Don’t Get Suckered by a Ladyboy in Vietnam: How to Spot Them

This article has been updated for 2020.


If you’ve never dated before here in southeast Asia, then it may come as quite a shock to you when you first get a chance to meet a ladyboy.

On outward appearances they appear feminine and practically indistinguishable from a woman.

And often times you will find that some of them look even better then a real female but don’t confuse a ladyboy with a real woman.

There are some differences, even if quite subtle.

Many men get easily fooled thinking they are dating a real woman only to later discover that their date is in fact a ladyboy and freak out about it.

Unlike in western countries, ladyboys are socially accepted over here in Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand where they have become a normal stable of Thai society and help attract thousands of tourists each year that would love to get a chance to meet a ladyboy.

But Thailand isn’t the only places you’ll find ladyboys.

Vietnam also has their share of ladyboys, although nowhere near quite as many.

Some ladyboys are upfront about their genders as to not lead men on, while others may be more discreet about it.

I remember once I encountered a ladyboy over here in Vietnam from Tinder.

Based on their photos, they legit looked like a real woman which had me fooled at first.

However once I exchanged numbers with them and saw some more photos of them, I suspected that I wasn’t talking with a woman but a ladyboy.

I tried to ask they in a polite way to clarify things, but they denied it. My gut on the other hand told me otherwise.

Upon further digging, I discovered their facebook.

And as expected, my hunch was right!

They were indeed a ladyboy.

Countless stories like this exists for foreigners that haven’t become acclimated to the dating scene here in southeast Asia and can’t tell a real woman from a ladyboy apart.


And that’s where this article comes in handy.

In today’s post, you will learn how to identify ladyboys that reside over here in Vietnam.

What is a Ladyboy?

A ladyboy is essentially a transgender woman that may or may not have undergone sex re-assignment surgery. Pre-op, it’s basically a guy dressed up as a woman with all of his sexual reproductive organs still in tact. Post-op however, the lines become more grey, especially with hormonal therapy being introduced to the mix.


Characteristics of a Ladyboy

Ladyboy’s typically act like a woman in their demeanor. They will wear dresses, makeup, push up bras, and even get breast implants to make their breasts resemble that of a woman. Their speech may sound feminine too, which makes it all the more harder to tell.

With advances in medicine, the ability to detect a ladyboy is getting harder and harder. Most ladyboys that you meet will be honest and tell you right off the bat in Vietnam, however there have been instances where your left in the dark until the last minute.

ladyboy in vietnam on tinder

Signs Your Dealing With a Ladyboy

Although there is no way to be sure whether or not your date is really a ladyboy unless they tell you, the following signs could ultimately help you in identifying a ladyboy and prevent being left in any awkward situations with a ladyboy.

The Offer for Hooking Up Seems Really Easy

Ladyboys can be quite flirtatious and good at seducing men. After all, they do this for a living and have become masters in their art. If you suddenly find yourself in the company of a really hot Vietnamese girl and she seems overly into you compared to your usual experiences with women, then this should be a red flag. You didn’t suddenly overnight become a rock star and get the body of Adonis. Your ego and vanity will be your downfall.

A normal Vietnamese girl typically requires you to date her for a while before she’s willing to give up the goods. A lady boy on the other hand is more open to the idea of getting down to business with a foreigner. Here’s a good rule of thumb, if a really hot Vietnamese girl is suddenly into you and being overly flirtatious with you then she’s either a pro, a gold digger, or a ladyboy.

tinder ladyboy conversation
My friend’s conversation with a unsuspecting ladyboy

Overly Feminine and Overacting

If you pay careful attention, ladyboys often times over exaggerate their actions and expressions. Their voice may be exaggerated and very high pitched, their walk and brushing of the hair may be too heavy. These are not natural movements you see in a female, especially Vietnamese females who are more on the reserved side. If you watch closely, you will notice a subtle yet noticeable difference in their body language and behavior compared to a Vietnamese girl.

ladyboy in vietnam on tinder 2

Wearing Flamboyant Clothes

ladyboy wearing dress at airport

Ladyboys tend to dress a bit over the top when it comes to fashion. If you thought girls could dress provocative, wait until you meet a ladyboy.

