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Stray Asia - Lot

For travellers who have the time, The Lot is a comprehensive trip through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, starting in Bangkok and finishing in Hanoi.

Discover the sights, sounds and smells of Bangkok, travel north via amazing Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai, before crossing the border to Laos at Houay Xai for a journey by boat through lush farmland and rugged mountains to the riverside village Ban Pak Nguey.

Experience mountains and vibrant cultures in Northern Laos and amazing wilderness and wildlife in the South; follow narrow mountain roads to scenic rivers and waterfalls, UNESCO World Heritage sites, friendly remote villages, underground rivers and caves. 

Head into Cambodia to explore ancient temples, pagodas and palaces, snack on fried spider or enjoy a Khmer BBQ. Chill out on the beach sanctuary of Koh Tunsay, visit the infamous Khmer Rouge S21 prison and Killing Fields. Cycle or trek the Bokor National Parks and get to know the locals in a remote village homestay. 

Explore Vietnam's buzzing cities, travel through stunning mountain scenery, experience Vietnamese hospitality and stay in a local ethnic homestay. Explore newly discovered caves, cycle through rice paddies, visit National Parks, swim in secret swimming spots, traverse tunnels from the Secret War; and relax on some of Asia's finest beaches.

You’ll want to hop off and explore… the beautiful French colonial towns of Luang Prabang (Laos) and Hoi An (Vietnam), the ruins of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap (Cambodia), and the trekking and hippie home of Pai around Chiang Mai (Thailand).



  • Ayutthaya: Explore the incredible UNESCO World Heritage temple ruins by bicycle and boat.
  • Chiang Mai: An adventure seeker’s paradise. Zipline with Flight of the Gibbon, take a cooking class, trek in the jungle, get a massage, do Muay Thai training, and shop at the weekend night market.
  • Chiang Rai: Home of the elaborate White Temple.


  • Ban Pak Nguey: Experience village life, attend a Baci (welcoming) ceremony and stay in a remote village homestay on the banks of the Mekong River.
  • Luang Prabang: UNESCO World Heritage City and the cultural gem of Southeast Asia. Swim the in spectacular Kuang Si Waterfall; bathe with elephants in the Khan River, visit a bear sanctuary, and get hands and learn how to cultivate and harvest rice from a rice farmer.
  • Vang Vieng: Stunning karst rock formations and plenty of outdoor activities other than tubing. Enjoy the vibrant nightlife or get away from it all in a river view bungalow.
  • Vientiane: Visit the COPE Centre where you’ll learn about the on-going effects of the Vietnam War.
  • Kong Lor Cave: Zip through the mighty 7 km cave by boat on an underground river. Considered a highlight of Laos, it’s not easy to get here on your own.
  • Xe Champhone: Stay in a remote southern village homestay near the sacred ‘Monkey Forest’.
  • Bolaven Plateau: Love coffee? You’ll visit a Lao coffee plantation and learn all about coffee.
  • Don Det: Relax in a hammock on the Mekong in the 4000 Islands. Spot rare Irrawaddy Dolphins.


  • Siem Reap: Explore Angkor, the UNESCO World Heritage Site – an impressive, never ending complex of temples and ruins.
  • Battambang: Experience local family and community life in a remote village homestay, with its seasonal farming, fishing, temple gatherings and festivals.
  • Kompong Chhnang: Explore the bustling market and floating villages.
  • Sihanoukville: Enjoy the many water sports or kick back and relax at this popular beach destination.
  • Kampot: Cycle the countryside past the famous pepper and salt farms, eat delicious seafood and trek through the Bokor National Park.
  • Koh Tunsay: Relax on the pristine beaches, and enjoy fresh seafood in this island hideaway.
  • Phnom Penh: Learn about Cambodia’s history at the S21 Prison and Killing Fields and explore the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda.


  • Da Lat: Get off the tourist trail; meet friendly locals, mountain bike in stunning scenery and sample delicious locally grown coffee and wine.
  • An Hoa Beach: Experience coastal village life with a remote beach stay; fish with the locals, play on the beach or wander the endless white sand coastline.
  • The Haven, Bai Xep: Discover a secluded fishing village and learn to paddle a traditional round boat.
  • Hoi An: Explore life in the old town of this picture perfect Vietnamese riverside town; listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Get some tailoring done; join a motorbike tour, scuba dive, or cycle to the beach.
  • Dong Hoi (Phong Nha): Swim in pristine rivers and explore impressive caves, including the recently discovered Thien Dong Cave, one of the largest caves in the world.
  • Ninh Bihn: Come face to face with monkeys, gibbons and other endangered species at the Primate Centre.
  • Hanoi: Discover an eclectic blend of East and West, old Asia and new, in a tangled web of streets buzzing with masses of motorbikes.

