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Photos: Martin Perry, OutThere.
Features

Woody Milintachinda on Thailand’s best festivals and vacation spots

Thai TV personality Vuthithorn ‘Woody’ Milintachinda opens up about his life, his work, and his love for Thailand.

What led you to your career?

I was going to be a diplomat like my dad, but it never happened. 

I chose show business as a DJ and VJ for MTV, and then I created my own production company. 

I was behind the scenes for quite a few years until one day I realised that I had to be in front of the camera. 

So, knowing I was born to talk, I created Thailand’s first intense talk show. 

Ever since then, we’ve been creating content, from TV shows and short films to variety shows and music festivals. 

What drives you?

I love to create. I have ADHD, so when I was growing up I wasn’t listening to my teachers. 

I was sitting and imagining all these things, imagining myself doing all these things, and imagining the possibilities of making something happen. 

For instance, six years ago, I was imagining that maybe we could take our Thai New Year’s festival, the Songkran event where we splash water in the streets, and make it become an international music festival with international DJs – big names like David Guetta – flying to Thailand and 80, 000 attendees. 

So I spent an entire year going around Thailand enrolling people, even the Tourism Authority of Thailand. And it finally happened. 

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Now the S2O Songkran Music Festival is the only water music festival (and one of the largest music festivals) in the world. 

We’re now also holding this music festival in Taiwan, in Tokyo, and hopefully we’re going to be expanding to Korea. So it all begins with imagination.

What’s the inspiration for these events?

I’m Thai and I love my country. I wish everybody could come here to live or to spend their time. 

So for me, it’s about creating more shows or events for people to come. 

Even S2O isn’t just about the Thais; it’s now become so diversified that we have people from all over coming to the festival. It’s the same as Circuit Festival Asia

So I don’t look at it from just an LGBT+ point of view; I look at it from a worldwide point of view where people from all walks of life come to taste different parts of Thailand. 

What about Pride Thailand?

From my own understanding, I think Thais would like to go to Pride in New York or Sydney and yet they don’t want to go to Pride in Thailand. There just aren’t enough people pushing for it. 

I asked my friends and they said that we have pride every day so we don’t need to come out celebrating in the streets. 

Growing up in New York, every day was a question of would I get beat up. I had to go to Pride in New York because I needed my rights. 

Here in Thailand, we might not have equal rights but we’re okay. 

So the LGBT+ community isn’t screaming and shouting for Pride.

What do you love most about Thailand? 

The food! Everywhere you go, you see food, and you can eat any time of the day. 

I go back to New York sometimes, and at 2 am or 3 am it’s difficult to find food other than at fast food chains. 

But here in Thailand, there’s street food everywhere. I love it. 

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More than that, it’s beautiful everywhere. It’s in my bloodstream and it resonates in my mind’s eye.

The people, the culture, the traffic jam – it’s all beautiful. 

And I think the beauty of the country creates the beauty in the hearts of the people. 

After being in Thailand you just want to live life beautifully.

How would you spend 48 hours in Bangkok?

I would go on a long tail boat on the river and go to Bangkok Noi, which in Thai means ‘Little Bangkok’. 

I would go to the Grand Palace for sure – that’s a no-brainer – and near the Grand Palace there are a few piers where you can hire a long tail boat and go into the canals that make you understand why Bangkok is kind of like the Venice of the East. 

Then I would go to watch the sunset at Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) and hop over to Chinatown and enjoy the food. 

Finally, I would hop on a bus or cab or tuk-tuk and go around the city. 

Every little street has its own details, and there are hidden gems everywhere. 

What other parts of Thailand do you love?

I love Koh Samui because when I go there I feel like I’m in Europe; I hear people speaking English and German and French. 

I also love Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Koh Samet. 

[Koh Samet] is 220 km southeast of Bangkok. 

If you go to any beach on Koh Samet, you feel as if you’re in one of the most beautiful islands in the world. The water is crystal clear, blue, and so beautiful. 

I also love Chiang Rai for the good weather and happy people. It’s an easy-going culture. 

So everything is kind of slow, which is great in life where we sometimes get too fast.

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