any awkward situations any more than you do.
You should also know that if you’re coming to pick up ladyboys, Thailand is known for having some problems with aggressive encounters. Just because these individuals act and often look like women, they are still men and will fight you like a man. If you get in a confrontation with one, you are almost guaranteed to have several others who will come to their side in a second.
Katoeys stick together! You really can’t hire one off a corner and expect to not be either robbed or beat up. There’s a reason why visitors stick to certain areas and specific establishments.
How to Spot Them
If this is your first trip to Thailand and you have never encountered ladyboys before, it is helpful to know what you are looking for. First off, they are usually the most attractive females in the bar. They also present an exaggerated sexy walk, girlish behavior, and wear a lot of makeup and red lipstick. You will find that most real Thai women wear little or no makeup. Ladyboys are also a lot louder and far from shy.
They can also be spotted because they are usually taller and have a masculine voice as well as large feet and hands. In most cases they will have wider shoulders as well and some may have an Adam’s apple although this is easily removed with cosmetic surgery.
Thai ladyboys are straight forward and can be quite pushy. They will make unambiguous sexual advances while chatting with strangers and are happy to inform you of their full menu of services whether you are interested or not.
Where to Find Pattaya Ladyboys
Some will say that you can find Pattaya ladyboys pretty much everywhere but there are a few hot spots you can go to where there’s a large selection and no guess work. See, sometimes you just can’t tell the difference between Beautiful Thai Girls and ladyboys which makes hiring one a challenge. Do you really want to have to ask the person you’re interested in about their private parts?
Since most people find these types of conversations a little bit awkward, the best thing to do is go to an area that is known to be dominated by Pattaya ladyboys. This way you’re pretty much guaranteed you’re getting what you want.
This is without a doubt the street to be on late at night until well into the morning hours. It is agreed that the boys here are some of the hottest girls you will ever lay your eyes on. Then, there are those that define the term drag queen so whatever you’re after, you are sure to find it here.
Unlike Thai Sex Workers in beer bars, Pattaya ladyboys on Walking Street are freelancers so there are no set prices. Be sure to negotiate the transaction ahead of time. There are also a few bars on this street that are typically full of working she-males including Ezy Bar, Linda Bar and Jenny Star Bar.
Soi Yodsak/Soi 6
Also known as Soi 6, there are about 50 short-time bars here that employ both girls and katoeys so take your pick. Since these establishments cater to both straight and gay customers, you can feel comfortable asking the person you’re interested in what their sexual orientation is; they’re used to it.
These short-time bars are not really establishments where you want to go and hang out all night. As the name implies, these are venues you get in and out of in typically less than an hour. They’re pretty easy to recognize from the outside too because you’ll generally be faced with blacked out windows and girls out front trying to lure you in.
The upper floor of these short-time bars are generally made up of rooms, often not much more than a divider so if you are shy, these aren’t the places for you. There’s typically a toilet and a shower to share as well. Service is cheap on this street too!
Pattaya Beach Road
Although this is the road most populated with Thai Ladyboys, this is also the place you need to hold onto your wallet and stay out of dark alleys. A little common sense will go a long way on Pattaya Beach Road! You will find an abundance of short-time guest houses in the area. Don’t worry about looking for them; your temporary date will know where to go!
Prices vary here from 500 to 1,000 baht but sometimes you can find cheaper options. Do all of your negotiating ahead of time and avoid confrontations at all costs; katoeys do get aggressive on Pattaya Beach Road and will gang up on you. They may look like girls but they fight like men.
Other Places to Go
If you prefer to stay away from the more populated areas, there are a few other places you can go as well. On Jomtien Beach Road in front of Soi 5 and Soi 7, there have been a growing number of workers there late in the evening. Also, there are quite a few bars scattered around that employ Pattaya ladyboys.
Phuket ladyboys may not be the main attraction for everyone traveling to Thailand but for some, they are reason enough to venture across the world. This is an area known for its beautiful landscape and good times. People from everywhere in the world can come to this one place to just be themselves and have fun and this certainly includes gay men.
Gay people are able to travel together pretty much anywhere on the island without worrying about becoming victims of ridicule or hostility. Whether you are looking to meet Phuket ladyboys for a quick date, a long-term relationship, or even a simple friendship, there are plenty to choose from.
In fact, Phuket is so gay-friendly that there are many hotels, restaurants, bars and other businesses managed or owned by individuals in the gay community who are ready to make you feel right at home.
The Paradise Complex
If this is your first visit, you will quickly learn that the Paradise Complex is where you want to be if you want to find ladyboys in Phuket. This is a series of small streets that connect to Rat-U-Thit Road. It is very close to the beach and you will find gay hotels, massage parlors, and bars.
Guests at any of the above establishments are welcome to bring Ladyboys back to their room for no additional charge. While you may assume that most of these places would be a little on the seedy side, they’re not. In fact, some are considered first-class facilities with restaurants and gift shops.
The discos that are open late will often see 1,000 Thai male hosts plus the dancers on any given night. If you want to take one to a room with you, you simply pay their bar fine which averages 300 baht; a lot less expensive than Thai girls! Of course, if you just happen to meet someone in the bar and they are not on the clock, there is no bar fine to pay.
There are also massage parlors in the area where you can find ladyboys.
If you enjoyed learning about the Ladyboys Of Thailand, please check out our other informative guide about the Thai Ladyboy here.
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