LOT Pass

Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam


Start: Bangkok
Finish: Hanoi
Minimum Days: 38

To get the most out of your pass we highly recommend you allow extra time to hop off and explore. Your pass is valid for 12 months so take your time and enjoy the journey.

Valid for travel from 1 November 2014


Travel Day:              Bangkok to Chiang Mai (Via Ayutthaya)

Sawadee, Sabaidee (hello) and welcome to Stray! Your adventure kicks off in the Asian metropolis of Bangkok, Thailand. From soaring skyscrapers to ancient temples, vibrant markets and high-end malls, Bangkok is a city of many personalities.
You’ll meet your Stray tour leader at the Stray Bangkok Shop at 8:00am, and depart for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya. We arrive here mid-morning allowing you plenty of time to explore the ‘Venice of the East’ by bike or boat. Ayutthaya is the former capital of the Siamese empire and was once a grandiose city, but many of the ancient monuments were ruined when it was attacked by an invading army. Nevertheless, it is still a fascinating historical park. This afternoon we board our overnight train and head for the city of Chiang Mai.

Free inclusions: Overnight train or bus (price included), temple entry in Ayutthaya
Optional Paid Activities: Bike or boat trip around Ayutthaya Temples.


Travel Day:              Arrival in Chiang Mai

We arrive into Chiang Mai train station between 8:00 – 11:00am. Chiang Mai is a popular hopping off point for many travellers and an amazing city full of endless activity options – including cooking courses, bike tours or Thai kick boxing. There are over 300 Buddhist temples to explore, you can visit the old walled-city, the Tapae Gate, or pick up a bargain at the famous night market and check out the lively music scene.

Accommodation: Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD $12-20
Optional paid activities: Muay Thai Boxing Stray Adventure, Northern Thai Stray Adventure, Thai cooking course, bike tour, Flight of the Gibbon, Night Safari, trekking, kayaking, mountain biking.


Free Day:                  Chiang Mai

Today is free for you to explore this historically rich city or partake in one of the many adventure activities on offer. If you’re looking for a bit of adrenaline we recommend Thailand’s most popular activity, the Flight of the Gibbon. This is an amazing tree-top adventure where you’ll swing like a monkey (or gibbon) and zip, fly, climb and crawl your way through an amazing jungle play-ground on the longest zip-line in Southeast Asia. This evening you can enjoy dinner at one of the many great restaurants or visit Asia’s largest Night Safari, where you’ll see over 400 animals including white tigers, white rhinos, leopards, monkeys and even camels.

Accommodation: Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD $12-20


Travel Day:              Chiang Mai to Houay Xai

This morning we depart Chiang Mai at 9:00am to cross the border into Laos.  We’ll make a stop near Chiang Rai, for those who want to hop off and experience mountain trekking or explore remote ethnic villages, and we’ll check out the famous and intriguing White Temple (Wat Rong Khun). Wat Rong is a unique Buddhist Temple that features some curious statues and murals.  The murals include images from Star Wars and The Matrix, you’ll find Freddie Kruger’s head hanging in the trees and a giant Predator emerging from the garden. We stop here to allow time to grab a snack, stretch our legs and take a few photos before we continue on to cross the border into Laos. Once in Laos we take a short tuk-tuk ride to the chilled out town of Houay Xai, our stop for the night.

Accommodation: Guesthouse with views across the Mekong River USD $20
Free Inclusions: White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) visit
Optional paid activities:  Visit an ethnic lantern village near Chiang Rai, access the Gibbon Experience from Houay Xai (must hop off for these activities).


Travel Day:              Houay Xai to Ban Pak Nguey (Homestay)

Leaving Houay Xai you’ll board our private slow boat up the Mekong River to the secluded village of Ban Pak Nguey.  Sit back and soak up this incredible journey as you wind your way through lush farmland, thriving jungle and rugged mountain scenery; drifting past water buffalo, locals fishing, and kids splashing in the shallows. We arrive in Ban Pak Nguey in the late afternoon. Here you will get a taste of traditional Lao village life by staying with a family in their home. Experience a Baci (welcoming) ceremony, swim in the river, visit the school and help the kids with an English lesson. Play a game of football with the kids, explore the local temple, go fishing and try the local whiskey. This is a true highlight of any trip to Southeast Asia and exclusive to Stray!

