one thing is certain after reading through the previous reviews...
most of the reviewers either loved, or really disliked the show.
for some, price (1,200 baht) was an issue--but but then again,
it seems that none of them realized that tickets could be pur-
chased through hotels or travel agencies for half of that, if you
wanted to take pot-luck on seating... or for 900 baht, directly
through calypso's own website, where you could request, and
receive a front-row seat. DO YOUR RESEARCH... you'll
have a better experience, and you won't end up blaming this
price difference on 'racism' as one reviewer did. too funny!!
although I've been attending, and enjoying, the show for the
last 15 years, this was my first time in the new theatre. every-
thing about it; the stage, the lighting, the sound, and the seating
is much improved. also, with the new location at the asiatique
complex along the river, there are now many shopping and
dining options, so that you can make a complete evening out
of going there. it's also easier to get to than the asia hotel!!
for visitors to Thailand, calypso offers an encounter with one of
the true phenomenons of thai culture--that so many young boys
decide they'd prefer to live their lives as women. rather than
being scorned as they would in most cultures, this choice is
mostly accepted here. many attend school as girls, and often
begin taking female hormones at an early age. this is the origin
of the performers of 'calypso.' while commonly called 'ladyboys'
by tourists, the thai term for them is 'kathoey,' which doesn't
have an exact translation, but is often said to mean a person
born male physiologically...but with a female heart. some re-
fer to them as 'members of a third gender.'
all that being said, it means that terms used in many of the
reviews here are not accurate. these performers are far more
than 'drag queens' or 'female impersonators,' whose forays
into the feminine realm are often temporary, for shows only.
most of these performers live their daily lives as women, and
have outside jobs... as women. a careful examination of my
high-quality photographs below... will reveal that in fact, many
of these performers have undergone various surgical proced-
ures to enhance their feminine characteristics--breast implants
and adam's apple reduction included. 'female figures' have
been achieved through liposuction, and/or hormones,
rather than 'padding.' on rare occasions, a closer look at
photos will reveal surgical scars that are in the process of
healing. many of these performers will eventually have
complete sexual reassignment--a procedure for which
thai surgeons are famous. I GUARANTEE YOU... THIS
SHOW, AND EVENTUAL ENCOUNTER WITH, THESE
PERFORMERS, WILL BE FAR MORE INTERESTING,
IF YOU ACTUALLY KNOW, AND UNDERSTAND WHAT
YOU'RE LOOKING AT!!!! very few things in life, are so
unique, and exotic, yet so accessible.
lastly, I find this show, and these most interesting people,
a fantastic photo opportunity. it's fast-moving, with con-
stantly changing light. master this, and you can photo-
graph almost anything. (I am a retired, professional pho-
tographer, working on a book of world travels) most of
the images were captured from my seat in row one, at
an iso speed of 5000, and a shutter speed of 1/250th
of-a-second, in shutter priority, with aperatures varying
from f5.6 to f11. 'close-encounter' shots were strobed
using 'bounce' lighting. the camera was a NIKON D4,
the lens, a NIKKOR 28--300mm zoom.
I hope this review will help those considering attending
calypso to make the right decision...for themselves. if
you're not comfortable with this...don't go. if you're
curious, by all means do... but understand, please, what
you're seeing. CALYPSO offers you the opportunity to
encounter the exotic...but to do so in a safe, clean, and
high-class environment. be brave...jump on in!!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.