Bangkok LadyBoys!

Trip Start Mar 25, 2011
Trip End Dec 01, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  , Nonthaburi,
Saturday, October 15, 2011

Shelley and I woke this morning at 9.30am following yet another late night!!  We eventually fell a sleep in the early hours but are up showered and make our way for breakfast which is a huge buffet style and appears OK...although the coffee is not great!!!

We venture out to a nearby mall but before we stop at a local agent and book two tours one for this evening and one for tomorrow.

The girl who serves us is just lovely and she tells us about different malls that you can spend days in... not sure that's a good thing!!!  She also says she worries if we take tuk-tuks.... bless her!!

On her advice we visit MBK center which is a large shopping mall. At eight stories high, the center hosts around 2,000 stores and services, including the 4-story Tokyu department store, restaurants and entertainment.The MBK Center management reports daily visitor numbers of more than 100,000, half of whom are young Thai people and a third foreign visitors.  MBK Center, opened in 1985, is one of the oldest shopping malls in Asia, and was the largest when it was inaugurated.

It also have several floors dedicated to cities around the world including London... it would of been rude not to visit it!!  Its so weird to see the London Bus, Postbox and telephone... reminders of home.

We stopped for a bit of shopping and had some lunch before venturing on the the next mall Terminal 21.  Terminal 21 Shopping Mall opened it's doors for it's Grand Opening on October 11, 2011.  The mall is structured differently than Bangkok's other top shelf shopping centers. Lower levels are occupied by mid-priced brands like Esprit, Jaspal and Nike, while mid levels host moderately priced fashion stores. Upper levels offer food and beverage adventures like Pier 21 food court and 8 movie theaters. Many escalators and signs make this location look like an airport building. Hey, reminds me about the movie 'The Terminal' with Tom Hanks!!!!

When our feet start aching we took a taxi back to the hotel before getting ready for tonight's event!  Yes we are going to see the Bangkok Lady Boys!!!

We are shown to our seats and offered a free drink, then the stage lights flare up. "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen," announces a husky male voice in pristine Queen's English. "Tonight we present for you, the most beautiful ladies in all of Thailand..." A bold claim in a land renowned for its strikingly exotic women, We think to ourselves  while getting acquainted with our complementary G&T's. This is going to be interesting.And then there, Shelley and my jaws drop as we see for the first time Bangkok's Ladyboys with there gaze and flawless features, The first is Orn - the first of many gender-straddling stunners to appear in the Asia Hotel's world famous Calypso Cabaret show.

We nearly choke on our drinks looking at her surreal beauty.Ladyboys, or 'katoeys' as they are known in Thailand, are a strange, rarely understood breed. With their overt gestures, extravagant clothing and often impetuous behaviour, they typically inspire fascination and revulsion in equal measure. For me personally, it was always admiration tinged with a smidgen of fear. I've seen them cat-walking the streets, marveled at the inner-strength , not to mention surgery, it must take to strut with such womanly poise.  But as the curvy, statuesque Orn opens the show with a solemn 1940s solo number - while sporting her own tight little number  The hypnotized crowd is putty in her ever-so-slightly manly hands.Though her miming is a tad off in parts, Orn too is having a ball, clearly relishing the spotlight. While her beauty may be artificially achieved, she's clearly a natural performer, not a freak-show. Unlike in the real world where, even in tolerant Thailand, many ladyboys encounter hardship and prejudice on a daily basis, up on stage she's a woman in control of her destiny, with dignity.

And it gets better. When she leaves, the show commences a breathless romp through different aspect of the female persona. No womanly trait is left untouched in pursuit of the crowd's enjoyment. Giving proceedings a delicious dose of camp are all the ingredients you'd find in the local pantomime back home: garish sets, liberal helpings of dry-ice, opulent costumes and liberal pinches of slapstick. But Cinderella this is not. And there's certainly no sign of the ugly sisters.A sparkling pink number showcasing feathers, flawless showgirls and silky smooth legs drifts seamlessly into a tacky, 1970s B-movie of a story about a jilted bride. Leading us to its inevitably tragic denouement is a China-doll femme fatale with an unspeakably angelic face.She slinks across the stage, becoming more murderous with every graceful step. Shedding her pure white bridal gown as if a skin, she reveals lethal intentions and an ample bosom. The music is menacing. Blood is spilt. Hell hath no fury like a ladyboy scorned seems to be the fearful message.

The show was amazing and such a good thing to see... both Shelley and I looked at each other so many times thinking... really are they? They are so beautiful!!

After the show finishes we are both left smiling and take a taxi back to hotel where we stop off at the local Italian for a delicious pizza before returning to our hotel for some sleep... we must try to go to sleep earlier especially as tomorrow we are up at 5am!!!

Until then.....

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