Accommodation: Village stay includes accommodation in an indigenous family home, traditional Baci Ceremony, dinner, breakfast, local activities and contribution to the village fund/project USD$17


Travel Day:              Ban Pak Nguey to Luang Prabang

We wave goodbye to the village and jump back aboard our private boat to head downriver to the famous limestone Pak Ou Caves. Pak Ou is an important pilgrimage site for Lao people, and here you will see thousands of Buddhist images that have been placed throughout the caves over hundreds of years. Jumping back on board our boat a short trip takes us to the UNESCO World Heritage town, Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang has an old world feel that gives you the sense you’ve stepped back in time into a picturesque postcard setting. The fusion of French colonial architecture with traditional Lao design set against a backdrop of misty mountains and lush green jungle makes this a truly majestic place.

Accommodation: Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms close to night market USD $12-40
Free Inclusions: Pak Ou Caves entrance
Optional paid activities: Kuang Si Waterfall + bear sanctuary, Rice Experience, cycling, trekking, traditional cooking class, kayak the river.


Free Day:                  Luang Prabang

Today is free for you to enjoy all this UNESCO World Heritage town has to offer. Luang Prabang is home to the National Palace Museum, Wat Xieng Thong (the oldest monastery in town), and has many ancient Buddhist temples and sacred sites to explore. Many people take a trip to the famous Kuang Si waterfalls, where the bright turquoise spring waters looks like it’s been photo-shopped, or you can get hands on and become an organic rice farmer for the day on the Rice Experience. You can spend the day cycling or trekking to rural villages, take a cooking class, and tonight head to the night market for a hassle-free bargaining experience.   

Accommodation: Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms close to night market USD $12-40


Travel Day:              Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng

It’s an early start as we head south through mountainous terrain, on one of the most scenic journeys you’ll experience on the Laos travel route. Travel past mountain hill-tribe villages, vast green valleys and rolling hills; and we’ll make a special stop at the ‘loo with a view’. Our journey today takes us to the little riverside town Vang Vieng, best known for being the spot where you could take tubing trips down the Nam Song River stopping along the way at riverside bars to indulge in cheap booze. These days you can still go tubing, but now you get to enjoy the beauty of Vang Vieng's landscape without the sound of pounding bass in the background. Upon arrival into Vang Vieng there is plenty of time to go tubing, start partying or kick back and watch re-runs of old TV shows playing at the bars around town!

Accommodation: Family run guesthouse in the centre of the action USD $8-30
Optional Paid Activities: River tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, caving, hot air ballooning.


Travel Day:              Vang Vieng to Vientiane

Today we cruise through to the capital of Laos, stopping at the impressive Tham Jang Cave that was once used as a bunker in the 19th century during a Chinese invasion. On arrival in Vientiane your tour leader will point out the city’s main attractions including Putaxai, Pha That Luang, That Dam, the Presidential Palace, and the COPE centre – a non-profit organisation that educates visitors and raises awareness for victims of UXO (Unexploded Ordinance) and the Secret War. After check-in at our centrally located accommodation, you are free to explore the city, get a massage, go shopping, or people watch at one of the local restaurants by the river.

Accommodation: Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast USD $20
Free Inclusions: Tham Jang Cave entrance, highlights of Vientiane


Travel Day:              Vientiane to Kong Lor (7 Km Cave)

An early escape this morning takes us away from the crowds and south to Kong Lor in the Phu Hin Bun National Park.  About an hour into the journey we visit Wat Prabat Phonsone, the ‘Buddha’s Footprint,’ a popular and important pilgrimage site for local communities. Tonight you stay in the very rural and very remote Kong Lor village, surrounded by rice paddies, stunning limestone Karst Mountains and tobacco fields. This is a photographer’s paradise, the gateway to the famous Kong Lor Cave and a great place to get out and go trekking or relax with cold Beer Lao. 

Accommodation: Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views and a 10 minute walk from the cave USD $10
Free Inclusions: Wat Prabat Phonsone, entrance to Kong Lor National Park


Free Day:            Kong Lor (7km Cave)

This morning you’re free to head down to the Cave (Tham Kong Lor to the locals) and venture deep into the 7km abyss! Legend has it the cave was discovered thanks to some lost ducks. The story goes, one day a villager on one side of the island discovered his flock of ducks were missing, only to find them at the village on the other side of the mountain. The villagers put two and two together and decided to send a boat through and, voila, Tham Kong Lor was discovered! Ride in a traditional motorised canoe on an underground river that travels through the centre of the mountain. Take in the amazing rock formations, stalagmites and stalactites, and have a swim in the cool waters at the cave entrance.

