Thailand is a beautiful country with a rich history of strong and important women. Learn about some of Thailand’s most accomplished women.
With so much going on in world health and the news, it’s easy to forget we’re still in the month that celebrates women and all of their accomplishments. The history of highly-important women runs deep in Thailand. It’s important to note that these women go back from the earlier years of Thai history to modern Thailand. Their contributions are as wondrous and diverse as themselves.
An Early Example of Important Thai Women
One of the most potent and moving examples of an important Thai woman was from the 1700s. Her name was Thao Suranari and later given the more regal moniker of Lady Mo. She was wed to the deputy governor of Nakhon Ratchasima. Whereas many women are resigned to a fate of being but mere shadows of their husbands, Lady Mo went on to achieve greatness and secure her place in the records of history.
Her heroics helped save her people in 1826 when Nakhon Ratchasima was invaded by the Laotian King Anouvong of Vientiane, who wanted to seize the people of Nakhon Ratchasima and forcibly resettle them in neighboring Laos. The stronghold had been overtaken, but Lady Mo had a plan. The most commonly accepted version of events is as follows: Lady Mo asked the enemy for knives to prepare food after the Laotian soldiers demanded the women to cook for them.
Rather than submitting to the invaders, Lady Mo secretly gave the knives to the Thai men who had been taken prisoners. The prisoners surprised the Laotian interlopers in their sleep, driving them from Nakhon Ratchasima. King Anouvong’s forces were then pursued by King Rama III and the Laotians were defeated within 3 days of combat and their capital city of Vientiane was destroyed.
Lady Mo set an example of greatness for Thai women, showing the world what they were capable of.
A Community-Driven by Women, Ban Rai Kong Khing
Nestled in the beautiful area of Chiang Mai, the community of Ban Rai Kong Khing is unique in that although having a male village leader, it’s essentially run by women. The male village leader leads in name only as practically all of the decision-making powers are with the women. In all practicality, his wife is in charge and nearly all of the wisest people in the village are women. Visitors to Baan Rai Kong Khing can experience this warm community and immerse themselves into the local wisdom by learning how to cook northern Thai cuisine using organically grown ingredients, the ancient methods of Thai massage, and other age-old traditions passed through the generations.
Those who are interested in supporting this local community and preserving their unique way of life can visit Nutty Adventures who offer a two-day package with the community. Whether it is learning how to make your own herbal compress or experiencing the traditional Thai fire therapy known as Yam Krang, Baan Rai Kong Khing is unlike any other place in Chiang Mai, and that’s all thanks to the women of this one-of-a-kind community.
Leading Thai Women in Health and Wellness
Briohny Smyth is an inspirational leader in health and wellness with over 10 years of experience. Over the course of her career, she has helped countless people connect physical and spiritual wellness through the practice of yoga.
Tireless in her dedication to students and to providing new content to inspire new growth, she has established herself as a shining exemplar of leadership in the health and wellness arena.
Her contribution to health and wellness stretches far beyond the Kingdom of Thailand and has helped people all over the globe.
Another Thai woman who has helped drive Thailand’s contributions to health and wellness is Micky Sivapruksa, the Founder of Flexi Lexi Fitness. It all started when Micky Sivapruksa was pregnant and dissatisfied with the uncomfortable sports bras on the market. She took the initiative to launch her own line of sports bras aimed at making yoga and fitness comfortable for women. She also helps make fitness fun with colorful and inspiring designs on her sports bras.
Many people around the world can benefit because of extraordinary and innovative women like Briohny Smyth and Micky Sivapruksa. These are women to look up to whether you are Thai or not and offer us all an example to follow as innovators of the world.
Food and Hospitality
Pim Techamuanvivit is one of Thailand’s proudest jewels. Her work has done much to help elevate the world’s perception of Thailand’s culinary abilities and prowess. When she was working in France, Pim Techamuanvivit used the MICHELIN guide as her travel guide, consulting it constantly as she dined in French restaurants.
These experiences paid off and instilled her with the skill and knowledge to go on to make her own restaurant, Kin Khao, a success. Her San Francisco restaurant was awarded a Michelin star during one of the most trying periods of her life. The award came when Pim Techamuanvivit
was battling cancer and recovering from one of several surgeries. She attended the award ceremony in a wheelchair saying that she wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
Her four years of hard work on Kin Khao paid off big time and helped establish her as a well-known cook who is respected in Thailand and internationally. The Bangkok native, more affectionately known as Chef Pim, serves as an example of how Thai women can become respected leaders in exciting fields like the culinary arts.
Thai Women and Social Leadership
Thai women have played crucial roles in social leadership. One of the most accomplished of these is Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, the former Minister of Tourism and Sports to the Kingdom of Thailand under the Prayut cabinet.
One of her many accomplishments includes having been a former chairperson at Toshiba. She was educated in architecture and the arts.
Among her most noteworthy achievements came when she was honored as a recipient of the highly prestigious Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World award.
Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul is also the chair of the Thai host committee for the Global Summit of Women 2020. These honors and responsibilities make her one of Thailand’s most accomplished women.
It’s worth noting that Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul is married and has two children. As a married woman with children who has accomplished so much, she serves to remind us that women can lead independent and illustrious careers as well as a family.
Thailand is proud of all of the accomplished and inspiring women that it has produced. It is our sincerest hope that the stories of these magnificent women will inspire you to pursue your own accomplishments irrespective of where you live.
Women have been and always will be a driving force in history. It is vital for you to remember that as a woman, there is no limit to what you can do.