BANGKOK — A dress modeled on the gilded, multi-tier roofs of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, complete with two yak giants, won Best National Costume at this year’s Miss Grand Thailand.
Miss Grand Bangkok, Nutsuda “Bambam” Termjai, took home the 100,000 baht reward at the final round of Miss Grand Thailand on Saturday night for turning one of the capital city’s top tourist attractions into apparel.
Bambam, 20, a third-year student from Sripatum University, stood out among the 77 contestants, each representing Thailand’s provinces, when she literally wore Wat Phra Kaew during the “national costume” round of the pageant held Wednesday night. A golden crown completed her extravagant costume.
“I wanted to showcase the dress to foreign eyes, so I selected the Temple of the Emerald Buddha to represent the capital, which is already well-known to tourists,” designer Art Akarach said.
Bambam ultimately fell short of winning Miss Grand Thailand to Miss Nakhon Phanom, Arayha Suparurk, but the costume contest section of Miss Grand Thailand arguably generates as much interest as the beauty pageant itself.
Although the judges selected the winners, Bambam’s dress also won the hearts of fans, with more than 28,000 likes and 4,000 shares on Facebook. Likes and shares on the pageant’s Facebook page were used to determine ten of the 20 pageant finalists.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha represents the importance of Buddhism as “the nation’s precious treasure” which “harmonizes each region’s customs into a single unity,” according to a description posted on the pageant’s Facebook page.
Runner-ups were Miss Grand Nakhon Ratchasima’s pad mee korat, Kanchanaburi’s carp, Nakhon Sri Thammarat’s “Mangosteen Mountain Queen”, and Ratchaburi’s nang yai shadow plays. The runner-ups were given 30,000 baht each.