Accommodation: Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views and a 10 minute walk from the cave USD $10
Optional Paid Activities: Kong Lor Cave boat trip


Travel Day:              Kong Lor (7km Cave) to Thakek

Today is a short travel day as we head for the small town of Thakek on the banks of the Mekong River.  Thakek is a major trading point and border town between Thailand and Laos. It has a strong French colonial influence; and is a great base for hopping off to explore the Lao jungle, limestone cliffs, pristine rivers, lakes and hidden waterfalls in the nearby Phu Hin Bun National Park. This afternoon we’ll head out of town towards the Khammouane Protected Area. We’ll stop at Tha Farang for an afternoon swim (dry season only) before returning to town to relax and enjoy a sunset over the Mekong River.

Accommodation: Mekong riverside guesthouse USD $12


Travel Day:              Thakek to Xe Champhone (Village stay)

This is what Stray is all about: getting totally off the beaten track! We head into the Xe Champhone wetlands - an area so remote that occasionally our Stray buses can't access it, so we have to jump on board an off-road truck. Today we’ll stop at Old Wat Taleow, a beautiful temple that was bombed during the Secret War and somehow the golden Buddha inside remained undamaged. Then it’s on to Turtle Lake where you might spot and possibly get to feed the sacred soft-shell turtles. Our last stop for the day is the 200-year-old Hotay Pidok Buddhist library, a fascinating stilt structure that’s home to thousands of Sanskrit scriptures and bamboo tablets. Tonight you stay overnight with the friendly locals in a traditional wooden house at our Lao village stay near the native Monkey Forest. On arrival, grab some bananas and venture into the forest to get up close with curious and friendly wild rhesus macaque monkeys.   

Accommodation:  Village stay includes accommodation in a traditional wooden house, guided tour of the Monkey Forest and local activities, dinner, breakfast, and contribution to the village fund/project USD$17

Free inclusions: Old Wat Taleow, Turtle Lake & Hotay Pidok Library entrance fee


Travel Day:              Xe Champhone to Pakse

Driving south this morning we head for the bright lights of Pakse. From here, you can check out the refreshingly cool climate of the Bolaven Plateau. The Plateau features a lush green landscape, fertile coffee and tea plantations, and many spectacular waterfalls – including the stunning Tad Ngeuang Waterfall where you can go for a swim. For those who want to experience a little adventure, Pakse is a great place to hop off the bus and experience the unforgettable Tree Top Explorer adventure. This amazing experience includes a trek through the jungle, tree house accommodation, wildlife spotting, thundering waterfalls, and a zip-line system that will have you flying through the tree-tops.  

Accommodation: Guesthouse with fan or air-conditioned rooms in the centre of town surrounded by everything you need USD $8-10.
Free inclusions: Bolaven Plateau, Tad Ngeuang Waterfall entry
Optional Paid Activities: Tree Top Adventure, waterfall visits including the spectacular Tad Fane.


Travel Day:              Pakse to Don Det (4000 Islands)

An early start takes us to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer temple and the former capital of the Khmer empire before the Angkor Wat. We allow time to explore the site and climb up to the mountain top temple for some spectacular views over the man-made reservoir.   We’ll then head south to the backpacker mecca of Si Phan Don, otherwise known as the 4000 Islands. Here you can experience the laidback lifestyle and natural beauty of Laos’ landlocked islands. Take a leisurely tubing trip down the Mekong River, float past locals fishing and people lounging on their bamboo riverside verandas. Take a boat trip to spot rare Irrawaddy dolphins; or cycle across to the neighbouring Don Khone Island to discover the remaining remnants of the only steam engine railway in Laos and marvel at the thunderous Li Phi waterfall.  

Accommodation: Rustic style guesthouse USD $5-15
Free inclusions: Wat Phou Temple entrance
Optional Paid Activities: Bicycle or tube hire, boat trip to spot Irrawaddy dolphins, fishing.


Travel Day:              Don Det to Siem Reap (Express day)

Say goodbye to Laos – it’s an early start to join a public bus for the journey into Cambodia.  A short drive will bring you to the Don Kralor Border where you will complete the immigration process and continue into Cambodia. Today your destination is the provincial town of Siem Reap, home to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Angkor Temple complex. Arriving in Siem Reap in the late evening there will be time to freshen up before you meet your new tour leader for dinner and drinks along the iconic Pub Street.

