Thai Romances

15 Amazing Facts About Thai Ladyboys (Kathoey) in Thailand

Martin Cooney
July 01, 2022 • 10 min read • Click for comments
3 photo set of Thai ladyboys

Without question, ladyboys in Thailand are immensely popular, for visiting male foreign tourists. Thai ladyboys are men who choose to dress in a feminine manner.

Some are transvestites who enjoy dressing up as the opposite sex, while others are transitioning from male to female, and identifying as transgender.

Buddhists and Thai Ladyboys

When it comes to homosexuality, different religions have diverse & differing perspectives.

Fortunately for the ladyboys, Buddhism, Thailand's primary religion, is not particularly hostile towards them.

They are referred to as the "third sex" in Buddhism, and they are deemed thus not by choice, but due to previous misdeeds. This implies that they believe ladyboys should be pitied because it was not their intentional choice to be a ladyboy, but rather karma.

There are even three genders mentioned in Buddhist scriptures: a man, a woman, and a kathoey. As a result, religion officially recognizes the existence of the third gender - ladyboys.

2 photo set of Thai kathoey
Thai ladyboys certainly are sexy and sultry, right?

Thailand has the Biggest Ladyboy population

Thailand has the largest proportion of transsexuals in the world.

Official numbers vary between 10,000 and 400,000. However, a recent Facebook poll suggests the number extends to 1% of the Thai population.

In most other regions of the world, the estimated number of transgender people is far lower.

The Thai community maintains a very positive public perception towards people of different sexual orientations.

If you've ever visited Thailand, you quickly notice ladyboys have an unfettered freedom in expressing themselves, freely.

Ladyboys and Prostitution

You can be forgiven prostitution is the preferred profession for Thai kathoey (ladyboy) and you'd be dead wrong.

Consider the facts first:-

  • A nose operation in Thailand has an average cost upwards of USD $35,000
  • Breast augmentation surgery upwards of USD $4,300
  • Sex reassignment surgery can cost from USD $13,700 to USD $18,850

Converted to Thai Baht, a male in Thailand needs to somehow find in excess of 2,000,000 Baht to complete their transformation.

Hair dresser monthly salaries, in Thailand, range from 22,600 THB (lowest) to 70,200 THB (highest).

Prostitution isn't the preferred profession for most ladyboys. It's done out of necessity.

And a kathoey prostitute needs to stay on top of her game if she has any chance for repeat business, in making it to her 2,000,000 Baht goal. They are highly skilled in pleasuring men, and know ALL the techniques you'll ever want and desire.

How Do You Spot Ladyboys?

You may want to know how to detect a ladyboy on your travels, especially if you're a man. Here are some of my favorite ways to detect a Thai ladyboy:

  • Too tall - the majority of Thai ladies are small and short.
  • Ladyboys are overly feminine, and they enjoy wearing cosmetics and paying close care to their wardrobe and gorgeous outfits.
  • Shoulders that are broad, compared to the average Thai woman.
  • No bra - braless ladies are quite unusual in Thailand! Ladyboys love to display their boobs, for all to see.
  • The Adam's apple, which may now be surgically removed.
  • Her voice has an unfeminine, deeper tone.

HIV Rates & STDs

Thai ladyboys are notorious for participating in sex work, and are at a significant risk of contracting HIV. The incidence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among them is not as well-known or investigated as you might think.

Only half of the participants in research had recent HIV testing, while a 1/3 of them participated in unprotected anal intercourse with clients in the previous 6 months, according to a 2005 study that looked at 474 transgender volunteers, and found an overall HIV prevalence of 13.5 percent.

In yet another research conducted of transsexual sex workers in Thailand, sixteen percent said they had rashes, ulcers, or lumps, while another seven percent said they had discharge, urination, or testicular discomfort.

We can't stress enough that when it comes to sex in Thailand, it's always important to be cautious and utilize protection.

Kathoey and Karma

Another strange belief behind kathoey is that it is the result of karma - specifically, that a person was born kathoey, as a direct result of some sexual misdeed, in a previous life or lives.

Or that they failed to fulfil an expected role in the reproductive process, such as a man failing to care for a woman who is pregnant by him.

Whatever the cause, it's crucial to remember that in this popular belief, is that there's no escape from karmic repercussions. Everyone has been kathoey before, and will be again in future lifetimes, and that kathoey should be handled with kindness.

Best Bangkok Areas to Find a Thai Ladyboy

Bangkok has risen to the top of the list, as the greatest destination in the world, for single male tourists (and ex-pats) to get laid, using a kathoey's services.

Red Light Districts

Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza, and Patpong, all in the heart of Bangkok, are this big city's three red-light districts.

  • Soi Cowboy: There are over twenty Go-Go Bars in Soi Cowboy, Bangkok. If you're looking for ladyboys though, you will need to head directly to the Cockatoo bar - it's the only club featuring transsexuals.
  • Nana Plaza: The three-story sex complex claims to be "The World's Widest Adult Playground," with the largest range of ladyboy bars. There are also a lot of transsexual street prostitutes on the street, near the Nana Plaza's entrance, Soi 4.
  • Patpong: The oldest red-light area in Bangkok - but also known for ping pong show con artists. The majority of the performers at King's Castle I and II are post-op transsexuals. Go check this show out, if you visit the area.

Tourist Areas

There are plenty of Thai ladyboy street prostitutes loitering around the fountain, in front of the famed 5-star opulent Sofitel Bangkok hotel, in the Bangkok Sukhumvit area.

