Ping Pong Shows and Ladyboy Cabaret: Bangkok’s Biggest Must Do’s?

Within ten minutes of arriving at my hostel in Bangkok, I’d been accosted by a group of Canadians and asked whether I wanted to join them at a ping pong show that evening. Keen to make friends (I’d booked to stay for five nights) and eager to tick this renowned ‘must-do’ off my bucket list, I agreed. An hour later, we found ourselves in a seedy bar with low lighting, a few scattered audience members and six girls on stage in lingerie looking like they’d rather be anywhere else.

Five of them swayed disinterestedly to the music while they took turns to wander centre stage and perform equally impressive and ungodly acts with their genitalia. We watched in awe as one shot darts out of her nether regions and popped a row of balloons. We hid behind our hands as another pulled a string of razor blades from the depths of her vagina. We cheered as one wrote our names on a piece of paper using her…yup, you guessed it. We screamed as an audience member was given a bat and thwacked tainted ping pong balls in our direction.

To be honest, the experience wasn’t great. The girls looked bored out of their brains. Drink prices were extortionate. The bathroom was foul. The proprietor pestered us to buy drinks. The girls pestered us for tips. We left after 30 minutes. We vowed never to go back to Super Pussy again.

And what of the ladyboys? After much debate, I’d gone with Calypso, Bangkok’s longest running and most acclaimed cabaret show. I was expecting to be wowed…but left distinctly underwhelmed. Some people left early, which came as no surprise when the singing wasn’t live, the lip syncing was appalling and the dancing was out of time. The one saving grace was a performer who looked like the spit of Beyoncé #flawless. The one puzzle – or not, thinking about it – is that (s)he didn’t perform If I Were A Boy…

So there you have it. When it Rome, eat pizza. When in Sydney, go surfing. When in Bangkok…probably don’t bother with ping pong or cabaret. Or anything that involves elephant trekking (more on that in another post).

Having said that, I can’t quite bring myself to throw away that piece of paper…

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