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Ladyboys in Thailand How To Recognize Them

Ladyboys in Thailand: How To Recognize Them

Having a hard time recognizing ladyboys in Thailand?

Thai ladyboys can most easily be recognized by their behavior, self care, voice, and body features.

In general, ladyboys in Thailand often have more feminine qualities than straight males do, including smaller noses and chins, larger lips, unusually large breasts, rounder eyes, and too much makeup.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most crucial aspects you need to know about spotting ladyboys.

How to Recognize Ladyboys in Thailand

Ladyboys in Thailand are a common sight and can be found anywhere you go, especially during night time.

If you’re wondering how to recognize them,  here are some tips.

1. Listen to their voices.

The voice is the first sign of a ladyboy, and one that you can’t help noticing. It’s deep and masculine, with a higher pitch than a man’s voice. 

They also tend to have an accent when they speak English, which will help you identify them even more effectively. 

Since most of them are born in Thailand, English is not their native language so they will sound like they have a different accent.

2. Observe the hips.

Observe the hips
Image source: iStock

The hips are the main indicator of whether a person is a ladyboy or not. A woman’s hips are usually more narrow, whereas a ladyboy’s hips will be wider than those of an average woman.

Ladyboys’ hips are also more rounded than those of an average woman, which makes them easier to spot in public restrooms or when standing on the street without any clothes on!

3. Notice the chest.

Notice the chest.
Image source: Pinterest

It’s important to note that most ladyboys have exaggerated breast size. Also, keep in mind that  if you’re in Thailand and trying to pick up an attractive ladyboy, remember that the cleavage she shows isn’t necessarily real! 

You can tell by looking at her chest—if it’s too big for her body type, then there’s a good chance that cleavage isn’t even hers.

4. Look for an Adam’s apple.

Look for an Adam's apple.
Image source: iStock

They have an Adam’s Apple on their neck. This is usually noticeable by looking at the person from behind, but you can also look at them from the side if you want to get a better view. If there’s a bump on their neck—and it’s not something like a birthmark—then they may be a ladyboy.

However, ladyboys will attempt to deceive you by removing their adam’s apple through surgery.

5. Note what their hands, legs, and feet look like.

If you’re looking for a ladyboy, the hands and feet should be one of your first indications.

1. The Hands 

The Hands
Image source: iStock

A true ladyboy will have long fingernails that are painted red or pink. They will also have manicured hands with perfectly shaped nails. 

Their skin will be soft and smooth, much like that of a woman who has spent a lot of time moisturizing her skin. If the person in question has rough hands, or if they have calloused palms, then they may well be a man posing as a female.

2. The Legs

The Legs
Image source: iStock

Ladyboys are feminine and fit, but not overtly muscular. They have long, slender legs with a hint of muscle tone. 

Although some women have hair on their thighs, ladyboys don’t typically have any on their calves or ankles. Typically, but not always, their ankles are little and tiny.

3. The Feet 

The Feet
Image source: iStock

In Thailand, ladyboys typically wear high heels (or platform shoes) that are about three inches high at least—sometimes even higher than that! 

They also tend to wear open-toe shoes, which makes their toes visible from afar. Ladyboys have long toes that are bent upward at the tip. 

6. Look at their eyes and eyebrows.

Look at their eyes and eyebrows.
Image source: iStock

First, look at the shape of their eyes. Kathoeys often have larger eyes than other women in Thailand, and have a rounder shape to them.

They also have larger pupils and thicker eyelids than other women in Thailand, with dark eye shadow that really brings out their eyes’ shape.

Next, look at the eyebrows. Kathoeys often have thick eyebrows that are well-groomed and filled in with makeup (or tattooed). They also tend to wear more makeup on their eyebrows than other women do in Thailand.

If you see someone with these features, it’s likely that they’re a ladyboy.

7. Observe their body shape.

Observe their body shape.
Image source: iStock

1. The Shoulders 

Kathoey typically have broad shoulders, which is a telltale sign that they were once men.

