Slow travel destinations to soak in
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Slow travel destinations to soak in

Slow travel destinations to soak in
Khao Lak. Photos: Pattarawadee Saengmanee

As Thailand gears up for the rainy season, Agoda has revealed the list of top Asian cities where vacationers can stay longer and enjoy slow travel. According to Google Trends, searches for "slow travel" have tripled over the past five years as more travellers seek a leisurely pace and meaningful connections on their holiday.

The southern town of Khao Lak tops the list, followed by Seoul in South Korea, the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia, Tokyo in Japan and Siargao Island in the Philippines, according to Agoda's analysis of booking data from the first three months of 2024.

"In a fast-paced world, many travellers desire to go on 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 travellers looking to submerge in a destination, whether it's lazing around in a beach villa or settling in a chic city hotel, the destinations on our slow travel list are great places to start," said Pierre Honne of Agoda.

Khao Lak. photo:

Khao Lak, Thailand

This coastal town is recognised for its surf, spotless beaches and natural attractions to help you relax and ease concerns. In the evening, Phetkasem Road pubs and eateries are excellent meeting spots to enjoy Thai folk music performances or a game of snooker.

Seoul. photo © 2024 THE NEW YORK TIMES

Seoul, South Korea

Although Seoul is a vibrant and dynamic city, visitors can escape the frantic crowd. Buam-dong's sleepy backstreets are home to a distinctive blend of sophisticated contemporary cafes and nostalgic shops from the 1960s and 1970s, such as barbershops and traditional rice mills. The peaceful Baeksasil Valley also welcomes visitors with pure water and a well-preserved forest.

Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

The islands of Perhentian Kecil and Perhentian Besar off the coast of Terengganu in Malaysia are wonderful places to relax and enjoy aquatic adventures like snorkelling and diving amidst colourful coral reefs.

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is a bustling megacity that is hard to see in a single visit. Discover how to live like a local by exploring some of the lesser-known neighbourhoods such as Shimokitazawa for vintage shopping, Yanaka for a traditional vibe, Koenji for alternative music and punk rock, and Sangenjaya alleyway for craft cocktails.

Siargao Island, Philippines

Dubbed the "Surfing Capital of the Philippines", surf spot Cloud 9 faces the open seas and entices enthusiasts with some of the best waves year-round. To discover natural marvels, visitors can use a rented motorcycle, dive into the sculpted Magpupungko rock pools and unravel the mystique of the glowing Hagukan Cave in Sohoton Cove.

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