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Thailand
Starting From $2,197.70

Stray Asia - The Full Moon Flexible Tour (Pass, Accommodation and Activity Package)

Explore cities, villages, caves and waterfalls in Northern Thailand and Laos. 

What’s this?

This Flexible Tour Itinerary is a unique combination of a guided Stray pass and pre-paid accommodation and activities. Created based on the recommendations of hand-picked Stray experts, this awesome package allows you to make the most of your time in Southeast Asia. You can still hop off anywhere, spend longer at your favourite places and opt for extra activities along the way.

 

Included With Pass:

Included:

+ All accommodation as per itinerary (twin share with ensuite and air conditioned where possible)

+ Activities as indicated

+ Stray homestays and village stays include accommodation, meals, activities and donation

 

Activities included:

+ Half-day bicycle or boat tour of Ayutthaya

+ Flight of the Gibbon zip-line adventure, Chiang Mai

+ Rice Experience, Luang Prabang

+ Kuang Si Waterfall, Luang Prabang

+ Kong Lor Cave guided boat trip

+ Guided tour of the Monkey Forest, Xe Champhone

 

Entry fees included:

Thailand

+ Ayutthaya Temples entrance

               

Laos

+ Pak Ou Caves, near Luang Prabang

+ Tham Jang Cave, near Vang Vieng

+ Wat Prabat Phonsone

+ Kong Lor National Park

+ Old Wat Taleow, Xe Champhone

+ Turtle Lake entry donation, Xe Champhone

+ Hotay Pidok Library, Xe Champhone

+ Tad Ngeuang Waterfall, near Pakse

+ Wat Phu UNESCO Temple, near Pakse

 

 

FULL MOON Flexible Tour Itinerary

Thailand and Laos

 

Start: Bangkok
Finish: Bangkok
Travel days: 17

Itinerary

Day 1:                                   Bangkok to Chiang Mai (Via Ayutthaya)

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.

Overnight train or bus (price included)

Activity included: A half-day boat or bicycle tour of the impressive Ayutthaya UNESCO Temples.

 

Day 2:                       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 included: Guesthouse located within the historic, old quarter

 

Day 3:                                  Free day in Chiang Mai

 

Your itinerary includes one of our favourites, the Flight of the Gibbon zip-lining. After a swinging good time on the zip-line, you are free to 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 included: Guesthouse located within the historic, old quarter

 

Activity included: Flight of the Gibbon Zip-line (full-day): Soar through the tree tops of lush rainforest in a zip-line adventure. With over thirty-three different platforms, two suspended sky bridges and two abseil descents, you will enjoy a guided tour of the wildlife and vegetation whilst flying along the longest zip-line in Southeast Asia. Keep an eye out for the elusive Gibbon.

 

Day 4:                       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 included: Guesthouse with views across the Mekong River

 

Day 5:                       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.

 

Accommodation and activity included: Overnight on the banks of the Mekong River in a traditional homestay: Ban Pak Nguey is a very special village, well off the beaten track and a Stray exclusive. This is a great opportunity to become immersed in Lao culture, a once-in-a-lifetime experience and true highlight for any trip to Southeast Asia (includes meals).

 

*Stray homestay includes accommodation in an indigenous family home, traditional Baci Ceremony, dinner, breakfast, local activities and contribution to the village fund/project.

 

Day 6:                       Ban Pak Nguey (Homestay) 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 included: Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms close to night market

 

Day 7:                       Free day in Luang Prabang

 

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. A great place to spend a few days exploring; discover ethnic minorities and rural villages by cycling or trekking the area, take a cooking class, kayak the Mekong River, shop at the night market or for culture buffs visit one of the many beautiful temples. So you get the most out of your stay in Luang Prabang, we’ve included a ‘Rice Experience’ where you’ll get the unique opportunity to become a rice farmer for half a day and a trip to the beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls and Free the Bears centre at the entrance to the falls.   

Accommodation included: Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms close to night market

 

Activities included:

 

·       Rice Experience:  Just 15 minutes from Luang Prabang is an organic rice farm, where you’ll get to become a rice farmer for a day. Rice is the foundation of everyday life in Asia and today you’ll get hands on and discover all there is to know about the rice growing process. Learn how to select the correct seeds and how to plant and plough with the help of the farms friendly water buffalo. Afterwards you can sample a variety of the local rice products.

·       A half-day Kuang Si Waterfall tour (includes entrance fees and transport): Travel to this iconic, off the beaten track waterfall nestled in the jungle near Luang Prabang. Travel through rural countryside, spot local wildlife and hill tribes and visit the Free the Bears rescue centre at the entrance to the falls.