We are talking really low necklines, lots of cleavage and skin. They also have no issues being seen naked and about on the streets.

During one of the AFC soccer matches here in Vietnam, there surfaced a video online showing ladyboys stripping down and changing their clothes out on the streets at night during the victory celebration of Vietnam’s win while everyone was cheering them on and watching them change.

They love the attention.

Voice Sounds High Pitched Yet Still Masculine and Hoarse

Ladyboy’s over the years have become quite crafty and ingenious in their ability to hide their gender. Through months and even years of vocal voice training, a lot of ladyboys are able to project a more feminine sounding voice.

However, there is a limit to this. There are some things that money can’t buy, at least not yet. So in the meantime, if you listen really carefully while talking with them, you will notice a high pitched voice that is still masculine and hoarse despite their best efforts to hide it. It will sound off and not typical of a female.

Shoulders and Hands Appear Bigger and Broader

Ladyboys typically have much larger shoulders and hands compared to a real female. Look for broad shoulders on them and also examine their hands. Do the bones look bigger and resemble that of a man?

Also men are more veiny compared to women. How often do you see females with big outward protruding veins? I’m guessing not very often.

Do you see a lot of veins protruding outwards? If you do, it may be a good idea to start looking for other signs that they could be a ladyboy and perhaps even ask them directly.

broad shoulders

The Elbows

The shape of the elbow will look a bit off and not resemble that of a woman. Look for signs of the elbow being more square than normal. Also if you want to further vet your date, perform something called an elbow test. Have your date try to full extend their arms out. If you notice that the arms can extend passed 180 degrees and there is a slight hyper-extension at the elbows then the odds are that your dating a chick. If on the other hand, their arms cannot extend to 180 degrees or it stops at 180 degrees, then I’m sorry to tell you this, but your date isn’t a woman.

Males cannot hyper-extend their elbows the same way as females unless they have some sort of medical condition. If your date is reluctant to do this test, then alarm bells should be going off in your head.

elbow extension test
Greater than 180 degree of elbow extension

The Hips

Women in general tend to have wider hips then men. This allows females to give birth to babies and gives them that hourglass figure that drives men crazy. Men on the other hand have narrower hips. If you notice that your date has very small hips, then perhaps she could be a ladyboy.

ladyboy in vietnam: male vs female hips

The Face

Men have more pronounced foreheads, eyebrows that are more straight, and wider sharp jaws compared to females. This is why sometimes when you look at some ladyboys you can immediately tell its a guy. It’s because their face gives it away. Females have much rounder faces that can look like a heart.

male face
female face
ladyboy with long hair
Can you tell they are a ladyboy?

Presence of an Adam’s Apple

Real girls do not possess Adam’s apples. Only people born as a male have Adam’s apples. If you notice a small bulge sticking out from their neck, then you can be reasonably sure that it’s a ladyboy.

However, with surgery even the Adam’s apple can be removed nowadays, so be careful.

Adams apple

Weird Breast Spacing and Alignment

Remember that ladyboy that I told you about that I met on Tinder? Well her breast spacing was way off and the alignment just looked weird. Normal breasts are typically close to each other, whereas on a ladyboy if they get a bad breast augmentation job, the breast may be overly separated.

weird breasts
Notice the huge gap between their breasts

Taller Than Your Average Girl in Vietnam

The average female height in Vietnam is around 155cm. Most Vietnamese girls that you meet will be quite petite and short. If your date shows up towering 175cm or more than you better be careful and look at the other signs.

As a last resort I would suggest that you ask them directly. Most ladyboys will be honest with you and tell you that they are indeed a ladyboy, however there may be a few that won’t be as straight forward so be careful.

Places Frequented by Ladyboys in Ho Chi Minh City

The following is a list of places that ladyboys like to congregate at in Ho Chi Minh City. If your looking to meet some ladyboys here in Vietnam, these places would be your best bet.