Well, it’s actually quite simple: Males have more muscle mass than females, so their shoulders are generally wider and more square. 

Also, male shoulders tend to slope forward whereas female shoulders tend to slope back—but this is not always the case, as some women have broad shoulders that slope forward just like men’s do.

2. The Waist 

The Waist
Image source: iStock

Ladyboys have unusually small waists compared to their hips. They have an hourglass shape that’s slightly larger on top than on bottom.

Moreover, the waist should be thin, with a curve on both sides of it.

8. Notice their height.

Notice their height.
Image source: iStock

Ladyboys or kathoeys tend to be taller than most Thai women, so if someone seems much taller than everyone else around them, it’s worth checking out!

Observe their personal attitude and grooming.

Observe their personal attitude and grooming.
Image source: iStock

Their Attitude

Ladyboys are very friendly, giving, and they are always ready to lend a helping hand. You’ll often see them smiling broadly at passersby as they greet them warmly.

It’s also worth noting that ladyboys always walk with their back straight and head held high, while women tend to slouch or keep their heads down when they walk or sit down.

Additionally, they exhibit an overly feminine manner.

Their Grooming

Their Grooming
Image source: iStock

Ladyboys are usually very feminine, so they prefer to dress up in skirts or dresses—and if you’re new to Thailand, this can be confusing at first! But once you get used to it (or just pay attention), it will become clear how they operate in society.

They also have a good sense of hygiene—which is important because many of them work in bars as waitresses/hostesses/parking valets etc., where keeping cleanliness at an optimal level would help them keep their jobs! 

A clean ladyboy looks less like a transsexual than one who has been living on the streets for months without much exercise or cleaning supplies available (or both).

Their Makeup

Their Makeup
Image source: iStock

Many people think kathoeys wear makeup to “look like women,” but that’s not necessarily true. In fact, there are several distinct styles of makeup that can help you spot a kathoey or tell if someone is transgendered from afar.

Look for dark eyeshadow and bright red lipstick. This is one of the most common ways that kathoeys express themselves in their appearance. 

They often wear dark eyeshadow and bright red lipstick, which creates an overall look similar to traditional drag queen makeup.

What are other ways to recognize a Thai ladyboy?

What are other ways to recognize a Thai ladyboy
Image source: iStock

When traveling in Thailand, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to ask someone if they are a ladyboy. Here’s how to do it politely.

First off, don’t make any assumptions about people based on their appearance. In Thailand, transgendered people are accepted and often highly respected members of society. 

If you see someone who looks like a woman but has male genitalia, don’t assume that they’re not “really” female.

When you want to ask someone about their sexuality, it’s best to start with an introduction. 

This approach will make it easier for them to answer your question, because they will feel like they know who you are before answering a personal question like this one.

It also helps prevent any misunderstandings between the two of you due to language barriers or cultural differences.

The phrase for introducing yourself is “Sawasdee kah,” which literally means “hello.” You can also use ยินดีที่ได้รู้จัก (Yin-dee-tee-dai-roo-jak) which translates to “nice to meet you”

If you want to ask if someone is a ladyboy, say “Khuṇ pĕn s̄āw prap̣heth s̄xng h̄rụ̄x mị̀?” (Koon-pen-saw-prapet-sung-ru-mai) which is translated to “Are you a ladyboy?” 

You can also use terms such as “ladyboy” or “kathoey” if they are familiar with those terms—but be sure not to offend anyone by using them incorrectly!

Where can you usually spot a ladyboy in Thailand?

Where can you usually spot a ladyboy in Thailand
Image source: iStock

While it’s true that ladyboys are most commonly found around Pattaya, the truth is that there are ladyboys all over Thailand. 

You might see them at your favorite restaurant or shopping mall, stopping at a local food stand or even just walking down the street with their family. 

Ladyboys love shopping at different places like flea markets and going out with friends, so check out Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market or one of the smaller markets in Chiang Mai. 

