Do people wake up in the morning and say, “I want to see people who may have been forced into sex work shoot ping pong balls out of their vagina”?
Because I do not.
Yet following a Vietnamese tradition of traveling with loved ones for Lunar New Year, we found ourselves on a 5 day Thailand tour. Though it was a ton of fun, the tour was in Vietnamese, so I didn’t know what was going on most of the time until we were doing it.
And that’s how we ended up in Pattaya, the sex capital of Thailand. Sex work is legal here. It’s allegedly a haven for people who have been forced into sex work previously, from all over the world. Not only do Thai people work here, but there’s a Russian population as well.
Part of the tour is a few shows put on by ladyboys and sex workers. While some of the shows were cool, some of them were disturbing. Are you thinking about a trip to Pattaya and which shows you should watch? Read on for a review of the popular shows in Pattaya!
Alcazar Cabaret was my absolute favorite show in Pattaya, and I highly recommend it.
Each scene of Alcazar tells a different story about mostly Asian cultures. You have to use your imagination to guess what they’re telling you since there are no words, but it’s easy to make up with the dancing. Ladyboys star in these shows, and their costumes are absolutely gorgeous. The music, stage lighting, and backdrops are cool too, but the costumes are so incredibly detailed and over the top.
You can read more about the show, see showtimes, and get tickets (฿650-1000) here. And for a teaser, check out this video of the show below.
Tiffany’s Show was the close second favorite for me. While the costumes were still amazing, there was less of a story in each act. It was more about the dancing and performing with convincing ladyboys at Tiffany’s.
But, what made it less favorable than the other is how pushy people were at the end when you got to take pictures with the dancers! This is allegedly where they make most of their money- you’re supposed to donate to them after taking a picture.
In my case, my friend and I were happily walking to our favorite ladyboy, when we got forcibly pulled over by a different queen for a picture, who then demanded triple what the tour guide recommended we donate!! We went along with it but were a little annoyed at the time because of how pushy they were. Pushy-ness really isn’t uncommon in some places, so just be aware so you can avoid being like us.
Similarly, you can read more about the show and get tickets (฿400-750) here, and watch this preview (with different music) for a taste.
“Sexy shows” (ping pong shows)
Last of the popular shows in Pattaya are the “variety sexy shows”. These were extremely artsy and French inspired… or so we heard from others on the tour. I totally disagree. We were supposed to go to three but were done a few minutes into the second one. I would not recommend any of these shows.
What exactly does “variety sexy show” mean? These are shows with short acts that are sex or sex organ related. What are examples of this? Well, the best one we saw by far was by a group of incredibly talented pole dancers. The most uncomfortable ones include:
- Naked five year olds walking around in circles, crying
- Naked Russian teenagers swaying back and forth to Spider-Man scenes
The most uncomfortable ones with some humor include shooting:
- Ping pong balls
From their vaginas and sometimes anuses. Some people were even smoking cigarettes from their vaginas!
For some reason, I thought it was all fake so when a ping pong landed on our side of the stage and everyone ran away, I grabbed it so we could sit down again… And it was super lube-y and brown speckled! OMG!
If you still insist on seeing one of these shows, I will just say be careful when going on stage. During the second variety show, they grabbed my friend as the token white guy to help in one of the early acts. He didn’t come back until the end of the show! We found out that they were demanding money from him for going on the stage, and when he said no, security people started threatening him!
But, this is how most of these girls made money (not through the show), according to our tour guide. One person also brought up the good point that their alternative might be starvation and poverty, and they’re able to even support their families this way, so in a way we were doing good.
I would still insist that half the people looked depressed, under 10, or were crying, so it’s really not fair. And if we want to help, we should dismantle the system that keeps poor people poor and the same 1% of people in power. But, what do I know, I’m just a girl with a mediocre blog.
To lighten the mood, here’s a picture of the beach in Pattaya.
Have you seen any shows in Pattaya? What did you think about these ones? Would you recommend others? Let me know in the comments! And to read more about the shows in Pattaya and book tickets in advance, check out these options!