One of the main attractions of the Phuket area is the Simon Cabaret’s Ladyboy show.
We’d seen a few of them walking around the town. We even saw a white guy walking down the street holding hands with one. I don’t know if the guy knew he was with a ladyboy, but he was on the other side of the street, and I wouldn’t have burst his bubble anyway. If he didn’t know, imagine how exciting it was for him to find out that night!
Anyhow, the Simon Cabaret raises the bar on ladyboys and presents you with a show of fancy sets, fancy costumes, and dancing. The singing is all pre-recorded and lip synced. I imagine at some point it was all authentic, but they do multiple shows per night, every night, so it’s probably more practical to just lip sync it.
I went into this with an open mind but I wasn’t expecting a whole hell of a lot. I certainly wasn’t expecting to be impressed, laughing, or leaning forward in my seat to catch all the details. Not that I was looking for those details, but most of them did just about have their boobs falling out. I suppose that’s just part of the show’s appeal.
I thought of taking photos while in the cabaret, or taking video, but there are signs everywhere saying that if caught you can be prosecuted and fined up to 50,000 USD. It wasn’t worth that much to me. Apparently some other people thought it was worth the risk because there’s plenty of clips on YouTube.
Here’s one act, which we saw when we were there, of the ladyboys ‘singing’ Nobody, by Wondergirls:
And here’s a clip from YouTube of the official Simon Cabaret promo DVD:
Keep in mind that all of the ladies on the stage were born men. Most of them take hormone supplements and inhibitors and have had their … junk whacked off. That’s why there’s no tell-tale bulge. There’s nothing there to bulge.
After the show, the ladyboys all line up outside for pictures. You can stand back and grab a few shots, but if you want to get your photo taken with them, be prepared to pay. I read a blog that said the ladyboys asked for 40 baht each for photos. I should’ve checked the date. They tried to stiff us for 100 baht each. I checked the internet later and saw that was the ‘standard’ pay-off, so I didn’t feel so bad afterwards. Oh, I heard that if you’re not careful, they may just grab whatever you’re holding, so be careful how much you take out of your wallet around them.
Here’s someone else’s video of the ladyboys lined up outside for photo ops:
And here are some pictures I took: