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Good Life Gurus: Thichakorn Plengpanich, travel photographer and argan oil lover

Bangkok is a city brimming with talented personalities and charming characters who have pushed their way through to really make their mark. There’s no doubt that they’re truly living their best life, and doing it in great style. In our Good Life Gurus series, we explore and ask the city’s millennial tastemakers and cultural arbiters to reveal what the good life means to them, and give us a little insight into how they live it.

If somebody told us we could grow up to be a travel photographer for National Geographic, capture cinematic adventures on our own travel show, found a beauty brand, launch a juice company, and run a plant-based community, our immediate response would be, “how is this even humanly possible?

Everyone: meet the superhuman that is Thichakorn Plengpanich.

The young travel journalist with a background in film is the kind of person who appears to be doing all the things all at the same time, and still shows up to an interview effortlessly cool, radiant, and relaxed. The creative has worked with some of the travel industry’s greats, making a name for herself as not only a Nat Geo explorer, but as a charming ethical lifestyle influencer with a contagious joie de vivre.

Here, we chat to the worldly, creative, and bubbly Thichakorn Plengpanich about what the good life means to her, from being a full-time hustler to cooking Moroccan food at home. Read on for a deeper insight into this good life guru’s “hedonistic way of thinking,” and why everybody needs to sing really loudly in the bathroom at least once a day.

Please give us a little background about yourself and what you do.

Oh, where do we start? My friends call me a hustler because I do a bit of everything. My background is in travel journalism and I used to have my own travel shows. That is what people identify me with the most, but I also do events like festivals and markets. 2020 has been crazy and I have changed my life course a little bit. I finally started my own skincare brand which is something I’ve always wanted to do. I also run what would be the first plant-based community mall in Bangkok. We aim to open at the end of the year.

Could you tell us a little about your travel photography? How did you get into that? 

I have always loved photography. I used to spend hours developing my own photos in the dark room growing up. I would say I got into writing the same time Instagram started becoming a thing, so I started pitching for my columns as a photographer as well as a writer.


What is the story of La Graine Beauty? Who are your customers? What are they like? 

La Graine is something very close to my heart. I have suffered from severe psoriasis from a very young age, and I am obsessed with skincare and especially finding what is right for my skin.

When I met my partner who is Moroccan, I was introduced to the world of natural skincare and what his family uses daily. I began to explore the use of Argan oil more, and realised the huge difference between true Argan oil and what is offered on the market.

The thing about this magical oil is that it can be used from head to toe, and it offers something to everyone. Thereby, our clients vary from teenagers to men to 60+ ladies.


What role do you think both beauty and travel play in living a ‘good life’?

A huge one! Everything is related for me. In order to do my job well, I had to feel good about myself. This is a direct reflection of my skin. I believe that the inner and outer self is definitely related.

My main struggle when I was living out of a backpack was having to fit all my skincare into a little bag. Way later in my travel career, I learnt to mix and match what I have in my bag and use local ingredients. For me, having good skin reflects a healthy body and mindset, and with autoimmune disease like psoriasis, looking after yourself from inside out is the only way to beat it. Often people don’t realise this struggle.

When I feel good about myself, that’s living a good life to me.


What does the good life mean to you? How do you live the good life?

Honestly, I have always had a pretty hedonistic way of thinking. Experiences and happiness always came first for me. For the past 10 years, I have been to more than 60 countries and as great as it was, I eventually grew tired of it. That freedom that I thought was happiness became the longing of wanting to sleep in my own bed and having clean toilets.

So to answer this question, the good life is a life where you get to decide how you want to live it. The freedom to choose exactly how you want it to be.

What are your 5 good life essentials?
  1. Argan Oil
  2. A good pen and notebook
  3. My spices
  4. My Kindle
  5. A camera


What is your self-care ritual?

On a good day, I would do all of the following:

-Drink 3 litres of water
-Scrub my face, body and mask my hair
-Sing really loud in the bathroom
-Cook all day
-Light a candle
-Turn off my phone and read

What do you do to be more sustainable or eco-friendly (in work or privately)?

This is something I really concern myself with.

I eat plant-based 85% of the time (on days where I can’t, I try to make it at least one meal a day), I say no to plastic bags, reuse packaging, compost, shop local, and use ethically-sourced products.

What do you do to keep fit?

I have struggled with the notion of being fit all my life, of having to look a certain way, or weigh a certain number to feel like a belong. I find that true health is when you are comfortable in your skin.

Everyone is different, and our bodies respond differently to thinks, but I find intermittent fasting and rope jumping work for me best.

I also try to fit in some exercise at least 3 times a week. I like to walk — yes, even on Bangkok footpaths.


Where do you go for… the best breakfast in Bangkok?

The Banana Warrior . She has the best cocoa, and, of course, banana bread. Her menu fuels my soul.

Where do you go for… the best date night in Bangkok?

Cooking Moroccan food at home, long talks, then finishing with a night swim.

Where do you go for… the best drinks in Bangkok?

Mod Kaew Wine Bar. They have the best natural wine selection and plant-based burger in town.


Where do you go for… the best place to shop in Bangkok?

For clothes, I only do online shopping now, and I also shop a lot for food. Radiance Wholefoods and Happy Grocers are my fave.

Where do you go for… the best escape from Bangkok?

The Beach! Nature! More Beach! I love Koh Tao and Lipe the most.

Lastly, a word of advice for living the good life in Bangkok:

Eat well, find your crowd that will lift you up, and do what makes you feel good always.

Lisa Gries
Creative Content Director, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.
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