Accommodation: Guesthouse with dorm beds or private rooms USD $8-20


Free Day:                  Siem Reap

Today is a free day for you to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Angkor Temples. Spend the day exploring the ancient city of Angkor - the largest temple complex in the world. See the famous Angkor Wat and the set of Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider movie, Ta Prohm.
Tonight we recommend going to the famous Cambodian circus, where you will be amazed by the incredible acrobatic feats, music and dance, infused with the spirit of Cambodian history and culture. The local circus is a non-profit that teaches young people from the streets, orphans and struggling families in the community how to heal and express themselves through the arts. It’s an unforgettable experience!

Accommodation: Guesthouse with dorm beds or private rooms USD $8-20
Optional Paid Activities: Cycle or take a guided tour of the Angkor temple complex, Khmer circus. 


Travel Day:              Siem Reap to Battambang (Homestay)

Today you depart Siem Reap at 9:00am, arriving in Battambang for a late lunch. After lunch we’ll take a ride on the Bamboo Train, a rail system that was built by the French and destroyed by the Khmer Rouge, but the locals still use it as simple form of transport. Then we make our way to tonight’s village stay, located in the picturesque countryside. You’ll stay in a Cambodian family’s home, experience local community life, visit the school and join in a friendly local game or help the kids with their English. You can wander through the rice paddies, explore the local market, and enjoy a traditional meal with your host family.

Accommodation: Village stay includes accommodation in a Cambodian family’s home, local activities, dinner, breakfast, and contribution to the village fund/project US$18
Free inclusions: Ride on the Bamboo Train


Travel Day:              Battambang to Sihanoukville

A full day today takes us to the popular seaside town Sihanoukville on the Cambodian coast. En-route we pass through the bustling riverside Khmer town Kompong Chhnang (pronounced kom–pong–ch–nang), with its local market and floating village. We make a stop at the 18th century Khmer stronghold Udong, a site that has had its fair share of conflict. Here you can hike to the impressive mountain-top Buddhist pagoda for some spectacular views across the plains, relax in a hammock and enjoy a local Khmer BBQ! Arriving in Sihanoukville by late afternoon, settle in at your guesthouse and then you are free to wander down to the beach for a refreshing dip or kick back at one of the many beachfront restaurants and bars.  Tonight join one of the beach parties or have seafood BBQ on beach.

Accommodation: Guesthouse with dorm beds or private rooms USD $10-25
Free Inclusions: Udong Historical Site entrance


Free Day:                  Sihanoukville

Today is yours to relax in Cambodia’s premier beach location. Catch some rays on the beach and go for a swim, or do one of the many water sports including, diving, fishing, snorkelling, kayaking or hire a jet ski. Learn to cook Khmer classics like Fish Amok or deep fried bananas at the Traditional Khmer cooking school, take a trip out to the surrounding islands, or hire a bicycle and explore the nearby beaches. Tonight you can head to Ochheuteal Beach for some partying with the rest of the backpacker crowd, or watch the sun go down at Serendipity Beach.

Accommodation: Guesthouse with dorm beds or private rooms USD $10-25
Optional Paid Activities: Island tour, jet skis, massage, sailing, snorkelling, scuba diving, party boat, windsurfing, kayaking.


Travel Day:              Sihanoukville to Kampot

A 3 hour drive brings us to the little riverside town of Kampot where you will have a free afternoon to visit the salt and pepper farms, go cycling or trek in the Bokor National Park. There is an option to take a leisurely boat cruise on the Kampot River: a relaxing boat trip where you’ll just sit back, enjoy a cool beverage and absorb the spectacular views of Bokor National Park and Elephant Mountain as the sun sets over the river. Tonight we recommend sampling the exceptional seafood at one of the many restaurants on the riverfront – try the fried shrimp with green pepper corns, it’s delish!

Accommodation: Guesthouse with dorm beds or private rooms USD $6-15
Optional Paid Activities: Sunset River Cruise, tour of the pepper & salt farms.


Travel Day:              Kampot to Koh Tunsay

A short drive this morning brings us to the old French resort town of Kep where we board a traditional Khmer wooden fishing boat and travel for 30 minutes to our sanctuary, Koh Tunsay Island. Once on shore you are free to explore the mountainous terrain, relax on the beach, swim in the warm sea waters and just watch the sun go down.

