Cabaret dancers create spicy environment at new restaurant in Chiang Mai

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Transgender cabaret performers in Chiang Mai haven’t been able to strut around on stage for almost four months due to COVID-19
Transgender cabaret performers in Chiang Mai haven’t been able to strut around on stage for almost four months due to COVID-19

Transgender cabaret performers dressed in full costume to lure customers to their new Thai restaurant.



Dancers from across Chiang Mai came together to open Reung La Yum on Soi Rajamangala University in Chang Phueak as they’ve been out of work for four months with no firm idea when they go back on stage. Many are hoping it will be in October.

Transgender cabaret performers pooled their money to open Reung La Yum restaurant on Soi Rajamangala University in Chang Phueak.
Transgender cabaret performers pooled their money to open Reung La Yum restaurant on Soi Rajamangala University in Chang Phueak.

So, to make ends meet, the transgender women turned their shared house into a restaurant, cooking up their own spicy recipes including “yum pladuk fu,” (spicy crispy fish with green mango salad) “yum ruam” (mixed spicy salad) and “maha reung la yum” (big dish spicy salad). Dishes start at 40 baht and are available for dine-in or delivery from noon until 8 p.m. daily.


The flamboyant dancers put on their over-the-top costumes July 1 to market their food.

Manfah “Matoy” Sukprakob, 26, said they had considered actually doing cabaret shows, but their house is in a residential neighborhood and the neighbors objected.

They used the opening as a good excuse to dress up and promote the restaurant.
They used the opening as a good excuse to dress up and promote the restaurant.
Trans Manfah, aka Matoy Sukprakob, one of the owners, displays what’s on sale at the new restaurant.
Trans Manfah, aka Matoy Sukprakob, one of the owners, displays what’s on sale at the new restaurant.