I’ll start with the most obviously place to find them. There is a tonne of them on Tinder for some reason. There will be Thai ladyboys, Filipino ladyboys, and of course Vietnamese ladyboys. Most of them will typically list that they are ladyboys, especially thai ladyboys since its much more accepted in their culture. However be careful because there have been instances where they were keeping men in the dark about their big secrets including me.

ladyboys in vietnam on tinder 3

Thai Friendly

Thai Friendly ladyboys

Thai Friendly is another popular dating app mainly catered to meeting Thai women and ladyboys. However, you will find a few Vietnamese gems on there from time to time as well. Now if your traveling to countries outside of Vietnam such as Thailand, Philippines, and even the USA, you will find a lot more ladyboy members on Thai Friendly.

You can signup for a free account and start browsing members by clicking here.

My Ladyboy Date


I came across this dating website recently which caters to individuals looking to exclusively meet and date ladyboys.

While browsing their site, I found several Vietnamese ladyboy members on there but the biggest draw was the sheer amount of ladyboy members they have from all over the world on there.

You can meet ladyboys from all corners of the globe including developed countries such as the USA, UK, Australia, France, and Canada, all without leaving the comforts of home.

The website has a clean, fast, and simple interface and is easy to use.

If your looking for a dating site that has a tonne of ladyboys to date then look no further then My Ladyboy Date.

You can signup for a free membership to browse around and see if its for, however to communicate with members, you will need to get a premium membership.

Note: This website is only to be used for serious dating and those seeking relationships with ladyboys only and not for casual flings. Your membership may be revoked and cancelled if you do otherwise.

Other Online Dating Websites

Although not anywhere close to the amount of Vietnamese ladyboys that you could find with the previous apps, you can expect to find a few ladyboys on websites such as Badoo, Bumble, Tagged, and Wechat. The find people nearby function in WeChat usually has a few of them. They usually list that they are ladyboys but if your unsure, ask them for more pics or even videochat with them before meeting up just to be on the safe side.

Bùi Viện and Phạm Ngũ Lão street

This area is known as the red light district in Ho Chi Minh City. This is usually where most westerners go to partake in debauchery activities. You can find all sorts of things here like drugs, pros, and even ladyboys if that’s your cup of tea.

bui vien

Typically you will see the ladyboys working in pairs either standing or sitting on a motorbike in the vicinity. Some of them may try to flirt and solicit business with you as you pass them by.

Also be very careful around Bùi Viện and Phạm Ngũ Lão. There have been reported cases of ladyboys working in pairs, luring and then robbing foreigners in that area.

Touristy Areas in District 1

District 1 is where all the tourist usually visit and stay at because they all live in a bubble and are too afraid to venture off to other districts.

This makes it an attractive place for ladyboys to solicit business. Again, expect to see 2 ladyboys working in pairs driving around the neighbourhood trying to solicit business or they may be parked at some busy intersection.

Some common areas that ladyboys typically scout for customers include:

Hai Bà Trưng street and Nguyễn Huệ street.

nguyen hue street


Believe it or not, but there are actually some restaurants here in Ho Chi Minh City that cater to foreigners wanting to meet a ladyboy in Vietnam. One such restaurant is called Quán Thúy Linh located in district 3. The restaurant is well known for their hotpot and cheap prices. While dining here, expect to be served by ladyboy waiters.

ladyboy waiter
ladyboy waiter smiling

Quán Thúy Linh

Address: 239/66A/66B Trần Văn Đang, Phường 11, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh


The following bars have been known to have ladyboys patronizing the place:

Chica Bar

Chica bar

Address: 60 Pasteur, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh

Republic pub

Repubic pub

Address: 274 Đường Đề Thám, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh


If you couldn’t tell whether someone was a ladyboy or not, well now you can.

Compared to the likes of some neighboring countries such as Thailand or the Philippines, Vietnam’s ladyboy population is actually quite small.

You typically won’t run into too many over here unless you go out of your way to find them.

Here’s a recap of how to tell whether someone is a ladyboy or not:

  • The offer for hooking up seems really easy
  • Overly feminine and overacting
  • Wearing flamboyant clothes
  • Voice sounds high pitched yet still masculine and hoarse
  • Shoulders and hands appear bigger and broader
  • The Elbows cannot be hyper-extended
  • The hips are narrower
  • The face is not round and heart shaped
  • Presence of an Adam’s apple
  • Weird breast spacing and alignment
  • Tall height

Whether you’re looking at dating a Vietnamese ladyboy or just a regular Vietnamese girl, you now have the uncanny ability to identify one and can choose to act accordingly.