 

Day 8:                       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 included: Family run guesthouse in the centre of the action

 

Day 9:                       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 included: Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast

 

Day 10:                     Vientiane to Kong Lor (7km 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 included: Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views of the Karst Mountains and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave

 

Day 11:                      Free day in Kong Lor (7km Cave)

 

This morning you will head down to the Cave (Tham Kong Lor to the locals) and venture deep into the 7km abyss! Ride in a traditional motorised canoe, take in the amazing rock formations and swim in the cool waters at the cave entrance. There may also be the option to travel to Ban Tabak village, to take a ride in a 'bomb boat’ made from the metal fuel casings of B52 bombers, dumped on Laos during the Secret War (this is subject to availability on the day).

Accommodation included: Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views of the Karst Mountains and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave

 

Activity included: Guided boat trip: Explore the underground river that winds its way through the stunning 7km Kong Lor cave. Discover impressive columns, bird-like cages, stalagmites and stalactites illuminated and protruding from the limestone rock as you travel by motorboat through this colossal cave system.

 

Day 12:                      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 included: Mekong riverside guesthouse

 

Day 13:                      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 and activity included: Overnight in Xe Champhone: Stay in a traditional wooden house in the village centre surrounded by native forest. Take a guided tour and get up close and personal with the sacred monkeys. Visit the revered village temple, and take part in preparing (and eating) a traditional Lao dinner.

 

*Stray 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.

 

Day 14:                     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 included: Guesthouse with rooms in centre of town surrounded by everything you need

 

Day 15:                      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 included: Rustic style guesthouse

 

Day 16:                      Don Det to Bangkok (Express day)

 

We leave Don Det early by local mini-van towards Pakse and then on to the Thai border and Ubon Ratchathani where you board the overnight bus. Your Stray journey finishes when you arrive in Bangkok early the next morning (day 17).

 

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

 

 

 

Full moon flexible tour Departs from Bangkok

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


 

Included Accommodation

All accommodation as per the itinerary (twin share with en-suite and air con) and includes two incredible remote homestays.

  • Overnight on the Mekong River (Laos) in a traditional homestay in Ban Lad Khammune. A true highlight for any trip to Laos, this village is tucked behind the riverbank and home to only 200 families. Visit the local school and hospital; wander through the busy village square where women weave and children play. Sample locally brewed Rice Whiskey and cool off in a secret waterfall. Includes accommodation and meals.
  • Overnight in the Sacred Monkey Forrest (Laos), and stay in a traditional wooden house in the centre of a village surrounded by native forest. Our expert guide will take you deep into the nearby forest, home to the Macaque Monkeys, to get up close and personal with these friendly mammals. Visit the revered village Temple, and take part in preparing (and eating!) a traditional Lao dinner. Includes accommodation and meals.


Included Activities

THAILAND

  • Enjoy a half-day boat or bicycle tour in Ayutthaya, the location of Thailand’s stunning, ancient UNESCO temples.
  • In Chiang Mai, choose from either a Thai cooking class and half-day bike tour or Flight of the Gibbon Ziplining:
    • Thai Cooking Course – Learn to cook your favourite Thai dishes from an expert in a professional cooking school. From Pad Thai, Spicy Soup, Curry, Papaya Salad, and Spring Rolls, learn to cook like a local and impress your friends, family and fellow Stray mates.  
    • Half-day bike tour of the south of Chiang Mai city – A culturally rich tour, giving you real insight into northern Thai culture. Visit temple ruins, stunning rural scenery plus rare locally grown orchids.
    • Flight of Gibbon zip line tree top adventure – Soar through lush rain forest, in an extreme adventure like no other. Experience the longest zip-line course in the world, over 5 kilometres long, with over 33 different platforms. Take a guided tour of the wildlife and vegetation along the course, and keep an eye out for local residents… the WILD GIBBON.


LAOS

  • A one day Mahout Elephant course - Head 40 minutes out Luang Prabang town to the Elephant Village sanctuary above the bank of the Nam Khan River. You will experience a 3km ride, seated in a “howdah” or elephant seat (comfortable for both you and the elephant), before your basic Mahout training session. You’ll get to bathe your elephant, before enjoying a short boat trip up-river to the impressive Tad Sae waterfall, for a well-deserved swim before heading back to Luang Prabang. Includes buffet lunch.
  • A half day Kuang Si Waterfall Tour - Travel by comfortable, private transport past local wildlife and ethnic villages to this iconic and stunning waterfall. Take a dip in the turquoise waters and chill out in this beautiful setting. Visit the Bear Sanctuary located at the entrance to the falls. Includes entrance, transport.
  • Kong Lor caves boat trip - Travel by a motorised wooden canoe on the underground river that winds its way through this stunning 7km cave. Situated in the Phou Hin Bun National Park.
  • Half day 4000 Islands Kayak trip, Don Det - Paddle through the beautiful islands, passing an old French railway bridge and the stunning Liphi waterfalls. With luck you spot the rare Irrawaddy Dolphins which are endemic to the area. The return journey travels via the Mekong River, past the Cambodian border crossing Veun Kham, then drive back via Khone Phapeng waterfall.