Accommodation: Shared bungalows on the beach USD $8-10 per person


Travel Day:              Koh Tunsay to Phnom Penh

Tearing ourselves away from the beach we take the boat back to the mainland. From here we head for the bustling Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, stopping for lunch before we take an afternoon tour of the infamous Khmer Rouge S21 Prison and Killing Fields. This evening you are free to explore the city or mix with the locals and watch the sun set over the Mekong River.

Accommodation: Guesthouse near the main tourist area USD $20
Free inclusions:  S21 Prison and Killing Fields entrance and tour
Optional Paid Activities: Learn a Cambodian art at Backstreet Academy, half day cycling trip, river boat cruise, city tour, Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda tour, Russian Market, National Museum.


Free Day:                  Phnom Penh

A free day today gives you the chance to explore this energizing capital city and visit the many markets selling silk, silver, gems and antiques. Visit the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, Wat Phnom, and the Russian Market. See a living art performance at the National Museum, or learn a Cambodian craft, dance or kick boxing at the Backstreet Academy. For something different, why not join the locals at dusk for an aerobic workout at the Olympic Stadium. Here you’ll find local ladies garbed in western style pyjamas, getting their groove on to Khmer techno music in order to burn a few calories. It may not be your most coordinated moment, but will be good for a giggle (even if you’re just laughing at yourself)!

Accommodation: Guesthouse near the main tourist area USD $20


Travel Day:              Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City (Express day)

This morning you’ll board a public bus and head to Moc Bai on the Vietnamese border, where you will be processed through immigration (you will need to organise your visa in advance) and then drive on to Ho Chi Minh City, arriving mid-afternoon. Spend the afternoon exploring the narrow streets on foot, hop into a cyclo for a comfortable cruise among the millions of motorbikes, or choose a restaurant teeming with locals for a taste of the best cuisine.

Accommodation: Centrally located hotel or guesthouse USD $15-20
Optional Paid Activities: Mekong Delta Stray Adventure, cyclo tour of the city, War Remnants Museum, Old Presidential Palace, Ben Thanh Market, guided tour of the Ho Chi Minh City and Cu Chi Tunnels, Water Puppet Theatre.


Free Day:                  Ho Chi Minh City

Today is a free day to explore the hot and lively Ho Chi Minh City. Learn about the history of the American and Vietnam War at the War Remnant Museum, visit the French colonial Saigon Opera House, browse the surrounding shopping plazas or see a cultural show. Ho Chi Minh even has its own Notre Dame Cathedral, which is said to be a connection between the physical and spiritual life for the Ho Chi Minh people. We recommend taking a trip out to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, a complex of over 200kms of tunnels used by the Viet Khong in the war against the US. Discover how the people lived and survived in these tunnels, built schools and hospitals underground and eventually gained victory. This evening enjoy a traditional performance at the Water Puppet theatre, or dine out on delicious street food at one of the city’s many restaurants or bars.

Accommodation: Centrally located hotel or guesthouse USD $15-20


Travel Day:              Ho Chi Minh City to Da Lat 

Leaving behind the chaos and heat of Ho Chi Minh City, we head for the refreshingly cool climate of Da Lat, known as the honeymoon capital of Vietnam. Our journey today takes us through fertile farmlands that specialise in rubber, coffee and tea, locally produced wine, vegetables and flowers. Just a short distance from Da Lat we make a stop at the beautiful 20 metre Datanla Waterfall, where legend has it K’ho fairies often come to play and bathe at the base of the falls.  You can either walk down to the waterfall or, for those who like a little bit of adrenalin, you can drive your own mini rollercoaster to the site. Afterwards we’ll head to Da Lat, where you can spend the rest of the day checking out the large market near the guesthouse, or one of many friendly cafes selling excellent coffee on every corner.

Accommodation: Local guesthouse in the centre of town USD $10-12
Free inclusions: Dantanla Waterfall entrance
Optional Paid Activities: Visit the local market and grab yourself a bargain, rock climbing, Crazy House, tandem bike cycling, cycling tours, motorbike tours, coffee & tea plantation tours, abseiling and rappelling.


Free Day:                  Da Lat 

Da Lat vaguely resembles a French town with sprawling old villas and towering pine trees. It is not on the main tourist trail so locals are curious and very friendly to western visitors. There are plenty of adventurous activities here, but many people choose to go on an adrenalin packed canyoning trip where you abseil over waterfalls and jump off a 5 metre high drop into the pool below. If that’s not for you, you can visit the last Emperor’s art deco-style summer palace, explore the never-ending local coffee or strawberry plantations, or hire tandem bikes at the market and cycle to the Hang Nga ‘Crazy House’ an unconventional exploration of surrealist architecture.

