October 1, 2023


Thipok Saengthian

Thipok has been a Nature Backs Rep since 2020. He is a continuous source of light in our community always supporting others and inspiring with his own adventures all around the world. Thipok grew up in Thailand and was able to visit there for a few weeks earlier this summer.

Get to know Thipok and find him at @punsaengthian.

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Thipok Saengthian

Currently Located

Portland, OR

Go to Snack

Beef Jerky and Dried Mango

Favorite National Park

Canyonlands National Park

Tent or Hammock?


Where are you located and what do you do there?

I have been living in Portland, OR, for the past 2 months and for the next 2.5 months or so. I am currently doing an internship here (a pastoral residency).

After this, I will be back in Louisville to finish up school. I am doing a Master of Divinity at Southern Seminary, which includes the studies of theology, history, philosophy, biblical language, along with the practical outworking of them. 

Tell us about your trip to Thailand this summer.

I actually grew up in Thailand, and I went back this past summer for about 3.5 weeks. The trip was a mixture of everything (visiting my parents and extended family, visa renewal, helping out with a conference). I spent most of the time in Krabi, which is a city in Southern Thailand known for beaches, kayaking, rock climbing, and limestone cliffs and mountains, but also took a few trips to other cities during my time there.

What was your favorite part about Thailand?

Definitely taking a 4-day trip to the ocean with my parents. We went to Khao Lak, which is on the west coast of Southern Thailand, and we just hung out, enjoyed the ocean, checked out new places and new restaurants, and had quality family time. I only get to go back home about once a year so it is always memorable whenever we get to spend time together. 

Do you have any trips coming up?

I am planning to take as many short trips and do as many local hikes as I can during the rest of my time in Portland. So follow along for (hopefully) many more Columbia River Gorge hikes!!

I will also be driving back to Kentucky after the internship. It's a long drive, and I am planning on making it as interesting as possible. For now, I plan to stop at Salt Lake City, Arches, and Canyonlands. Then spend a few days in Colorado and maybe make a drive to Fayetteville, AR, then back to Louisville.

Why do you wear Nature Backs Shirts with the designs on the front?

Because the designs are so cool! And when I hike, the designs get covered up by my backpack (or jackets). One day I decided to just try flipping the shirt around so that it's on the front. Also it's good to be able to see the beautiful shirt when ou wear them. And you can always turn it around to the right way quite easily whenever you take your backpack off to get a proper "Nature Backs" photo!

"My advice for first-time hikers and campers would be to not overpack, but make sure you bring enough water. Also, hammock camping is severely underrated."


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