Known for the beautiful smiles of its ladies, Thailand is home to countless beauty queens. Several pageants are held every year, and the winners of these competitions represent the country on the world stage – such as Miss Universe, Miss World, and Miss Earth.
There are three beauty pageants in Thailand that command the most public attention- Miss Universe Thailand, Miss Thailand, and Miss Thailand World. In this article, you will learn everything about Miss Thailand and Miss Thailand World- from the history of these competitions, how the winners are chosen, and who took the crowns (and when).
Without further ado, let’s dive in, starting with Miss Thailand!
History of Miss Thailand
The first Miss Thailand beauty pageant was on December 10, 1934, in Bangkok, Phra Nakhon District (1). Back then, the name of the contest was known as ‘Miss Siam’ or ‘นางสาวสยาม’ (Nang Sao Samyam).
Miss Thailand winners used to represent Thailand internationally in the Miss Universe competitions. While the ones who placed as 1st runner-up was chosen to present at Miss Asia Pacific International (1). This was the case until 2000, when Miss Thailand Organization lost the licenses to Miss Universe Thailand. So, the last Miss Thailand who competed in the Miss Universe competition was Apisamai Srirangsan- the winner of Miss Thailand 1999 (1).
Fun fact 1:
Apisamai Srirangsan is now a doctor and has been back in the limelight recently- this time as a spokesman for Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration, helping the country overcome the pandemic.
Fun Fact 2:
COVID-19 in Thailand also brought another former Miss Thailand back into the spotlight. This time, no other than Ms. Wanee Sakuldoem Laokiat, 100-year-old Miss Siam 1935 (the 2nd winner of Miss Thailand). Photos of her timeless beauty went viral when she was spotted getting her vaccine.
How Many Miss Thailand Winners Have There Been?
There have been 53 winners of the Miss Thailand competition since the pageant was first held in 1934. And among these winners- two have gone on to be crowned Miss Universe (in 1965 and 1988.)
In 2019, Miss Thailand winner Sireethorn Leearamwat won the title of Miss International 2019, bringing home another title for Thai beauty queens on the world stage. As for the less recognized international competitions, two Miss Thailand have won the Miss Asia Pacific title- in 1988 and 1997.
A Timeline of Significant Miss Thailand Events (& Issues)
Over the decades, the Miss Thailand competition has encountered several unexpected issues, which have led to the cancellation or postponement of the beauty pageant in particular years.
Below are the years in which the Miss Thailand pageant was not able to run and the reasons why:
Due to World War II and the passing of King Ananda Mahidol in 1946, the pageant was not held for seven consecutive years.
In 1949, a coup attempt, known as ‘The Palace Rebellion,’ occurred, and the government declared a state of emergency in February 1949 (2). Therefore, there was no Miss Thailand that year.
Due to political instabilities and coups happening, no Miss Thailand pageant was held for another extended period- this time lasting nine years.
No competition was held in 1970 for reasons related to political and economic issues.
This is the most prolonged period the Miss Thailand pageant was not held- this time for over a decade (11 years.) This is due to the uprisings in 1973 and the political reforms (another coup) that followed (3).
In 1996, princess Srinagarindra, the mother of King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII) and King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), passed away. As the country mourned over the loss of the then King’s mother, the Miss Thailand competition was canceled.
On December 26th, 2004, a deadly tsunami hit the southern part of Thailand – including Phuket, Krabi, Ranon, and the Phi Phi islands. Approximately more than 8,000 people were announced dead or missing (4). There was no Miss Thailand competition in 2005 while the country was in national mourning.
Due to the political conflicts following the Thai general elections, no was no Miss Thailand in 2011.
In 2014, the current prime minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, led another military coup. Because of the aftermath of this coup, no competition was held in 2015. The pageant continued in the following year, and Thanaporn Sriwirach was crowned Miss Thailand 2016.
Due to the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), the country went into a mourning phase. No celebrations or events were held in the country in 2017 and 2018, resulting in no Miss Thailand competitions.
As Covid-19 hit the country pretty hard in 2021, no pageant was held that year.
