Thailand has always been a popular destination for tourists and continues to grow every year. There are many reasons to visit the country including its world-class beaches, brilliant culture, and exciting nightlife entertainment. If the latter is what draws your attention to Thailand, then you should know that Bangkok is a hub for entertainment and gets international recognition for its appeal.
You can experience the typical club and bar scene just as with any other major city. But there is one more major attraction that brings many people to Bangkok. Bangkok is famous for its live shows. And there is one type of Bangkok show that sets it apart from the rest: Cabaret.
What is a Cabaret Show?
A cabaret is a form of entertainment that presents a performance in a variety of styles in a club or restaurant while the audience dines in. This type of show has become part of the Bangkok culture. And it is a very popular form of nightlife entertainment in the city.
Cabaret shows can include everything from music, dance, and even drama. Many of the cabaret shows in Bangkok follow a storyline. Some follow the plot of ancient myths while others develop from real life stories and events. With their popularity, any type of cabaret show Bangkok has to offer will provide an amazing experience no matter what your interest is.
Best Bangkok Cabaret Shows
Bangkok is a large city and its cabaret show offerings vary just as much as the places where you can see them. Cabaret shows range in show size. So you can see a small in-house production in a small restaurant. Or you can view a world-class scale cabaret show in a large theatre. The choice is yours! Depending on your taste, you should know exactly where to go to see the best performance for your liking.
Calypso Cabaret Show
Calypso Cabaret Show is one of the largest shows in Bangkok. It’s growth since its creation has landed its relocation to Asiatique The Riverfront along the Chao Phraya River. Asiatique is a major draw for tourists and locals. The riverfront is a former pier with the same name. It has now been converted into an upscale riverside area. Asiatique is popular for its entertainment, shopping, and dining experiences with huge crowds both day and night.
Calypso Cabaret is the premier Asiatique show, hosting its numerous performances in Warehouse 3, the largest venue in the riverfront.
Calypso Cabaret held its first show just over 28 years ago. Ever since each year, the cabaret shows get bigger and better. They attract the best performers around Thailand and crowds consisting of locals and tourists. Now with even more buzz being at the Asiatique Riverfront, Calypso offers amazing shows running twice daily. Their show offerings include many popular Broadway show adaptions and cultural showcases. And you can even spot shows based on famous artists performances such as Beyoncé and Elvis!
What to Expect
If you know anything about Bangkok, you’ve most likely come across the term ladyboy or a transgender female. This is a popular identification throughout all of Thailand. Calypso Cabaret is a Bangkok show that spotlights ladyboys in their productions. Each of the shows put on by Calypso stars a ladyboy entertainer as a way to showcase her beauty and individuality. This is what makes Calypso Cabaret unique from any other form of entertainment you might have experienced!
The Calypso Cabaret show requires reservations and seats guests at dining tables where meals are served leading up to the performance. Once it has started, you will be in for a treat! Prepare to be amazed by the glitz and glamour of the cabaret. Bright and colourful lights, flashy outfits, and amazing performances occur with every showing. The great thing about the cabaret show being live is that you can expect a new twist with every show. So, in essence, you will never see the same show twice.
No matter what Calypso show you decide to attend, each performance is a showcase of music, dance, and fashion. Dramatic stories and historic myths are reimagined as musicals and feature top singers from around the country. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind Bangkok ladyboy show that you can only find here.
The Playhouse Thailand
Playhouse Thailand is another very popular place to enjoy one of the finest cabaret performances that Bangkok has to offer!
The Playhouse Magical Cabaret Show is held in the Bazaar Theatre in the new Suan Lum Night Bazaar district. This district has been recently relocated to its current location on Ratchadaphisek Road. Suan Lum Night Bazaar is another major attraction for everyone in Bangkok for its open night markets. Vendors of all sorts can be found selling everything from food and drinks to an assortment of merchandise and souvenirs.
The new district is still being developed for other nightlife entertainment. So the Bazaar Theatre has opened to revive the popular Bangkok show that is Playhouse Magical Cabaret.
Compared to the Calypso Cabaret shows, Playhouse Thailand has a more diverse offering as far as entertainers. As Calypso is known for their ladyboy shows, the Playhouse Cabaret also holds shows featuring ladyboys in addition to many others. Here, you have a choice to see many different live show types, including singing performances, Thai cultural dancers, illusions shows, and theatre.
The Playhouse Cabaret is great entertainment for the entire family. The broad mix of shows held at the cabaret includes many performances suitable for children to enjoy as much as the adults.
What to Expect
As you can probably image at this point, Bangkok goes over the top with putting on extravagant Cabaret shows no matter the venue! The Playhouse Thailand Cabaret is no exception.
