Ashok, who shot an 11-under-par 61 on Saturday, slumped to a final-round 77 on the par-72 West Lake International Golf Course in Hangzhou for silver.
LPGA Tour rookie Arpichaya’s final-round 68 took her to 19-under par and victory over Ashok by two strokes.
“When I hit the second shot on 18 I felt it was straight, but when I saw it land on the green, I cried a little bit,” said the world number 206, who was mobbed by her equally emotional Thai teammates after holing the final putt.
The 21-year-old’s four-under round also sealed the women’s team gold for Thailand on a 34-under aggregate, six clear of South Korea, with China taking bronze.
South Korea’s Yoo Hyun-jo, who plays on the domestic KLPGA Tour, won the individual bronze after China’s world number 13 Lin Xiyu tumbled off the podium with a one-over 73.
Yoo shot the round of the day, a seven-under 65, to finish three clear of Lin.
The top-ranked player in the field, China’s world number two Yin Ruoning, fell out of the medal hunt after a third-round 74 on Saturday and finished in a tie for eighth.
Ashok struggled all round and finally collapsed completely after her fourth bogey of the day at 15.
Her next tee shot on the short 16th found water. It led to a double-bogey five and her seven-shot overnight lead had vanished.
“It wasn’t a good day and I played bad,” Ashok said.
She said that it was when her ball found a watery grave at 16th that the gold slipped out of her hands.
“I still felt I was in it at 16, but that one shot threw me out of it because when you hit the water it’s just a penalty shot.
“There’s no way of coming back from that.”
Arpichaya birdied the next to have a two-shot cushion going up the last that she never looked like relinquishing.
“After the putt there were a few more tears,” said Arpichaya.
The men’s individual and team competitions will conclude later Sunday, with Hong Kong’s 22-year-old rookie pro Taichi Kho holding a three-stroke overnight lead going into the final round.
Kho, who spreadeagled the field after opening rounds of 62 and 60, saw his six-shot lead whittled back to three after a third-round 70 left him on 24-under par.
Leading the chasers were Taiwan’s Hung Chien-yao on 21-under and South Korean amateur Jang Yu-bin a stroke behind in third.
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