Recent Winners of Miss Thailand
Miss Thailand 2022
Name: Manita Duangkham Farmer
The current reigning beauty queen is Manita Farmer, the first half-Thai to be crowned as Miss Thailand (5). This Thai-American beauty queen was born and raised in Phuket. She graduated from Bangkok University with a first-class honors bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts (6).
Before becoming Miss Thailand 2022, Manita competed in the Miss Grand Phuket 2017 competition and was the first runner-up. In 2018, Manita participated as a contestant in Miss World Thailand 2018 but unfortunately, she could only reach the Top 12 (6).
However, Manita did not give up and continued pursuing her passion for becoming a beauty queen while volunteering as a teacher at a Bang-Phai-Nat school in Nakhon Pathom province. This year, Manita beat 24 other contestants and was crowned the 53rd Miss Thailand (6).
As a Miss Thailand, Manita also became the ambassador for tourism and culture and is expected to carry out her duties to promote Thailand (5).
Miss Thailand 2021
There was no official Miss Thailand in 2021, as the competition got canceled due to Covid-19.
Miss Thailand 2020
Name: Natthapat Pongpraphan
Province: Nakhon Pathom
A representative from Nakhon Pathom province, Natthapat, was 27 years old when she won the title of Miss Thailand 2020. Natthapat also participated in other beauty pageants before becoming the Miss Thailand 2020.
Natthapat was a contestant for Miss Grand Thailand 2017, where she was placed within the Top 20 and later participated in Cosmo World 2017, in which she was chosen as the winner. In 2020, Natthapat joined Miss Universe Thailand as a contestant and finished in the Top 20 (7).
After winning the crown for Miss Thailand 2020, Natthapat wrote on her social media that she believes her constant effort and hard work led to her winning the title. Also, she is very grateful for achieving her dreams and will keep working hard to make the people of Thailand proud (7).
As for her personal life, Natthapat is a graduate of the Faculty of Science of Geosciences at Mahidol University’s Kanchanaburi Campus. She is a firm believer in giving back to society and regularly participates in community-oriented activities and projects for animals and the environment (7).
Miss Thailand 2019
Name: Sireethorn ‘Bint’ Leearamwat
Sireethorn, or ‘Bint’ as her nickname goes, is the winner of Miss Thailand 2019. She is also the first Thai beauty queen to win the title of Miss International. Bint is the first Thai representative to win at one of the big four international beauty pageants since 1988- when Bui Simon was crowned Miss Universe (8).
During the competition for Miss International 2019, Bint’s positive attitude and active participation in friendship activities around Japan won her widespread appraisal. Besides her beautiful appearance, Bint was also praised for her continuous positive influence on her surroundings. She was highly praised by not only the judges but also by her fellow contestants.
As a result, Bint won the title of Miss International 2019, and proudly raised Thailand’s flag as the first Thai national to do so (9). Being born in 1993, she also holds the record for being the oldest winner of Miss Thailand at 25 (8). Apart from being a pageant queen, Bint worked as a pharmacist (8).
Miss Thailand World
Miss Thailand World is another famous beauty pageant in the country. As the name indicates, the winner gets to represent Thailand at Miss World. Miss World should need no introduction, but it is one of the four major international beauty pageants if you’re not familiar.
In 1985, the rights to host the Miss Thailand World pageant (and send the winner to represent Thailand at Miss World) were given to BEC-Tero Entertainment Pcl. Parnlekha Wanmuang from Bangkok was chosen as the first Miss Thailand World for that year (10). Like Miss Thailand, the winner of Miss World Thailand is selected among the contestants representing their provinces.
Hall Of Fame for Thailand Beauty Queens at Miss World
Over the years, Thailand has had a decent performance at Miss World. In fact, several Miss Thailand World winners have won various awards.
Here are the years and the awards that Thai participants have won in the Miss World pageants:
Prathumrat Woramali won the Queen of Asia Award and was also chosen as the 3rd runner-up at Miss World 1989 in Hong Kong.
Methinee Kingpayhom won the Queen of Asia Award in the Miss World 1992 pageant.
