How to Spot a Ladyboy in Phuket?

Is that lady you are chatting with not a bit ‘too good to be true’? Tall, slim, pretty and very sexy: she’s a ladyboy! So here are 10 tips for you not be fooled next time.

10 Tips to Spot a Ladyboy:

Even for people living in Phuket for a long time, it is still fun to look at them and wonder: do you think one of them would fool you? We wouldn’t be able to tell she is not a lady? In 99% of the cases, we are confident that these would help you spot any ladyboy.

  1. Too tall > Most girls are small in Thailand.
  2. Too flamboyant  > they like over-acting, speaking loud, always seems to be on the catwalk.
  3. Too feminine > a lot of attention is given to every detail of makeup and outfit.
  4. Body proportions and broad shoulders.
  5. Too sexy outfit > When in the street, they wear flashing dresses, sometimes very long with cabaret style and even feathers, or reduced to the smallest possible size.Ladyboys on Bangla road
  6. Too big breast > and flashing them at any occasion.
  7. No bra > Even the most free-thinking ladies would wear a bra in Thailand.
  8. Adam’s apple > but even this can be fixed.
  9. The voice > usually unusually low tone. It can be worked out but this is often what gives them away.
  10. The elbows > supposedly elbows are more square than womens’ but to be honest, that one is still not obvious to me.

So what is a ladyboy? A ladyboy is a transvestite that is considered by others as a ‘woman’. They often look very feminine and get a lot of attention, look at some of the places where they perform their little act of ‘look at me, I’m more feminine than your wife’.

Simon Cabaret

Crowds of tourists gather on Bangla road every night to take photos, and everyone is asking the same question: what about this one? Do you think that’s in fact, a guy? So, at their best, which means in the evening, make up on and using the stage lights at their advantage, ladyboys range from ‘feminine looking guy’ to ‘put miss universe to shame’…. seriously.


The ladyboy phenomenon is very well accepted in Thailand, well integrated into social and daily life. Probably your gardener, home designer or working colleague could be a ladyboy, and you wouldn’t change a bit of your attitude. That seems to be a personal choice, and they are often fun to be around. It was known that some fitness centres even had three changing rooms: male, female and ladyboy.


Ladyboys making a living of their features are very exuberant and flamboyants, speaking high and loud, permanently overacting, and well known for their burst of moods. They very often speak good English. Since their revenue depends on how pretty they are, they will financially invest a lot more on their features, breast augmentation being the most obvious one, and some will seriously increase to seriously big sizes. Then plastic and facial cosmetic surgery will be next on the list, and many of them tend to have a very similar nose shape. Even Adam’s apple, often giving them away, can be corrected. And of course, few will go through the ultimate surgical procedure and become a woman.


Where to See Ladyboys

The best-known place is the middle of Bangla Road in Patong. Just walk down the street, and you can’t miss them, the crowd around is pointing all cameras in this direction.

Cocktails and Dreams, in Soi Happy (aka Soi Vegas) in Bangla Road, almost opposite of Seduction Discotheque, is a small bar with a tiny stage often performing simple shows, you just have to have to order a drink. Some girls are very feminine, and they are more than happy to pose for a photo, but get ready for the ‘you take photo – you buy me drink’. They also can become ‘too friendly’, but it’s still fun.

Phuket Ladyboys

Simon Cabaret

Simon Cabaret is an excellent professional show, as you can see on some of the photos, but of course, there is a fee. Unfortunately, taking pictures is not allowed anymore during the show, but you’ll have plenty of opportunities outside after the show. Note that they will ask for a tip, usually 100 baht.

Paradise Complex

Paradise Complex, the gay area of Patong, has several small cabarets with humble but decent shows that won’t cost you more than a beer. ‘My Way’ used to be the best one.

Useful Tips (you are in luck with tips today): In Soi Bangla and Simon Cabaret, ladyboys will encourage you to take their photo, with you or without you on it. Just know that it is not free. It usually costs a 100 baht, and if you chose to run, remember: they are still guys 😀