By now, it has been ingrained in our brains that when traveling, we need to see as much as possible in the shortest amount of time.

And while that’s a fantastic way to cross many cities/attractions off of our bucket lists all in one go, it makes it trickier for us to actually connect with the local culture and way of living, which is ultimately the main point of traveling.

That’s why more and more people are switching to “slow travel,” which means spending longer on a specific destination in an effort to fully take it in, and Asia, in particular, with its many fascinating cultures and attraction-filled cities is the perfect place to do just that.

That’s why Agoda recently conducted a study on the Asian destinations where people tend to stay the longest and they feel like they never want to leave.

To everyone’s surprise, uber-popular hotspots like Seoul and Tokyo were overtaken by one small Thai village – Khao Lak.

Sandy Khao Lak beach

So, if you, too, want to try slow travel, below, you’ll find everything you need to know about this criminally underrated destination, why it’s the perfect place for a longer vacation and some practical info on budgeting, so make sure to stick around until the end.

A Natural Marvel

While there’s a lot to love about Khao Lak, its main draw has to be the breathtaking nature.

With an out-of-this-world blend of pristine beaches, vibrant green rainforests, and idyllic waterfalls, you’ll get to not only go on typical touristy sightseeing excursions but also get inspired by the incredible beauty that surrounds you.

Aerial view of a beach in Khao Lak

Imagine spending weeks on end lounging on some of the world’s most pristine beaches, surrounded by flora and fauna, and just getting in touch with nature – if that’s not the ultimate immersive travel experience, I don’t know what is.

Khuk Khak Beach, Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park, and Bang Niang Beach, in particular, are not to be missed.

So Many Cultural Sights To Take In

Speaking of immersive experiences, the many, many cultural attractions that give Khao Lak its distinct character will be the icing on your slow travel cake.

Buddha statuettes, silver elephants, dragons, and other souvenirs for sale in the Bang Niang Night Market, Khao Lak, Thailand

A visit to the Bang Niang Market is a must for those truly looking to revel in the village’s culture, which is even more vibrant and colorful than you could ever predict.

If you’re willing to drive a couple of hours, you’ll find that the entire surrounding region is dotted with temples, shrines, and ancient sites that will take you back thousands of years—just take a look at Wat Rat Uppatham or the many wonders of Takua Pa and tell me you’re not left in awe.

Wat Rat Uppatham, Wat Bang Riang temple in Phang nga, Thailand

An Incredible Food Scene That Takes Time To Explore

Don’t let Khao Lak’s small size fool you – the culinary scene is so impressive and diverse that you’ll need at least a couple of weeks to fully understand its flavors.

Whether you’re going for that 100% authentic experience and sticking to food carts or planning to eat in actual sit-down restaurants (which are still pretty cheap), the fiery stir-fries and fresh seafood will never fail to impress you.

Seafood stir fry

Most travelers tend to stick to tried-and-true establishments like Drift Beach Bar & Grill, Pita Stop Khaolak, or Laoleu, and while they’re all definitely worth a try, sometimes the best food comes from places that aren’t even on the map, so I highly recommend exploring.

How Much Can You Expect To Spend In Khao Lak?

With all that said, let’s answer what was probably your first question upon hearing the words “long vacation” – how much will it cost you to stay 2+ weeks in Khao Lak?

I come bearing good news.

Man holding U.S. dollars

Like most Thai hubs, especially smaller, lesser-known ones, this is an affordable, excellent-value destination where you can realistically stay a bit longer.

Here’s what you can expect to pay for some staple expenses:

  • Accommodation – $15-$50 a night
  • Meal for one at a cheap restaurant – $1.9
  • One-way bus ticket – $0.9
  • 1-km taxi ride – $1.5 ($1.1 starting fare + $0.32 for each additional kilometer)
  • Espresso – $1.4
  • Small water bottle – $0.6

The average budget-conscious traveler could easily get by spending roughly $500 a week, so a two or three-week-long vacation in Khao Lak is definitely doable.

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