Why This Slow-Paced Thailand Destination Shot To The Top Of Our Travel Bucket List

Beautiful beaches, incredible accommodation and authentic experiences.

With just about everyone ready to start travelling again, we can finally curate our bucket list destinations that we’ve been either hoping to tick off, or revisit. Chief among them? Thailand

Known for its stunning scenery and wildlife, cheap eats, friendly locals, and of course, that infamous location from Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Beach, it’s not surprising that Australians are flocking there to soak up the warmer weather. 

While the Southeast Asian destination can vary greatly depending on which part you visit, Khao Lak is a must-see for anyone looking to relax and unwind. Offering unparalleled tranquillity with secluded beaches, snorkelling experiences and incredible accommodation offerings which prioritise relaxation, it’s the spot to be for anyone who is burnt out and in need of a recharge. 

Below, all the best places to eat, play and stay in Khao Lak, Thailand. 

(Credit: Avani+ Khao Lak)

Where to stay

Avani+ Khao Lak

Entering the foyer at Avani Khao Lak is an experience in and of itself. From its sheer expansiveness to the high ceilings and expansive view of the resort, you truly feel like your holiday has begun once arriving here. 

Perfect for water lovers, you have free reign over four incredible pools with its very own beach overlooking the Andaman Sea. Park up in one of the hammocks with a good book or spend time sinking sundowners at the beach house bar. Whatever you do, you’re going to want to spend as much time by the water as possible. 

Gym junkies will find themselves taking Muay Thai classes and scaling the huge indoor rock climbing walls, while the R&R aficionadas will take up residence at the onsite spa. Oh and after you’ve earned a refuel, you’ve got a choice of five dining venues from the wildly generous buffet breakfast to the breathtaking all-window beach club for lunch and dinner. 

It’s one of those all-encompassing places that feels like its own world within a world, so for travellers looking to park up and rest, it’s an amazing offering that has everything on your doorstep. 

Book here

(Credit: Avani+ Khao Lak)

Where to eat

Memories Beach Bar

Memories beach Bar is a crowd favorite for a reason (and it’s not just because of the endless cocktail menu).  A revered hangout spot for locals and tourists alike, you can perch at one of the beachside huts and watch surfers catch waves or make yourself comfortable inside for a real tiki experience with a pina colada in tow.  

Bang Niang Night Market

Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, the Bang Niang market is a favourite for delicious, fresh, local cuisine. From spring rolls to seafood and everything in between, you can sample a range of delicacies to truly immerse yourself in the culture. And, when you’ve had your fill, shop for a souvenir or two while you’re at it. 

7/11 Cheese Toastie

Hear us out. One of the best dining experiences in all of Thailand can be found at the local 7/11 for just a few dollars. Whether you’re looking for a cheap eat or a hangover cure, the cheese toastie is unrivaled in taste and popularity. Sure, it might feel a little strange grabbing a sealed sandwich from the shelf, but head over to the counter to have it toasted to perfection before enjoying it kerbside. Maybe it’s the bread, the cheese or the warm Thailand air, but something about this is truly magic.  

Lucky Restaurant

This friendly joint is a must-visit for delicious food and good vibes. There’s a real range of food here, so whether you’re craving chicken nuggets and chips or authentic pad Thai with tiger prawns, they’re guaranteed to have whatever your stomach desires. Oh, and in case you needed further selling, they’re known to play ABBA. Enough said. 

(Credit: Memories Beach Bar Instagram)

Where to play

Komol’s Rafting

While the word ‘rafting’ might incite images of speedboats and unkempt hair, Komol’s Corner is a true slice of tranquil paradise. With a friendly guide and slow, soothing pace, you can sit back and enjoy a leisurely ride down the river, taking in the beautiful scenery and natural wildlife. With the option to stop for a swim, it’s an amazing opportunity to head deep within the forest and take in the abundance of greenery on offer in Thailand. 

Oh, and if you’re looking to time lapse the entire experience to play it back later (read: during moments of deep stress) then you can buy a waterproof neck strap to keep your phone safe. 

Book here

Nai Mueang Restaurant Cooking Class

One of Thailand’s biggest selling points is the incredible, authentic food on offer, but the chance to make it yourself is even better than eating it (seriously). 

You’ll learn about all the hero ingredients found in Thai dishes, from soy sauce to sugarcane and spices. Then, you’ll get the chance to play with all of these elements yourself, creating a delicious lunch that you can sit down and enjoy afterwards. 

Book here


With an abundance of dolphins, rays and beautiful scenery, taking a dive is a necessity for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Khao Lak in its entirety. There are a range of different beaches available which vary depending on your level of experience, the time of year you’re travelling and what kind of wildlife you’re looking to see. More on that here

Phi Phi Island Tour

The infamous island (also known as Maya Bay)  from The Beach is available to visit. It closed for several years to recover from the sheer number of tourists who descended on its shores, but reopened earlier this year. Known for its pristine sand, shimmering water and breathtaking views of the island, it’s a must-see for anyone who was a fan of the movie. You can check out day tour options here

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