Patinya Thongsri became the first Thai representative to win the Miss Personality award at Miss World.
Tanya Tiana Suesuntisook was chosen as the Miss Personality and was also the 4th runner-up for Miss World 1997.
Lada Engchawadechaslip was awarded Miss Photogenic in Miss World 2001.
Sirinda Jensen was the 1st runner-up for Miss Thailand World 2005. She competed in Miss World 2005 after the Miss Thailand World 2005 winner, Atchara McKay, resigned. At Miss World 2005, Sirinda won 2 special awards- Miss World Sport, and the Continental Group Award for the Asia Pacific region
Nonthawan Thongleng won the People’s Choice award for Miss World 2014 and was also one of the Top 10 finalists.
Nicolene Pichapa Limsnukan (left) is perhaps the most decorated Miss Thailand World winner. She won a huge nine special awards at Miss World 2018, including the Queen of Asia title, winner for Head to Head challenge Round 1 and 2, winner for Global Vote, and winner for Opening Dance of the World: Flag Routine. It gets better; she was also the runner-up for Miss World!
Winners Of Miss Thailand World
Miss Thailand World 2020 and 2021
There is no official Miss Thailand World for 2021 and 2020 as the competitions were canceled.
Miss Thailand World 2019
Name: Narintorn “Grace” Chadapattarawalrachoat
Province: Pathum Thani
Placement: Top 40
The latest Miss Thailand World winner is Narintorn Chadapattarawalrachoat, who took the title in 2019; there were no competitions in 2020 and 2021.
Nicknamed ‘Grace,’ this beauty queen is from Pathum Thani province. She was a fourth-year Fine and Applied Arts student at Thammasat University when crowned the Miss Thailand World 2019 (11). When she first started competing for Miss Thailand World, Grace received some criticism as some said she was “too chubby” (11). But she worked hard on herself and proved a worthy title winner.
After winning the title, Grace started her campaign for mental health, which is called ‘Let Me Hear You.’ This volunteer program focuses on psychological counseling, especially on the issues related to depression. Grace explained decided to raise mental health awareness because she wants society to better understand people struggling with psychological problems. To accept them instead of looking at them with disgust (11). Grace competed at Miss World 2019 pageant and placed in the Top 40.
Miss Thailand World 2018
Name: Nicolene Pichapa Limsnukan
This Thai-American beauty queen has had a long history of pageant experiences, even before joining the Miss Thailand World competition in 2018. Nicolene started her pageantry career in the 2014’s Miss Thai New Years USA competition. She went on to win the title and the special awards for Best Thai Costume and Miss Sport Outfits.
As a winner, Nicolene represented Thailand in Miss Teen Asia USA 2014 pageant and, again, won the title. Moreover, she won special awards for Best National Costume and Miss Congeniality- making her a well-known beauty queen among pageantry fans.
In 2018, she competed in Miss Universe Thailand 2018, and being a crowd’s favorite; she won the People’s Choice Award. Soon after placing within the Top 10 finalists at Miss Universe Thailand, Nicolene joined Miss Thailand World 2018 and won the crown (12).
These experiences led Nicolene to become the first Thai representative (in almost 70 years) to win the runner-up title at Miss World (13). As mentioned above, Nicolene also won 9 special awards at Miss World 2018 pageant, making her the most awarded Miss Thailand World.
Miss Thailand World 2017
Name: Patlada Kulphakthanapat
Although there was no Miss Thailand World competition in 2017, the first runner-up from the 2016 competition, Patlada Kulphakthanapat, was chosen to represent Thailand at Miss World 2017.
Patlada was born in 1992. She is a graduate of Siam University with a degree in Communication Arts and is a famous Thai model (15). Before joining the Miss Thailand World pageant, Patlada participated in Elite Model Look Thailand 2014 contest and won the title (14). In 2016, she was selected as the runner-up for Miss Thailand World, while Jinnita Buddee picked up the crown.
In 2017, there was no Miss Thailand World competition as the country mourned for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX). To send a representative to Miss World 2017 competition, Patlada was officially appointed as the country’s representative to compete in the finals (15).