Along with Bangkok's beer bar hub and Sukhumvit Soi 4, you'll quickly discover the biggest number of transsexual street prostitutes.

2 photo set of Thai kathoey in bikini
Can you spot the difference with a kathoey in a bikini?

Dating Sites for Ladyboys

Every online Thai dating site will feature a wide range of ladyboys, looking for interested guys.

ThaiRomances has a huge catalog of kathoey and gay men, for those interested. Plus you get all the extra anti-scammer tools and Admin messaging system other Thai sites do not offer you.

Bigger Cities - Better

If you're seeking kathoey ladies then you are far better to stay in the larger cities of Thailand.

Ladyboy acceptance in society varies, depending on where they live.

Being kathoey is increasingly accepted in larger cities. In more remote communities, however, kathoey are treated with tolerance, rather than approval.

Normal Life

A ladyboy's lifestyle is very diverse.

The kathoey, on the other hand, mostly live like other Thais.

They work as hair stylists, film industry professionals, sex workers, food, bar and club waitresses, models, and a variety of other vocations that any woman would normally do.

Ladyboys are just like other trans people - a normal life, doing normal business and trying to find happiness in life.

Still Considered Men

Male to female transsexuals are legally males in Thailand, according to the Thai government.

Transsexuals are unable to change their gender, on their identification cards.

The birth gender of transsexuals must also be the same on their passports, which can cause confusion, and unwelcome attention at border crossings and immigration checks.

Thailand also forbids same-sex marriage, which means that if a transsexual's spouse dies, the deceased's family inherits all of the deceased's possessions.

All of these areas are continually under active protest by the Thai LGBT community who continually want the draconian ways to change.

All Want to be Sexy & Beautiful

The outside foreigner perception of Thai kathoey is one of tight fitting & sexy clothes, big breasts, and the demeanour of a slutty Asian prostitute.

No doubt, I've seen many Thai ladyboys displaying these qualities too.

However, the majority of these 'ladies' just want what other women desire. The attentions of men, hence the daily prolonged effort they put into making themselves up, in the image they believe men want to see.

Sultry transsexual model in Thailand
Simply stunning


Which leads into hormones.

Ladyboys / Kathoey can get hormones and surgery quickly, in Thailand.

All local pharmacy stores (like Boots or Watsons) stock up to 23 hormonal medicines, all of which are available over the counter (without a doctor's prescription). Try that in your countries' drug stores!

Many of them dress as women, and undertake a variety of "feminizing" medical treatments like breast implants, hormone injections, silicone injections, and Adam's apple reductions.

This is why Kathoeys are difficult to tell apart, from Thai women.

The Connection with Thai Women

Thai women hold a unique place (and advantage) in Thai society.

Within the society of Thailand, Thai men tend to revere females. Thai mothers tend towards the most beloved family member, given their exceptional care and upbringing of children. And this reverence extends to the female gender.

So, why would a Thai man wish to be a female i.e. ladyboy?

Many wish to have this 'motherly' reverence themselves. With a female connection, at least in Thailand, ladyboys have a increased acceptance, and normality.

Sexy Soldiers

Thailand's military, like many others, utilizes a lottery system for conscription.

On draft day, all males over 21 must participate in the conscription lottery - even if they no longer believe themselves to be male.

In nearly all cases, kathoey ladyboys are invariably excused from military duty, but they must still participate in the lottery.

They're Good for Heterosexuals Too!

First some background information.

Thai women live in a male dominated society.

These women face enormous competition from other ladies which leads to a low level of self-confidence, in Thai females.

In South-East Asia and Thailand, women have the added pressure from ladyboys, to deal with. The Thai women I've spoken with, all believe Thai ladyboys are beautiful, sexy and are keenly sought-after by all men.

Thai ladies understand kathoey offer the many sexually taboo pleasures which men want.

How does this benefit heterosexuals?

Put simply, Thai women will do what Thai ladyboys offer, once they understand you want the pleasures from them.


Without question, ladyboys in Thailand are truly a unique and sexy third gender.

The rightfully deserve the respect they seek. Plus, most are as gentle and feminine as Thai women.

If ladyboys are what you're in to, jump right in and join us free today. Find your LB, in minutes.

Join for free today and change your life, for the better.


Are Thai Ladyboys Good For Heterosexuals?

Thai women live in a male dominated society. And face enormous competition from other ladies as well as ladyboys. Thai women will do what Thai ladyboys offer, once they understand you want the pleasures from them.

Do Thai Males Need a Lot of Money to Become a Ladyboy?

Converted to Thai Baht, a male in Thailand needs to somehow find in excess of 2,000,000 Baht to complete their transformation. In Thailand, consider a nose operation is USD $35,000, breast augmentation surgery costs upwards of USD $4,300, and sex reassignment surgery can cost from USD $13,700 to USD $18,850. This equates to more than 2,000,000 Thai Baht.

Last updated: July 01, 2022

Martin enjoys Asian food, cute Asian girls and travel in South East Asia.
Martin Cooney
Enjoying Life in Asia/Pacific

Hi, my name is Martin. I have many friends in and traveled throughout the Asia/Pacific regions for the past 17 years. I am passionate in helping others with my insight and past adventures.

I hope you enjoy the stories I write and take a little something away from them. I've contributed to over 160 posts on travel, dating, marriage and relationships.