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    Tropical Punch Tour: Thailand Part 19

    Monday, August 2, 2010
    Bangkok, Thailand

    A plate of deliciously battered vegetables at May Kaidee's in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    A procession of umbrellas in rainy Bangkok, Thailand.

    A cook hard at work at Krua Aroy-Aroy in Bangkok, Thailand.

    I picked up my visa from the Myanmar embassy today. I was so stoked I got the green light, because it can be a somewhat difficult country to enter, as it’s under the control of a military regime. I just walked around and shot photos for the rest of the afternoon. Subjects included heavy rain on the Chao Praya river, motorcycles riding down the sidewalk (as always), hordes of humans under umbrellas battling a downpour and other random street scenes.

    A plate of spicy flat noodles at Krua Aroy-Aroy in Bangkok, Thailand.

    Lately things just don't seem the same. Patpong, Bangkok, Thailand.

    OJ girls on the subway platform in Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand.

    The river taxi stops running at 7:00 p.m., so I jumped up on the Skytrain and rode it to Siam Square, where I boarded bus number 15 and got caught in the most ludicrous traffic jam ever. The bus absolutely sweltered as it sat in one place without budging an inch for a good 20 or 30 minutes. My legs were so tired, I had to sit in the front stairwell because all of the seats were taken. Then it was stop and go for a while until we made it out of Siam Square. Bangkok traffic jams are serious business.

    Noi and Pon from May Kaidee's vegetarian restaurant in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    The entourage brandishes a portrait of the King at a ladyboy cabaret in Bangkok, Thailand.

    A queen enjoys her time in the spotlight at a ladyboy cabaret in Bangkok, Thailand.

    A flamboyant dance routine in at a ladyboy cabaret in Bangkok, Thailand.

    A not-so-tiny dancer at a ladyboy cabaret in Bangkok, Thailand.

    I returned to my usual spot, May Kaidee’s, for dinner. Two ladies who work there, Noi and Pon, told me they were going out dancing after work and invited me along. So, we climbed into a cab and rode over to a local nightclub. As soon as we walked through the door, my eyes, ears and mind got blasted by a ladyboy cabaret in full swing. This is not exactly what I was expecting! Non-stop sing-alongs and dance routines in flamboyant costumes were on prominent display–complete with a live band! The place was packed full of young Thais–both men and women–in their 20s, who were all smiles and having a grand time. And ain’t that what it’s all about? It may seem rather strange to your average straight Westerner, but gay and ladyboy culture is widely accepted in Thailand.

    Roll over photos for captions.
    All words and photos ©2010 Arcane Candy.

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