Apichatpong Weerasethakul

The Palme d'Or-winning independent film director behind some inspired movies including Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Tropical Malady and Blissfully Yours released his latest film this year, Cemetery of Splendour. The movie was screened at the Cannes Film Festival and is soon making its way to the Toronto Film Festival and the New York Film Festival. It's a shame we won't be seeing it in cinemas here anytime soon, though, as he recently stated that he fears Thailand's government reprisals in response to the film. See our list of 2015's best Thai films.

Apichet "Madaew" Atirattana aka Thai Ban Fashionista

Since images of his high-fashion-referencing outifts made from everyday objects like loincloths and concrete bricks went viral, the 16-year-old from Khon Kaen has gained over 28,000 followers on Instagram. He walked his first fashion show in November and pretty much defined how to be #strong, reminding us that sometimes all you need is a few chicken cages, a camera phone and a little imagination to make it on to the world stage. Check out our interview with him here.

Chat Ubonchinda

In mid-October, the world shared a video of this 44-year-old man from Krabi who helped a Norwegian couple stranded in a deep pit of mud. He took their bags and camera equipment to safety before lying down for them to use his back as a bridge. The original video of his selfless act has now accumulated over 1.7 million views on YouTube—with the best bit probably being him walking away with ease through the mud afterwards. 

Chutima Sidasathian

The Thai reporter from Phuketwan news, along with her Australian editor, Alan Morison, made headlines this year after publishing an article related to human trafficking concerns around the Thai Navy. The two were found not guilty by court authority in September—wonderful news in an otherwise bleak year for press freedom.

Mutita Chuachang

Credit: Poakpong

Another woman making us proud from the journalism world is this 33-year-old who recently won the 2015 Kate Webb Prize by Agence France-Presse (AFP) for her reporting on Thailand's royal defamation law as well as other human rights abuses in the country. We salute her for speaking out about such controversial subjects in her reporting. Read our interview here, where she disccuses her thoughts on journalism in Thailand. 

Thailand Women's National Football Team

This year saw the first time in history that a Thai football team made it to the FIFA World Cup. The team, led by captain Duangnapa Sritala, headed to Canada in June as one of the four Asian teams in the competition, and made it to the group stage. Fingers crossed that we'll see the men's team follow in their footsteps in 2016. 


Thanaruek Laoraowirodge 

The man behind the Isaan-style street food restaurant Somtum Der saw his New York branch of the same restaurant decorated with a Michelin star this year, alongside another Thai restaurant specializing in drinking food, Uncle Boons. Laoraowirodge is also the name behind Supanniga Eating Room (soon coming to Sathorn Soi 10 with a second branch) and the growing restaurant empire Minibar Royale.