Another hallmark of life returning to normal after two years of the Pandemic, Mister National Universe launched their 4th edition in Thailand, with the host cities being Suphanburi, Hua Hin, & Bangkok.
The competition took place over 9 days, running from 29 May to 6 June. Twenty-two men, each representing his home country traveled to Thailand to compete and bring home glory to his people.
This international pageant for men was founded and is owned by Thai entrepreneur, media personality and the creative director of this Magazine, Ms. Tanya Siri Vijitsomphong. Ms. Vijitsomphong created Mister National Universe as a way to promote tourism around the world with an emphasis on Thailand.
Contestants came from Turkey, Vietnam, Mexico, Northern Philippines, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Crimea, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Brazil, Korea, South Ukraine, Malaysia, India, Iran, Pakistan, Thailand, Philippines, USA, South India, Nigeria, & France.
The men landed in Bangkok on the 29th of May, checking into the Official Mister National Universe Bangkok Hotel, Shama Lakeview Asoke Bangkok. Shama Lakeview is a premium serviced apartment style hotel, ideal for short and long term stays. The Contestants day was filled with individual photoshoots.
30 May saw the men make good use of the large fitness facility at Shama Lakeview, followed by more photoshoots, this one for sponsor Shakira Iconic Bags. Later in the day the men broke up into smaller groups for special activities arranged by Shama to give the contestants a taste of Thai culture. The men learned how to make the Thai classic desert Mango with sticky rice, traditional Thai specialty cocktails and learned the art of crafting lotus flowers.
They were then greeted by Khun Pimornrat Puttayot, Shama Lakeviews Director of Sales & Marketing who presided over the sashing ceremony. At 5pm everyone met on the pool deck for a welcome party.
The next morning, after a hearty breakfast and a little more gym time, the contestants, national directors, national & international media along with the organizing staff boarded the coach and headed to Suphanburi, stopping at Nok Thai Lake for lunch. Next stop was Buffalo Village where the men wore their best buffalo farming attire while being photographed on buffalos. The photos were used for a campaign to save buffalos in Thailand. After the photoshoot there was a welcome dinner for everyone.
Wednesday 1 June, saw everyone board the coach and travel to the neighboring province of U Thai Thani where they visited Wat Tha Sung, the famous Crystal Temple. From there they went to the Sakae Krang Mountain Temple where they took in the gorgeous 360 degree views.
Next it was Bhung Nok Thai, one of the hosts of this year’s pageant. Clad in the style of courtly Thai clothing, the men had dinner and learned how to make a Krahtong (banana leaf rafts), with a healthy competition to see who could make the most beautiful and elaborate Krathong.
Afterwards, they headed out to the lake to float their krahtong’s loaded with their own prayers, hopes and wishes. Loy Krathong is most commonly believed to have developed from an ancient ceremony to pay respects to water spirits and thank them for their bounty.
The following day the men visited a 100 year old market where they bought souvenirs for their family and friends back home, and then stopped at Wat Pa Lelai, a very sacred temple and the symbol of Suphan Buri Province. The Temple is known for granting wishes. After that it was time to head to Hua Hin.
After a 5 hour drive they arrived at the five-star Official Mister National Universe Hua Hin Hotel, the Avani+ Hua Hin, a beachfront oasis with the largest ballroom in Hua Hin. The Avani+ is also home to the first VLCC Wellness Spa in Thailand. Khun Naowarat “Bee” Arunkong, General Manager of the Avani+ was on hand to give a personal welcome as everyone arrived. The men had little time to freshen up before they were whisked away to Heaven’s Kitchen for a special Charity dinner held in their honor. Owner Phet greeted the men and the organizing team.
Friday June 3rd was an especially busy day. The morning started off with a swimsuit photoshoot poolside at the Avani+ and then the contestants traveled to the BluPort Resort Mall where they received a 2-hour Muay Thai lesson at the Legend Arena Fight Zone. Muay Thai is Thailand’s National sport, characterised by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees and shins.
The men then had a 3-hour cruise on the Chantara Pirate Junk Boat where a themed Pirates of the Caribbean photoshoot took place. At the end of the cruise the boat moored in front of the InterContinental and the men were brought on-shore by dinghy where they were treated to an extremely enjoyable welcome dinner hosted by the InterContinental Hua Hin Resort & Spa.
Saturday June 4th started with another photoshoot for official watch sponsor US Master Polo Club & official swimwear 2eros swimwear. Afterwards there were rehearsals for the main event, the Gala Night & Swimwear fashion show held at the InterContinental Hua Hin Resort. The evening saw an overcapacity crowd, mainly women, who were excited to be a part of the international competition and from the noise generated, it appeared they liked what they saw. In addition to the men modeling swimwear, there was also a charity auction with all money raised going to help the plight of Hua Hin’s street dogs. Nadin was the official wine sponsor for the VIP guests & judges.
Sunday 5 June started with the international media interviewing khun Bee, GM of the Avani+ Hua Hin and then closed door interviews with the candidates took place. After completion, everyone boarded the coach and headed back to Bangkok, checking in once again to the Shama Lakeview Asoke Bangkok. From their, they headed to the beautiful Mandorin Oriental Hotel to attend the wedding of one of the sponsors.
After 8 days of traveling Thailand, going to new and exciting locations, the competitions final day, Monday 6 June had arrived. The day was spent rehearsing for the pageant taking place that evening.
Read on to find out who walked away with titles, trophy’s and bragging rights…..