At a crossroads between the airport and Phuket Town there is a statue of two famous female warriors called Muk and Chan who, in 1785, repelled a Burmese invasion by dressing up all Phuket’s townswomen as men and then lining them up on the ramparts to seemingly swell the defenders’ ranks.
These days, however, the cross-dressing is more the other way around. The Thai word ‘katoi’ can mean either ‘transvestite’ or ‘transsexual’. If in doubt, don’t ask.
Whatever they exactly are, the katoi performers of Simon Cabaret have been amazing foreigners and turning Western catwalk queens green with envy for decades. This hugely popular and often hilarious cabaret wows audiences with stunning sets, glittery gowns and choreography so balletic that it would do Broadway justice. These boys who are girls stiletto-strut their stuff to full houses every night of the week, but be warned that many straight men find themselves cringing their way through the entire performance, and don't enjoy one minute of it.
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