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Wilaiporn Wannaklang

  For someone so physically developed she’s disarmingly soft spoken and full of surprises. We chatted at Vijitt Resort in Rawai – the sponsor of the Phuket Classic bodybuilding competition 2014.

November 2014

Where are you from?
I’m from Lopburi and have been here in Phuket for four years now.

What made you decide to come and live here?
Well, at first I was thinking about working as a personal trainer in Bangkok, Pattaya or Chiang Mai. But I heard that there were a lot of foreigners in Phuket and this sort of work is popular with foreigners. Thai people figure you should not pay for personal trainers! When I came here I thought wow! This is my sort of place; the social life, the people, and everything. However none of the gyms wanted to hire me so I went freelance and now I make good money.

How did you first get into bodybuilding?
Before I started all this I was just 38 kilos and after only three months I started to develop and entered competitions and saw other people’s bodies and thought I’d like to be like that, and I loved the social life.

What sort of diet do you have?
At first it was very difficult as I didn’t know much about anything and people gave me all sort of advice. But eventually I made my own decisions and I discovered that I have a fast metabolism and burn off food very quickly. I can even eat chocolate and ice cream, whereas for other people (who want to stay in shape) that could be a problem. Not for me! But then I thought, if I can control my weight I can do this for other people, too.

Where do you live in Phuket?
I stay around Nai Harn.

Why Nai Harn?
At first I lived near Dao Roong but it was too… crowded and the traffic was terrible. But I started going to Rawai gym and thought, why not live around here? It’s close to the beach and there are many nationalities here and most of all it’s not too crowded.

Do you drive a car? And if so what type?
I’ve only been driving a few months: I drive a Ford as it’s good value. It was a good deal.

What do you like the most about living in Phuket?
Well, there are a lot of foreigners and I learn a lot from them. You could say that I learn something new every single day here. Also the Thai people here accept a lot more than, say, in the countryside. You can see that someone like me is sort of special but Thai people here don’t stare at me like in the provinces.

What’s the hardest/most frustrating thing about living here?
Foreigners who have lived here for a long time but who have not really learned much about our culture. Some people have learned all their Thai culture from uneducated bar girls but what do they know? You can’t teach what you don’t know.

Do you have children?
Yes, the first one is studying in Bangkok at university, while the younger one is with my mum. My husband has passed away.

Are they proud of you?
Oh for sure!

How do you evaluate success?
Well, I have found success through bodybuilding and I think that when other people appreciate that achievement I think that’s success. When I first became a bodybuilder my family didn’t accept it – it was contrary to their traditional view of what a Thai lady should be and they never expected me to be successful at it.

What do you do with your free time, if you have any?
I really don’t have any!

Do you travel a lot?
Yes! I’ve just been in Macau where I competed and won first prize in the Asian Championships.

What’s your favourite place in the world?
Thailand, but I’m open to other places that may be even better. Maybe somewhere in Europe I don’t know, but for the moment it’s Thailand.

Some of Wilaiporn's achievements
1st place - 2012 & 2014 World Bodybuilding & Physique Federation (WBPF) Women Bodybuilding (50kg class).
1st place - 2010 & 2012 Thailand National Games Women Bodybuilding Open
1st place - 2012 Siam Classic Women Bodybuilding Open
1st place - Women’s Bodybuilding class of the Mr. Thailand competition (three years in a row).