Miss Thailand World 2016
Name: Jinnita Buddee
Province: Chiang Rai
Placement: Top 20
Jinnita Buddee was already considered a strong bet and fan favorite, even before winning the Miss Thailand World 2016 title officially. Many fans agreed that Jinnita has all the right attributes for a beauty pageant queen; she is charming, a show-stealer, and a strong woman who stays true to herself when being a beauty pageant (16).
And as expected by many, this northern beauty from Chiang Rai battled it out among 29 other contestants at the Miss Thailand World 2016 and reigned victoriously. She then became the country’s representative for Miss World 2016, where she finished in the Top 20 (17).
Other Beauty Pageants in Thailand
Aside from the two competitions explained above and the Miss Universe Thailand, other beauty pageants in Thailand occasionally make the headlines.
For example, in 2015, Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015 made international headlines when a photo of her kneeling and paying respect to her mother in front of dirty rubbish bins while wearing her tiara and sash (18).
Then-17 years old, Khanittha ‘Mint’ Phasaeng, was raised by her mother, who collected and sorted rubbish. When she finally won the crown as Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015, Khanittha showed her gratitude towards her mother by kneeling in front of her mom (and the dirty trash bins), as this is the highest form of paying respect in Asian culture (18).
Another beauty pageant winner also made headlines, but this time it was not for a good reason. Arayha ‘Coco’ Suparuk became a hot topic among netizens when she was crowned the Miss Grand Thailand 2019. In a now-deleted post, Coco posted a meme calling Catriona Gray – Miss Universe 2018, ‘fat.’
This ignited netizens’ rage as they believed someone who body-shamed another woman (and a Miss Universe winner at that) should not be a representative beauty queen for Thailand.
Despite the criticisms and anger toward Coco, the president of Miss Grand organization, Nawat Itsaragrisil, justified Coco’s victory (19). Coco ended up as the second runner-up at the Miss Grand International 2019 competition (20).
As the world returns to normal, Thailand’s beauty pageants are sure to light up the country’s showbiz scene once again. With the changing beauty standards and renowned grand and glamours for the national costumes and evening gowns of previous Miss Thailand winners, it is for sure that many beauty pageants fans are excited to see what these future beauty queens from Thailand would bring to the international pageantry scene.
Want to learn more about Thailand’s beauty queens? Check out our article on Miss Universe Thailand, brace yourself for some scandals too!
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11. Thaitrakulpanich, Asaree. Miss Thailand World Crowned, Will Campaign for Mental Health Awareness. Khaosod English. [Online] August 5, 2019. https://www.khaosodenglish.com/life/2019/08/05/miss-thailand-world-crowned-will-campaign-for-mental-health-awareness/.
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16. Angelopedia. Miss Thailand World 2016 Top 10 Hot Picks. Angelopedia. [Online] [Cited: May 6, 2022.] https://www.angelopedia.com/News-In-Picture/Miss-Thailand-World-2016-Top-10-Hot-Picks-115/Jinnita-Buddee-for-Miss-Thailand-World-2016-1326.html/.
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18. Mailonline, Chloe Lyme For. Touching Moment Thai Beauty Queen Kneels Down In A Glittering Tiara And Sash To Thank Rubbish Collecting Mother Who Raised Her. Daily Mail. [Online] October 28, 2015. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/peoplesdaily/article-3293212/Thailand-s-beauty-Miss-Uncensored-News-2015-thanks-mother-success-touching-way.html/.
19. Thaitrakulpanich, Asaree. Miss Grand Thailand 2019 Ignites Netizen Rage For Calling Catriona Gray ‘Fat’. Khaosod English. [Online] July 15, 2019. https://www.khaosodenglish.com/life/entertainment/2019/07/15/miss-grand-thailand-2019-ignites-netizen-rage-for-calling-catriona-gray-fat/.
20. Thaitrakulpanich, Asaree. Miss Grand Thailand 2019 ‘Coco’ Finishes As 2nd-Runner Up. Khaosod English. [Online] October 28, 2019. https://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/2019/10/28/miss-grand-thailand-2019-coco-finishes-as-2nd-runner-up/.