Thailand by Nikki


Some say that Pattaya is the sex city of the world. As my experience of dens of inequity is extremely limited, I can only say that if there are other centres with greater notoriety, then lead on....

My first visit to Pattaya was part of a world trip in 1999. I stayed there just one night with the sole purpose of photographing the Alcazar ladyboy show. You may recall my write up in edition 8 of the Tranny Guide.

What I hadn't appreciated, was that there are also the Tiffany show and Simon Cabaret. So I set my sights on photographing all three on a return trip.

Tiffany is the original show and is equalled by Alcazar, in grandeur and spectacle. Simon is located in the wonderfully named Walking Street and whilst the building is not so grand, the show is well worth visiting.

I arrived at Bangkok airport on 21st November and as there were no buses at 6am, I shared a taxi to Pattaya, a journey of 2 hours. I had booked my accommodation over the Internet but alas when I finally arrived, found it to be a pretty seedy gay hotel. This goes to prove the strength and deceit of marketing. The place was depressing and I had to get out. Fortunately, I had met a transsexual whilst I was working as receptionist for Dr Russell Reid in London, who was going out to the ‘Suporn Clinic’ near Pattaya for her Gender Reassignment Surgery and whilst out there she had met Christine, an English transsexual who has lived in Pattaya for two years. I had Christine's number and telephoned. Help!

Within a few hours, I was installed in the Welcome Plaza Hotel 213 Pattaya 2nd Road, Pattaya. Thailand 20260 Tel (038)424765 in the centre of Pattaya. Christine turned out to be an angel. The first few days of my stay, she introduced me to clubs and bars, which were TG friendly and some good eating. Alas, she had to return to the UK on business and left me to my own devices but no worry, I am quite used to my devices!

What is surprising, is the near absence of ‘Katoeys’ (Ladyboys) on the streets in the daytime. There were quite a few operating commercially down on the Beach Road at night but the place wasn't swarming with them as I had imagined but then I possibly didn't notice, as they really are very, very feminine.

My hotel was about eight years old and comfortable with a large swimming pool. It is also beautifully positioned for access to shops, beaches and nightlife. The cost was £12 per night but this can vary depending on the time of year. The climate was perfect, although for shrinking violets, the mid day temperatures of around 35 degrees Celsius may be overwhelming. I found it best to sit in the shade on the gay area of ‘Jomtien Beach’ at these times, and relax chatting to all and sundry-a lot of European ex pats.

English is widely spoken but alas the Thais are not very fluent and this leads to endless complications and muddles. For example, on registering at my hotel, I indicated that I might upgrade my already spacious room and later got a call from Reception asking if I would like to "share" one of their suites and that I had to make a decision by 9pm. They gave me the suite number, which I called from my room. I was answered by a very sexy Japanese voice. There then followed the most inane conversation, as neither party understood the other. I established later that the Receptionist had asked if I wanted to "transfer" to the suite which was being vacated at nine o'clock! I am sure he had said 'share'.

The hotel clientele was extremely interesting, mostly comprising of older men with the most gorgeous little Thai girls hanging onto their hands and others had little boys. I was in for an education. The hotel staff soon put me down as a weirdo as I kept coming back to my room on my own and this was considered to be very strange behaviour. It took me my whole stay to win them over, and not by taking anyone back to my room, but for sheer persistence at being happy and cheerful without the need of little girls, boys (and the bigger variety of each), alcohol, drugs or Mac Donald's.

Pattaya is a night city and is fantastic to wander around. Shops close at midnight with food markets for the locals staying open into the early hours. Hawkers selling their wares are everywhere. However I found Pattaya less harrowing than Bangkok where you get pestered all the time to buy. There are a myriad of bars and eateries to feed the masses and umpteen shows to satiate every desire.

My interest was in the three major:


Ladyboy cabarets Alcazar, 78/14 M 9 Pattaya 2nd Road, Nongprue, Banglamung, Chonburi. Tel.410225

Simon Show is in Walking Street

Tiffany's Show, Tiffany's Building, 464 MOO 9 Pattaya2nd Road, Pattaya City. Tel. 421700.

I was accorded the utmost courtesy by each of them when I asked if I could photograph their shows for the Tranny Guide. Each show was fantastic in it's own way and my photos give a flavour of the sheer professionalism in which they show off their Ladyboys. The costumes are out of this world (and to die for). They have a wonderful variety of routines incorporating the Thai sense of humour and also culture from their own and neighbouring countries. Bus loads, and I mean busloads, of tourists fill the auditoriums three times a night. Very big business.

With this report we have included Nikki’s pictures of the girls that she became friendly with “off stage”