THAI FASHION MODEL, THANYA | Sharon Henry
“Bangkok is the best city to live in the world,” declares Thanya Prompat the model of our Bangkok street photoshoot. “We have the best food, best people, easy living, everything!” That statement is not merely patriotic, it’s the informed opinion of a 31 year old Thai girl who’s travelled Europe and North and South America.
“People here have no ego, no [bad] attitude,” she continues. “I was bumping shoulders of people in the street in Singapore and people were like, [pulls a stern face.] But if you bump here, people say sorry even though you are the one who bumped them!”
Thanya is instantly likable; she’s sweet, carries a quiet confidence and has an infectious giggle. She’s also beautiful, elegant and speaks fluent English. Perched neatly in her condo [shared with her beloved cat], seven storeys above the city’s bustling streets, she tells us about Bangkok life.
“I was out somewhere and really badly needed the toilet, so I went to a house and said, ‘please, I need a toilet.’ They let me!” She bursts into giggles. “This city is the only place like that.
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“But, I will be moving country!” [more giggles] Love is luring Thanya to Singapore to get married later this year. “I have to be positive, I might like it,” she says about relocating. “It’s going to be everything opposite to Bangkok. My boyfriend is quite a family man. He worries if I’ll settle but because of love I go there to make a family. We can travel to Bangkok or go anywhere so I don’t care.”
Given Thanya’s stunning looks it’s no surprise she’s a former model. She was spotted at university aged 18 whilst studying tourism & hospitality and asked to do a student fashion show. “This guy is now a number one designer in Thailand. He really liked my face and kept asking me back. So I got to know more people in the business. That’s how I started.”
Caught in the whirlwind of the fashion world Thanya’s studies slipped. “But, I knew in the end you cannot make good money to live on, so I modelled part-time for fun and went back to studying. I now have a Masters Degree.”
Through those fashion ties and her fun personality Thanya is a bit of an ‘It Girl’. “I like going to events a lot, like for Marserati and Lamborghini and movie premieres. Because I have connections I get invitations, and have a strong social group there.”
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That said, clubbing is low on the social agenda; she doesn’t drink a lot. “I can drink to enjoy but when it comes to my limit I stop, I want to look good, not drunk!”
Our eyes instantly flicker to the four bottles of Jameson’s Whiskey sitting on the kitchen shelf. “It’s not mine,” she protests, “it belongs to my boyfriend!” He lives in Singapore and holds a high position in the Special Forces. Thanya fishes out a magazine and proudly shows an article featuring him in squad training. He looks pretty good. I comment on his muscular arms. “Yes, I like tough men. He is very tough and have a very good heart.”
For Thanya’s slim physique, she surprisingly doesn’t exercise or diet. “Actually I eat like a guy! I’m also lazy, there’s a gym here; I don’t go. And I eat late. I think it’s because of Thai food; spicy and not much fat, no butter, because all my friends are also slim and skinny.”
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We tell her we think Thailand has the prettiest girls in the world. “From my experience I think Ukrainian girls are pretty,” she replied, “but then… you are correct, Thai is better! [Laughs]
“I think because Thai girls have the character, like no [bad] attitude maybe, make them look more charming. We’re just nice. Although I think internationally we have to become more tougher.
“Thai people are very flexible, very soft, they have good heart and no attitude, but when it comes to international ways we find it difficult to adapt. For me, if you have attitude you make others unhappy.”
So that’s why it’s called the ‘land of smiles.’
“I have to talk about food if we’re talking about Bangkok. Thai food is the best! And I love cooking.” She offers to make us her speciality dinner; Pad Ka-Prao, a spicy minced pork dish with egg on top. “It is very Thai. Many of my friends say mine is the best.”
I mention that we’ve fallen in love with mango sticky rice. “I have a recommendation for the best mango sticky rice on earth! It’s right next to the Thong Lo BTS station on Soi 38 [best street food], we call it hi-so [high society.] Thai people like high quality, everything nice. There are only two shops, it’s on the left hand side for the best mango sticky rice. I want to go there now just talking about it!”
The Best Place To Stay In Bangkok
Finding a place to rent in Bangkok is relatively easy, finding the right location is the tricky bit. The closer to the BTS [over ground train system] and shopping centres, the more expensive. Thanya’s luxury one bed condo costs 30,000 baht per month [£625] just off On Nut BTS. It includes a communal swimming pool, gym and security guards.
“What’s the worst thing about Bangkok? Traffic!” she says with exaggerated exasperation. “Every single government try to settle this problem and cannot. They’ve increased the tax – no use. It can take two hours from On Nut to Thong Lo [3 BTS stops] in a taxi some days.” A slight exaggeration but we get the picture.
To get about town Thanya uses the BTS and in true city slicker style says, “If anybody wants to meet me out of the BTS area – no! Close to the BTS okay, it’s fine! Also at night I’m scared for my safety. Maybe I think too much.” The most common crime she tells us is the handbag snatch, committed by passing motorcyclists.
Besides Bangkok Thanya loves Buenos Aires, Argentina, “When I travel and see people kiss and hold hands in the street, I always think, ‘this is a happy town.’ I was like, ‘wow.’
“Vieste, Italy has all. In the evening the locals hang out their bed sheets and when you have dinner you see them blowing in the wind – so nice. For me when you travel you need three things; good food, good people and a beautiful place.”
Hopefully Thanya will find that special combination in Singapore. But for now, all three are definitely in Bangkok.