While planning my Thailand trip with my mom, I casually mentioned that we should catch a Cabaret Show. She immediately dismissed the idea, and I went into a bit of a daze after checking out the ticket prices. This led to a lively debate around the coffee table in Old Phuket about whether we should splurge on a cabaret show the following evening or not!
We had already explored the ancient Siamese capital, had a relaxing beach getaway on Hong Island, strolled through bustling markets in Bangkok, and found solace in the serene Buddhist chants at temples.
Our goal was to experience all aspects of Thailand. And you can’t take out Sex Tourism and Cabaret Shows out of Thailand’s experiences. So my mom and I made the decision to attend the cabaret show in Phuket.
So here goes our story – What is it like to watch the Cabaret show in Thailand.
Updated on 23 Sep 2023
- What is it?
- Worst Part about Thai Cabaret Shows
- Where to watch Cabaret Shows in Thailand
- Pricing of the shows
- Clicking pictures of the performers
- Safety Concern for women audience and kids
- What to wear for the show?
- Final Thoughts
What is a cabaret show in Thailand?
A cabaret show in Thailand is like a dazzling Thai-style Broadway performance, where glittery sequins meet Siam. The “Ladyboy” performers dance to pop music from all around the world wearing revealing beautifully designed extravagant costumes – A glamerous entertaining show.
There is no heritage or Thai culture involved in this – Sheer entertainment. The real cabaret is drinking, eating, and watching sexy women dancing. But here, you get beer outside the theatre in the lobby. You can neither eat nor drink inside. There are no tables arranged like in cabaret bars. It is a typical movie theatre with fixed seats arranged in staggered rows.
What makes this Cabaret Show attractive?
The grandeur of costume (especially headdresses), highly synchronised dance performance, amazing lighting and pretty performers make cabaret shows super attractive.
In the Thai cabaret world, transgender women “ladyboys” take center stage, dazzling you with their charm, and glamour. In addition to ladyboys, you can expect to see male and female dancers, singers, and various other entertainers who showcase their glamorous talents through lively performance and.
As a commoner, we would never get a chance to watch Filmfare or Iifa awards in real. The performers wearing lehengas do a Bollywood dance and change quickly to their bright bikini with a headdress that reminds me of Brazilian Samba dance.
What is this show not about?
Thailand Cabaret show is nothing related to historical Thai culture. It is a Pure entertainment – That is all.
The dancers even leave the stage and perform kinky among the seated crowd.
A plus-size performer came down the stage dancing and singing. With some naughty jokes and sexy moves, she randomly chose a few men from the public to kiss on their cheeks. This was funny to watch but offended a particular couple from India. Seeing the bangles on her hands, we knew they were a newly married couple.
The couple were arguing with each other throughout the show about something. They were even asked to keep quiet by the fellow spectators. The plus-size performer’s bad luck kissed him, which got the wife so furious that she walked out of the hall!
What is the worst part about these Cabaret Shows?
You are paying to someone’s skin! Anyone who can dance little looks gorgeous with nice outfits/makeup can perform these dances and be willing to expose their body can achieve this with a few days of practice.
Fortunately, the guests were decent, unlike Pattaya’s cabaret show, where my cousin witnessed horrifying things where men put hands inside ladyboys shorts. Some people wanted to get some free touch experience, but performers seemed to be super clever avoiding them.
Honestly, I enjoyed all the glam and glitter! I don’t know if I can watch a Cabaret show this carefree anywhere else. I feel good about that. But, ultimately, I paid for seeing someone’s body! It is like watching an extra-long Item Song that includes all genders!
Where can you watch Cabaret Shows in Thailand?
You can catch cabaret shows in the touristy spots of Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket.
In Bangkok, the most famous one is “Calypso Cabaret” at Asiatique the Riverfront. They’ve got these glamorous transgender performers who put on quite a show. And not to forget, this is the show Lady Gaga watched and the rumours has it that she was inspired by it a lot!
Now, when it comes to Pattaya, it’s known for its wild nightlife and, well, you know, a certain type of tourism. This is where Thailand’s very first cabaret show started back in 1974, and it’s called Tiffany’s Show. It’s kinda legendary and most expensive of all Thai Cabaret shows. But recently, the Alcazar show has been gaining more popularity. They’ve got ladyboy performers and some seriously extravagant costumes.
Phuket’s Patong area is where the nightlife action is. Bangla Walking Street is known for, let’s say, more “adult” entertainment options and massages. Just nearby, you can find the “Simon Cabaret Show.” That’s the one I checked out.
Other islands like Phi-Phi, Koh Samui, and Krabi, they occasionally put on cabaret-style shows, but they’re not quite the full-fledged cabaret experience. Still, they can be fun to check out.
Prices of Cabaret Shows in Thailand
Prices for Thai Cabaret shows can vary depending on the city and season. It starts from 1110 baht and can go up to 2500 baht during the offseason. Christmas and New Year’s can double these prices, with loads of tourists pouring into these cities to party.
How much does it cost to go to Simon Cabaret show?
Simon Cabaret show prices depend on the type of seat you choose – VIP or regular. VIP seats are in the front, and the rest are on the backside. The theatre’s capacity is 600 with no balcony seats. We bought VIP seats for 800 baht in 2019, which was no different from the regular seat other than we had seats assigned, so we didn’t have to fight to catch a seat. As of 2023, prices for the same is shot upto 1100 baht.
Simon Cabaret show Timings and reaching there.
Simon Cabaret Show happens for three times a day – 6PM, 7,30 PM and 9PM. Mind that after 8 PM, there are no public taxis or songthaews in Phuket. You have to pay whatever amount taxi drivers ask you. They wait inside and outside the theatre for passengers. It is totally safe until you are drunk and lost conscious.
While buying tickets, you can opt for pickup and return transfer also by paying extra.
Can you click photos of performers?
After the show, the performers usually hang around outside the theater, and you can take pictures with them. They might charge you anywhere from 100 to 500 baht for a photo with them up close. If you prefer to stand at a distance and take pictures, like I did, that’s totally free. The dancers often try to get your attention by calling out and waving their hands. They aren’t pushy unless you get near them.
Is it safe for women to go watch Thai Cabaret shows?
Yes! It is absolutely safe for women in group or solo woman travellers to attend Cabaret Shows in Thailand. You find families coming together to watch this show!
Can you take your kids to the the Thai Cabaret Shows?
I suggest you don’t take kids for several reasons.
Many people ask- Is it made for kids? Well, I wouldn’t take my kid here in the future. The loud music may be irritating for the kids. The show is definitely sexy. It is all about glam and hotness. They do enact some kinky things on the stage- I don’t and can’t answer kids if they ask me anything on that!. Performers costumes are glittery and show lots of skin.
What do you wear to a cabaret show in Thailand?
To attend a cabaret show in Thailand, you should aim for smart-casual attire. You definitely need not dress like how you would do for an Opera concert in Vienna. Keep it comfortable and cool depending on the season’s weather. Keep in mind that these shows happen after sunset.
I don’t regret watching the cabaret show in Thailand. I realised why some people are eager to watch it. It was indeed fun like a drag show and very different from the usual experience I seek for. But deep inside, I worry and pray that these cabaret dancers aren’t exploited and would have a good life outside their performance.
Would you visit a Cabaret show like this? Let us know in the comment section below.