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Thailand
Starting From $1,455.20

Stray Asia - Tom Yum Flexible Tour (pass, accommodation and activity package)

The highlights of Northern Thailand & Laos: cities, villages, waterfalls and rivers.

 

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

Experience traditional village life and stay in a remote homestay in Ban Pak Nguey; marvel at the beautiful architecture, temples and many sacred sites in the UNESCO World Heritage town Luang Prabang with access to the spectacular Kuang Si waterfalls nearby.

Travel through mountainous terrain and past breathtaking views to Vang Vieng and go tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing or hot air ballooning; before heading to the country’s capital Vientiane to visit the city’s main sites, dine by the river at a local restaurant or shop at a night market.

Finish in Vientiane and travel by overnight train to Bangkok.

 

TRAVEL PASS HIGHLIGHTS

THAILAND

  • Ayutthaya: Explore the incredible UNESCO World Heritage temple ruins by bicycle.
  • Chiang Mai: An adventure seeker’s paradise. Zip-line 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.

LAOS

  • 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 South East Asia. Swim 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.

 

 

TOM YUM Flexible Tour Itinerary

Thailand and Laos

Start: Bangkok
Finish: Bangkok
Travel Days: 11
 

 

 

What’s this?

This Flexi 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:

+ All accommodation as per itinerary (includes ensuite and air conditioned where possible)

+ Activities as indicated (also listed at bottom of itinerary)

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

+ Entry fees as listed at bottom of itinerary

 

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 Bangkok (Express day)

Today you will be collected from your guesthouse in Vientiane mid-afternoon and be taken by tuk tuk to Thanaleng Train Station. Here you clear Lao customs then board a connecting train which takes you over the friendship bridge to Nong Khai in Thailand. You complete Thai immigration at the train station and have time for a meal or drink across the road before boarding the overnight train to Bangkok (arrive in Bangkok early on day 11).

 

Included With Pass

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

 

Entry fees included:

Thailand

+ Ayutthaya Temples entrance

             

Laos

+ Pak Ou Caves, near Luang Prabang

+ Tham Jang Cave, near Vang Vieng

 

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

 

Tom Yum Departs from Bangkok

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

Included Accommodation

All accommodation is included as per the itinerary (twin share with en-suite and air con), including this incredible remote homestay:

  • Overnight on the Mekong River (Laos) in a traditional homestay in Ban Lad Khammoune. 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.

Included Activities

  • Enjoy a half-day boat or bicycle tour in Ayutthaya, the location of Thailand’s stunning, ancient UNESCO temples.
  • Choose from a Thai cooking class and half-day bike tour or Flight of the Gibbon in Chiang Mai:
    • 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.
  • 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 to this iconic and stunning waterfall. Your guide will point out local wildlife and hill tribes along the way, and take you through the Bear Sanctuary located at the entrance of the waterfall. Includes entrance, transport and guide.