They also love going to temples and shrines, so try visiting Wat Phra Kaew or Wat Pho in Bangkok or Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai. 

And if you’re up for a happy hour, check out Patpong in Bangkok or Walking Street in Pattaya—you’ll definitely see some ladyboys there!

Why does Thailand have so many ladyboys?

There are several reasons for the large number of ladyboys in Thailand. Some of it are the following:

Thailand has social recognition of the third gender.

Thailand has social recognition of the third gender.
Image source: iStock

The Thai government socially recognizes three genders: male (phupha), female (nang) and kathoey/kathoei ́e/kathoy ́ee/(the latter two referring specifically to trans women). 

In many cases, the kathoeys are not in conflict with traditional gender roles. But there are also some that are.

In Thailand, it’s a very common practice for girls to dress as boys and vice versa, even though it has been said that Thai culture is very conservative when it comes to dressing up as the opposite sex.

The concept of the third gender is not new to Thailand. In fact, the country has social recognition of this category. While many in Western society do not recognize it as a legitimate category, it is more accepted throughout East and Southeast Asia.

Thailand has an active transgender community that includes both transvestites and transsexuals. 

Being accepting of ladyboys is ingrained in Thai culture. 

Being accepting of ladyboys is ingrained in Thai culture.
Image source: iStock

Since ladyboys are not seen as an issue at all by many Thais, their status tends to elevate them into superstars.

With their infinite potential for drama, they are the most watched people in Thailand. They perform in beauty pageants and on reality shows, and they’re everywhere else you look: advertisements, commercials, and even in movies.

The reason for this is simple: Ladyboys are a spectacle. They’re beautiful and exotic, they have great fashion sense, and they’re always happy to put on a show.

But despite all these things, ladyboys aren’t just another type of entertainment—they’re also a sign of something more serious going on in Thai culture. 

The fact that ladyboys are so popular right now has a lot to do with how much Thai society values people who can be both masculine and feminine at once. 

It also reflects how much Thais value gender fluidity as an expression of freedom from traditional norms about gender roles.

Ladyboys are well-accepted in any industry.

Ladyboys are well-accepted in any industry.
Image source: iStock

Ladyboys are not just trying to break into any industry, especially the entertainment industry—they’re trying to change it. Ladyboys are admired for their determination to succeed. 

They are known for being very hardworking and goal-oriented. They have a strong work ethic that makes it easy to trust them with any task because of their strength of character, beauty and intelligence. 

They are often admired for their ability to overcome challenges and make a success of themselves despite some discrimination from mainstream society.

Gender reassignment in Thailand is prevalent. 

Gender reassignment in Thailand is prevalent.
Image source: iStock

In modern times, many ladyboys have undergone gender reassignment surgery to become transwomen, but there are still plenty who prefer the identity kathoey or ladyboy rather than transgender or transsexual or transwoman.

Many guys have taken advantage of the accessibility and relatively low cost of surgeries that make it easy for males to become ladyboys.

Summing It Up

Here’s a brief comparison of some the features of women and  ladyboys:

HeightShorter (average of 5’2 ft)Taller (5’6 ft and above)
ShoulderLean Broad
LegsSlimShows masculinity
Feet and HandsSofter palms
Smaller hands and feet
Some have rough palms
Bigger hands and feet
Has well-maintained nails
Adam’s AppleNoYes
HipsNarrowUnusually large
BreastNormal-sizedUnusually large
Eyes and  eyebrowsEyes are narrower
Thai women’s eyebrows varies, but they usually like it thicker
Eyes are rounder
Eyebrows are thinner, usually drawn
Has proper hygiene
Has proper hygiene
Usually wears dresses and skirts
Typically provocative
MakeupNormalToo much
Usually goes for darker eyeshadow and colorful lipsticks
VoiceNormal pitchDeep and masculine, with a higher pitch than a man’s voice
(Take note: Features mentioned above are what the “usual” perception of each gender and do not mean that they all possess each characteristics)

FAQs about Ladyboys in Thailand

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