This unique Bangkok show attracts people from all around the world. The performances held in the Playhouse Cabaret recreate scenes and stories from around the world as well. From the theatrical performances to the dance and music shows, each set is appropriately decorated to put place you right in the middle of the act. The elaborate costumes and lights are specially tailored for each show for additional authenticity to the shows.
The Playhouse Magical Cabaret also holds two shows daily. It’s important to take note of the show you will be seeing. This cabaret recognises its global audience, so the shows reflect exactly that in their styles of music and dance. This includes everything from traditional cultural performances to classical ballet, and even hip-hop influenced performances.
The Bazaar theatre is a sight to see as well which makes the cabaret experience that much better. The entire theatre is decorated with fine art. Upon choosing a seat for the show, you have the choice of any viewing point from its panoramic seating options! Although dining is not available during the shows, the theatre houses a bar for drinks throughout the night of the performances.
Nowhere else in the world will you find cabaret shows like those held in Bangkok. Each venue and Cabaret show brings something new to the table and these live shows continue to grow in popularity. One Bangkok show that is quickly growing in scale is the Mambo Cabaret. The Mambo Cabaret is held in a smaller venue compared to the aforementioned cabaret shows but the show is just as grand when viewing it.
As this is one of the newer established cabaret shows in Bangkok, the Mambo Cabaret show is held once a day and features more independent style cabaret shows developed specifically for the venue. The great thing about the Mambo Cabaret is that the shows and performers change every season. Each show includes a variety of styles mixed into one performance to always keep the audience guessing what will be next. You can experience traditional Thai dancing and contemporary styles, to perfected lip-syncing.
The Mambo Cabaret was specifically created to showcase Bangkok ladyboy performers but it’s great entertainment for adults and children of all ages.
What to Expect
Many of the Mambo costumes and set designs resemble those of iconic Las Vegas live performance shows. This should give you an idea of the attention to detail put into holding a show.
To some, ladyboys are a major draw to Bangkok. Mambo Cabaret gives you the perfect experience of seeing Bangkok ladyboy cast showcasing their beauty and performance skills in a broad range of talents. As the shows are developed specifically for the Mambo Cabaret, the performance mixes often include routines and references to both celebrities and famous live theatre plays.
When buying tickets to the Mambo Cabaret show, you have the option of an included dinner, which you can enjoy while viewing the show. This is one of the many Bangkok shows that give you the full cabaret experience in a more intimate setting.
Unlike some of the bigger cabaret shows, the show is not over after the curtains close. Stepping into the lobby, you will have the opportunity to get up close in person with your favourite performers. They are often all gathered in the lobby directly following the show for photos with fans. They will still have the elaborate costumes on so it’s a great chance to see some of the detailed work that goes into making this cabaret shows one of the must-sees while visiting Bangkok.
Getting to the Cabaret
Bangkok has many more cabaret shows scattered around the city, as well as throughout many other cities in Thailand. In case it’s your first time visiting Bangkok, attempting to get to one of these show venues could be a bit confusing. Especially for the ones not centrally located.
Luckily, cabaret shows are popular enough that many hotels offer tour services that will take you directly to a show of your choice and return when it is finished. Hotels that offer this service often provide various deals on tickets for the cabaret shows, either individually or even for large groups.
As mentioned, cabaret shows can either run once or multiple times daily depending on its popularity and show options. Once you find a show that you’d like to experience, it’s a great idea to make a note of the showing times, the location of the cabaret show, and also if reservations are needed. In the busy seasons for Bangkok tourism, you can expect these shows to sell out on certain days, especially for the more popular shows in the larger theatres.
Bangkok Cabaret Prices
Just as any live show held in a performance venue, cabaret shows vary in price just as much as they vary in show styles. You can find shows on a smaller scale from 200-300 Baht all the way to the higher scale of over 1000 Baht. Of course, each of these provides different types of experiences.
Cabaret shows are popular around Bangkok so it’s possible to find a more intimate show such as the Mambo cabaret show that will still give you a great show with a more locally developed performance. On the higher scale, you are able to attend a show such as the Calypso Cabaret, housed in a much larger theatre. Here, you can get a complete experience including dining while viewing and also a range of seat options.
It’s best to look up shows in advance, as it’s possible to find ticket discounts through various providers.
Why You Should See A Cabaret Show
There are many things to see and do in Bangkok, but a cabaret show will give you an experience that you can only get in Thailand! With such a diversity of cabaret shows and venues, you are sure to find a show that you can enjoy.
Some people attend the cabaret shows for the elaborate staging of popular performances. Other people attend cabaret shows for the beautiful ladies (and ladyboys). While some just enjoy a different style of nightlife that combines dining and entertainment.
The great thing about Bangkok cabaret shows is that many of the shows are perfect for the entire family to enjoy. The mix of performances is like watching multiple performances all within one show. With each performance comes to a new twist on the overall story of the show, taking you on a rollercoaster of emotions all while seeing some of the best talents that Thailand has to offer.