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  • Reply
    August 28, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Ive only experienced honesty among the trans community in Vietnam. this article makes it seem like a huge phenomenon even though in the conclusion you acknowledge that its not. I think if you really want to be able to spot trans girls than just spend sone time with them 😉

    • Reply
      August 28, 2019 at 10:24 pm

      Most of the ladyboys, you probably won’t see them out and about on a day to day basis. However, when you turn to online dating for meeting girls, that’s when you start to see more and more of them.

      This article is aimed more towards the newbie who doesn’t have much experience in identifying them. If you’ve dealt with them previously, of course they will be a lot easier to spot.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2019 at 10:07 am

    I think you will find most are not scamners who are not trying to deceive anyone. Ask if they are a ladyboy, & they will probobly say yes… you are bound to find out at some point, so why would they lie? Obviously aviod any that do lie.. I would actully apply that rule to anyone, regardlesx of their gendet.

  • Reply
    April 16, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Wow – what an immense amount of rubbish you have managed to type. I am not saying the characteristics are wrong, in fact they are 90% correct … BUT !!! WOW !!! I have lived all over SE Asia since 1985, and I have had plenty of LB friends. I dont mean GFs, as I am married, but friends of family, and friends of myself personally, and many whom I have been sat next to in bars during my travels and just chatted with over a drink or two. Many have been overly flamboyant, some look like men in drag – but still can be VERY attractive, and others you cannot tell the difference between them and women. Although 90% of your points are correct, the fact that you have to write SSSOOOO MUCH on this subject, down to the backward bending of the arms (I am a 1.85m 90k masculine guy, and my elbows bend backwards a small amount, and my pal Chris, who is double jointed, his bend backward a LOT), indicates that you either fancy the hell out of trans-ladies and really need to get into bed with one or more ASAP, or you have an unhealthy and illogical paranoia – because obviously you have spent WAY TOO MUCH time studying them, and writing about them.

    Oh – and I have never met a dishonest trans. I have met some very angry trans, when the have been mistreated, spoken badly about, or discriminated against – generally by idiot westerners who are too stupid to know the difference (no-one should need a guide like the one you write for spotting a trans), or by homophobic prats.

    • Reply
      April 16, 2020 at 12:02 pm

      How can it be rubbish if you yourself said that 90% of it was correct?

      Obviously if your double-jointed or have hypermobility in your joints then it doesn’t apply to you. I’m not referring to outliers here genius.

      Maybe if you actually used your brain for a change then perhaps it would have crossed your mind that not everyone encounters ladyboys in their day to day life and need some help in identifying a ladyboy to avoid awkward situations.

      You clearly haven’t taken your meds for the day.

      • Reply
        August 21, 2022 at 3:02 pm

        Look at the slew of LGBTQ who filled up the comments like no one in their community ever tricks anyone. The old story about not finding out until the hotel room comes from reality.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2022 at 12:41 am

    straight middle-class men often bored with their marriages are so absurd with their transphobia its downright hilarious.
    a transgender woman who has the genitals she was born with and doesn’t have an interest in altering them is not a “man dressing up as a woman.”
    what a ghoulish statement.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2023 at 1:30 am

    This is hilariously dumb.

    Women have Adam’s apples, they just do.

    Women have breasts that are not displays of perfect pornstar cleavage.

    Women have narrow hips, broad shoulders, and even larger hands.

    Yet most of all, who the hell cares?

    What ladyboy is risking their skin by getting into bed with someone who isn’t aware that they are a ladyboy.

    This whole thing is just a crazy transphobic western gay panic primer.

    • Reply
      Viet Kieu Dating
      June 19, 2023 at 10:23 pm

      This comment reads like a ladyboy hunting sexpat that’s still in denial about their sexual orientation. It’s time to come out of the closest pal, everybody knows already 😂

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