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Agoda highlights top Asian destinations for slow travel

Slow Travel Agoda

Agoda reveals top Asian slow travel spots, with Thailand’s Khao Lak leading as travelers seek meaningful, extended stays.

BANGKOK, THAILAND – With slow travel being one of the most talked about travel trends, digital travel platform Agoda shares the top Asian destinations for slow travel for longer stays. Thailand’s Khao Lak takes the crown as the tourist destination where travelers spend the most time.

Searches for slow travel have grown threefold in the past five years, according to Google Trends. Slow travel is an approach to travel that encourages travelers to stay longer at their destination, allowing them to create deeper connections with local culture and people, resulting in meaningful travel experiences.

Across eight Asian markets, the destinations with the highest average length of stay are Khao Lak in Thailand, Seoul in South Korea, Perhentian Islands in Malaysia, Tokyo in Japan, Siargao Island in the Philippines, Pekanbaru in Indonesia, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and Ahmedabad in India respectively. Agoda analyzed the travel platform’s booking data from the first three months of 2024 to compile the rank.

In Thailand, Khao Lak is where travelers are spending the most consecutive time on average, with Pattaya and Koh Chang rounding out the top three. When traveling internationally, travelers from Thailand spend most time exploring Angeles / Clark in a quest for a slow travel experience.

Pierre Honne, Senior Country Director, Thailand at Agoda shared, “It’s easy to understand why slow travel is one of the most fascinating travel trends right now. In today’s fast-paced world, many travelers will recognize the desire to use their holiday to disconnect from day-to-day life and form a deeper connection with the people and places they visit. It’s something we love to see and encourage at Agoda, as we are passionate about bridging the world through travel. For travelers looking to fully submerge in a holiday destination, whether it’s lazing around in a beach villa or settling in a chic city hotel, the destinations on our slow travel ranking are great places to start.”

Some of the destinations on the list are also well-known favorites for shorter city breaks, but both the rural and urban destinations on the slow travel rank are worth spending an extended amount of time in. From swimming amidst the rich reefs in Perhentian Islands to having a feast in the streets in Ho Chi Minh City, here are some ways for travelers to gain a deeper local experience in these eight destinations.

Khao Lak, Thailand

Surfing paradise Khao Lak is Asia’s most popular slow travel destination, and for good reason. Its many lesser-known but beautiful beaches and nature spots are perfect places to unwind and let any day-to-day worries drift away. In the evening, the bars and restaurants around Phet Kasem Road are great places to enjoy some live Thai folk music and perhaps even a game of snooker against the local talent.

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, a vibrant and dynamic city, also conceals isolated corners for those looking to enjoy a slower pace. The quiet backstreets of Buam-dong offer a unique mix of classy modern cafes and nostalgic shops from the 1960s-70s, like traditional rice mills and barbershops. The tranquil Baeksasil Valley invites travelers to leave behind the city’s rapid pace and immerse themselves in a refreshing natural retreat with pristine water and a well-preserved forest. Literature lovers can explore Seongbuk-dong which houses the historic Hanok living quarters of famous Korean writers from as early as the 1930s.

Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

Escape to the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia’s quintessential beach paradise off Terengganu’s coast, which offer slow-paced tropical bliss. Where crystalline waters meet soft sandy shores, the islands of Perhentian Kecil and Perhentian Besar make an ideal sanctuary for relaxation and aquatic adventures like snorkeling and diving amidst colorful coral reefs. Embrace the untouched allure of Perhentian Kecil’s Adam & Eve Beach, accessible only by a trek through lush landscapes. In this secluded spot, reconnect with nature’s splendor in undisturbed peace.

Tokyo, Japan

A bustling megacity that is a top global destination, Tokyo is known for being impossible to experience in one trip. That’s why it’s best to slow it down and take the time to immerse in the little pleasures of Japan’s capital. Experience Tokyo’s charms like a local by wandering around some of the lesser-known neighborhoods such as Shimokitazawa for vintage shopping, Yanaka for a traditional atmosphere, and the bohemian neighborhood of Koenji for some alternative music and punk rock. And end the day by grabbing a craft cocktail in a tiny alleyway in Sangenjaya.

Siargao Islands, Philippines

Siargao Island, a serene gem off Surigao del Norte, lures travelers away from the flurry of city life. Dubbed the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines,” its famed surf spot ‘Cloud 9’ faces the open seas and entices surf enthusiasts with some of the best waves year-round. The island’s size notwithstanding, Siargao has an abundance of natural marvels worth exploring. Traverse the island on a rented motorcycle, dive into the sculpted Magpupungko Rock Pools, and unravel the mystique of the glowing Hagukan Cave amid Sohoton Cove’s splendor. Here, even a month isn’t enough to satisfy the lure of discovery – Siargao calls for repeat visits.

Pekanbaru, Indonesia

Pekanbaru, the bustling capital of Riau province on Sumatra Island, beautifully intertwines vibrant city life with rich Malay culture and history. Idyllic locations like Lake Siak and Lake Kayangan offer a leisurely day out on the waters; rent a boat, swim, or simply unwind among the picturesque surroundings. The historic alleyways of Kampung Bandar are lined with wooden houses and welcoming locals. For a cultural experience, the Muara Takus Buddhist temple complex nearby transports travelers back to the past.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Famous for its bustling streets, Ho Chi Minh city pulses with vibrant energy that’s best enjoyed when embraced fully. Step into the rhythm of the locals and experience the city slowing down by enjoying a traditional Ca Phe Sua Da, Vietnamese coffee, in the morning. Taste the culture of Vietnam by indulging in the epic street food variety and then take a break from the buzz and seek solace among a collection of over a thousand trees in one of the city’s oldest parks, Tao Dan Park. Saigon presents a diverse array of experiences to be discovered at a relaxed tempo.

Ahmedabad, India

Ahmedabad invites explorers to take the time to discover its old city lanes, colonial-era havelis, and iconic City Walls. There are authentic flavors to be discovered at Manek Chowk market and there’s solace to be found along the Sabarmati River. A visit to Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram and the Calico Museum of Textiles connects travelers to the city’s history, and legacy of its rich cotton textile industry.

Whether for slow travel, short trips, or multi-destination travel itineraries, Agoda is committed to helping travelers to see the world with great value deals on over 4 million holiday properties, in addition to flights and activities. Deal hunters planning a slow travel trip are encouraged to look out for the many long-stay deals available on Agoda.

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George, in his capacity as an intern, diligently oversees the flow of news, assists in the publication of content, and delves into the strategies of social media distribution. He is currently pursuing his studies in Business Administration at the Athens University of Economics and Business.

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