Ah, the ubiquitous ladyboy. An almost mythical creature of South East Asian descent. Here is the scenario:
You’re in Apocalypse Now, a nightclub that has been an institution in this city since the days when American soldiers were stationed in Saigon. You notice a Vietnamese woman who initially strikes you as beautiful. She is tall, unusually tall for a Asian woman. Upon further investigation, you notice what appears to be an Adam’s apple. Hmm…
The current Jet Set cast is all-female, which means we have a different perspective on life in Saigon than the first Jet Set season which had an all-male cast. Obviously, neither ladyboys nor the Vietnamese sex industry play much of a role in our lives, but they are a visible part of daily life. Prostitution in all its forms is blatant and unconcealed. One of the more memorable moments was sitting near the ATM next to the Go2 bar and watching as hookers led foreign men to the bank machine to withdraw cash for the evening. And then there’s the ladyboys, who put their own “special” twist on the prostitution situation. Here is my favourite ladyboy picture so far – you be the judge:
Not too shabby, right? And if you’re looking for “accommodation”, it comes very affordably:
For the record, 60,000 dong is about $3 (per hour). According to a reliable source, an hour with a prostitute in a brothel starts at $10 per hour. For $25, you can have a women for the whole night, and she’ll even make your bed and cook you breakfast in the morning. Ladyboys come even cheaper. With the exception of Thailand and Amsterdam, I’ve never seen it on display at obviously as it is here. The sex industry itself is a draw for many Western male travellers looking to have a little “fun” on their vacation.