Accommodation: Local guesthouse in the centre of town USD $10-12


Travel Day:              Da Lat to An Hoa Beach (Beach stay)

Leaving behind the cool climate of Da Lat we’ll head for the Vietnamese coast, stopping for refreshments and for those who want to hop off at the coastal city of Nha Trang. From here we’ll head for the Phu Yen Province and today’s destination, An Hoa Beach. Most travellers only catch a glimpse of the mountains, rice fields and lagoons of the Phu Yen Province whilst in transit from Nha Trang to Hoi An, but just over the horizon is some incredible natural scenery and a gorgeous stretch of coastline.  Despite its beauty the area has received very little tourism. Here you can enjoy coastal village life with barely another tourist in sight. Go fishing with the locals, swim, snorkel, play beach volleyball and spend a night under the stars with an evening bonfire and BBQ.

Accommodation: Beach stay includes one night basic dorm accommodation near the beach, dinner, breakfast, and contribution to the village fund/project US$20
Optional Paid Activities: Cycling tour with BBQ & beach party, surfing lessons, cycling to boat building & shrimp farm, seafood lunch.


Free Day:                  An Hoa Beach (Beach stay)

Today you are free to relax and enjoy this tropical beach location, where you’ll barely find another footprint in the sand. Places of interest include the 14th century Cham Tower that sits up on a hill in the centre of town, and Chop Chai Mountain that has some truly amazing views of the surrounding rice fields and ocean. This is a great place just to chill out, get to know the friendly locals and wander the endless white sand beaches.

Accommodation: Basic dorm accommodation near the beach US$8-15


Travel Day:              An Hoa Beach to The Haven, Bai Xep

Today we travel from one secluded beach to another. Your destination is the tiny fishing village of Bai Xep located along a stretch of sandy white beach. Relax in this peaceful village setting, untouched by rampant tourism, where locals wave and greet you with smiles. Swim, snorkel and take long walks on the beach, learn to paddle a traditional round boat, go fishing and cook your catch for tea, wander the village and get to know the friendly locals or just relax at your friendly guesthouse.

Accommodation: The Haven, dorm accommodation on the beach USD $10, includes light breakfast
Optional Paid Activities: Hike to waterfall, swimming and all you can eat duck BBQ and beer, local boat trip, snorkelling and beach BBQ, all day cycling trip.


Travel Day:              The Haven, Bai Xep to Hoi An

A coastal drive takes us to the popular tourist spot Hoi An. We’ll stop along the way to visit the My Lai Memorial, a site that commemorates an event that marked a turning point in the American War, before arriving in Hoi An. A UNESCO World Heritage town, Hoi An is a must see town, with beautifully restored and preserved French Colonial architecture, funky bars, outstanding restaurants, art galleries, souvenir shops and countless tailor shops. With glorious beaches so close nearby, this is paradise! A great spot to hop off and enjoy the local nightlife; try local delicacies (and beers), then meander home through the motorbike free streets.

Accommodation: Centrally located, family run hotel USD $15-30
Free inclusions: My Lai Memorial entrance
Optional Paid Activities: Tailoring, bicycle tours, scuba diving, cooking classes, sunrise or sunset cruise, countryside tours, motorbike tours, fishing trips.


Free Day:                  Hoi An

Today is free for you to explore this charming town. Get some tailoring done, take a leisurely cycle to the beach, or just enjoy the tasty local coffee at one of the many restaurants around town. When the sun goes down this is when Hoi An really turns on its charm. Paper and fabric lanterns are lit throughout streets, bathing the historical French colonial and Chinese architecture in a warm glow. Take a sunset stroll through the old town, and try a local delicacy called the ‘White Rose’ - a dumpling stuffed with shrimp or pork bunched into the shape of a rose. Apparently the recipe is a family secret, held by only one family who supply all the restaurants around town.

Accommodation: Centrally located, family run hotel USD $15-30


Travel Day:              Hoi An to Hue

Today you head for Hue, Vietnam’s most liveable city. Here the people are friendly and modern architecture sits side by side with century old buildings. Surrounded by rolling hills and located on the Perfume River, Hue is regarded as the cultural and spiritual centre of Vietnam and is the former home to the Vietnamese emperors. Here you’ll see many elaborately decorated temples and beautiful pagodas, including the seven-storied Thien Mu Pagoda - where the most famous Vietnamese monk is buried, the intricate Citadel and Forbidden Purple City. This is a great place to take a motorbike tour of the Vietnamese countryside. Travel on the back of a motorbike through rice paddies, quaint, rural villages and down tiny roads and discover a little bit of the ‘real’ Vietnam.

Accommodation: Local guesthouse USD $10-12
Optional Paid Activities:  Dragon Boat Cruise, historic Citadel tour – former seat of the Vietnamese government, Forbidden Purple City – where the emperor used to bed his concubines, motorbike tour, Thien Mu Pagoda.


Travel Day:              Hue to Dong Hoi (Phong Nha)

This morning we head for the fascinating Vinh Moc Tunnels, an impressive underground complex that was used by more than 90 families to live and work in during some of the heaviest bombings in the American War. From there it’s on to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, passing through the provincial town of Dong Hoi to the Lakehouse Resort which will be our base for exploring the park.

Accommodation: Dorm accommodation, located on the picturesque Dong Suon Lake $10-12
Free inclusions: Vinh Moc Tunnels
Optional Paid Activities: Cycling, caving, kayaking, Dark Cave Adventure.


Free Day:                  Dong Hoi (Phong Nha)

Today we visit the spectacular rural area of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, 45km from Dong Hoi. This area has pristine rivers (perfect for a refreshing dip or kayak) and boasts a number of impressive caves, including the recently discovered Thien Duong Cave. Inside you’ll find glittering limestone walls, phallus shaped stalagmites and stalactites, claw shaped formations, and a limestone waterfall. This afternoon you have the option to go on a guided tour of the ‘Dark Cave,’ suitably named as such because the rock is black. This is an exciting adventure where you’ll explore the caves darkness with the help of a head torch, discover ancient fossils and slide down muddy ridges, all while Asian bats fly overhead. Afterwards, back at the mouth of the cave you can wash off all the mud by spending the afternoon swimming and playing in the river. 

Accommodation: Dorm accommodation $10-12
Free inclusions: Thien Duong Cave entrance


Travel Day:              Dong Hoi (Phong Nha) to Ninh Binh

Our journey today takes us by train through beautiful countryside and stunning limestone kyrst mountains. We’ll stop along the way for a chance to stretch your legs and dip your feet in the ocean before continuing our express journey to Ninh Binh. We arrive late in the afternoon; we suggest if you want to explore Ninh Binh and its spectacular surroundings, you hop off for a few days and discover the stony outcrops and pagodas of Tam Coc and Bich Dong, which is a collection of caves used by the Viet Minh as a hiding place during the first Indochina War. The caves are filled with stalactites carved in the shape of Buddhist images. 

Accommodation: Locally run hotel with excellent restaurants nearby USD $10-12
Optional Paid Activities: Hop off and explore the surrounding limestone mountains, multi-day trekking options.


Travel Day:              Ninh Binh to Hanoi

This morning we head to the Cuc Phoung National Park and Primate Centre, which is home to many endangered and rescued primates including monkeys, gibbons and other interesting species native to the area. From here we jump back on the bus, bound for the chaotic streets of Vietnam’s capital. Hanoi is an exotic city full of excitement and energy, and thousands of motorcycles that make the simple task of crossing the road seem like a real achievement! It has an excellent culinary scene; dine at Restaurant 69, which is said to be over 300 years old, or try some of the delicious street food available on every corner, where the saying goes “the lower the chair, the cheaper the beer.”

This is where your journey with Stray comes to an end, but there is plenty to do and see in and around Hanoi if you have some extra days to spend here. Ask your tour leader what they can recommend.

Accommodation: Local guesthouse or hotel USD $15-30 or backpacker-style dorm USD $7-9
Optional Paid Activities: Halong Bay Stray Adventure, Sa Pa Stray Adventure



Entry Fees Included:


Ayutthaya Temples



Pak Ou Caves

Tham Jang Cave

Wat Prabat Phonsone

Kong Lor National Park

Old Wat Taleow

Turtle Lake entry donation

Hotay Pidok Library

Tad Ngeuang Waterfall

Wat Phou Temple



Bamboo train ride

Udong Historical Site

S21 Prison & Killing Fields



Datanla Waterfall

My Lai Memorial

Vinh Moc Tunnels

Thien Duong (Paradise) Cave



Itineraries are seasonal and subject to change. For timetables and full terms and conditions, please ask your travel agent or visit www.straytravel.asia.



Lot Departs from Bangkok

All year round: Tuesday and Saturday
8 January - 31 March: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday