Laos Bus Tours - header

Dtui Noy Pass

Discover Laos, from north to south. Treat the Dtui Noy Pass as a tour and complete it in 14 days, or hop on and off and spend up to a year exploring Laos at your own pace.

Start in Chiang Mai and explore Thailand's 'capital of cool' before heading north to Laos. Take a 2 day private slow boat journey through lush farmland, rugged mountains and jungles. We stop overnight at a remote village on the banks of the Mekong River where you'll experience traditional village life during this unique homestay.  The boat arrives in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang; marvel at the beautiful architecture, climb Mount Phousi, take a dip in the Kuang Si Waterfalls and try delicious street food at the night market.

Travel through mountainous terrain and past breathtaking views to Vang Vieng and go tubing, cycling, kayaking or rock climbing; before heading to Laos' capital city; Vientiane. Venture into Southern Laos, a relatively untouched region that’s not easily accessible but is a genuine adventure travel paradise that can’t be missed; zip through a 7km long cave in a boat in Kong Lor, see soft shell turtles and Rhesus Macaque monkeys in Xe Champhone, and explore the 4000 Islands, an impressive island-studded delta within the Mekong River.

There are some exciting new changes taking place from 1 October - Find out more. 

SEPTEMBER DEPARTURES: If you plan to depart in September 2017, please book via our Stray Travel Experts, email enquiries@straytravel.asia with your name, the pass you would like to book and your intended start date.


Highlights


STRADEMARK PLACES 

Our mission is to get you off the beaten track amongst authentic local culture and our experienced crew has chosen some incredible destinations so you can see more and do more! 'Strademark' Places are the places you're less likely to find in the guide book but the ones you'll be talking about long after the adventure has ended. 

  • Only Stray visits a tiny, remote Lao village on the banks of the Mekong River. Experience traditional village life. Hang out with locals in their backyard, swim or play football with the kids. A very special part of the visit to this village is your opportunity to participate in a Baci (welcoming) ceremony. 
  • Zip through the 7km long Kong Lor Cave on an underground river! Considered a highlight of Laos, Kong Lor is not easy to get to on your own.
  • Xe Champhone wetlands is that remote that sometimes our Stray buses can’t even access it and we have to jump on-board an off road truck just to get there. It’s one of the best places to see wildlife in their natural environment. Visit the Monkey Forest and feed the Rhesus Macaque monkeys and see Asiatic Softshell Turtles in Turtle Lake.
  • Don Det is an iconic Stray stop at the southernmost part of Laos. These landlocked islands (otherwise known as 4000 Islands) provides the perfect spot to kick back during the day and then party the night away. 

Reviews

5star review

"The easiest way to travel through Laos! I had a great time on Stray, we had a great guide, Sonny, who was able to give us so much local information and tell us about the history of Laos which enabled me to learn so much more than I otherwise would have.

 

I made a great bunch of friends with other Stray travellers and we became a tight knit group enjoying meals and drinks together.

 

Stray takes the hassle out of local buses and takes you to sights along the way, making the most of your time. I absolutely loved the homestay in northern Laos- it was the highlight of my entire trip! I stayed in the accommodation recommended by Stray because it was easy and finding a fellow Stray traveller we shared the rooms so it was cheaper for both of us! It's not a cheap pass but definitely the best way to gain local knowledge, meet people, travel with ease and see everything there is to see in Laos! Loved it!"

Leah Crockett, January 2017

 Read more reviews


What's Included: 

  • All transport – whether it be bus (comfortable and air conditioned private charter bus) boat, train, or even tuk-tuk!
  • Local Tour Leader - Knowledgeable Local Guide to provide invaluable knowledge, support and insider insights and to assist with booking accommodation and activities at every destination.
  • Reserved Accommodation – Have a bed reserved for you at every Stray overnight stop. Book through your Tour Leader and pay-as-you-go directly to the accommodation.
  • Ultimate travel flexibility – pass is valid for up to 12 months from first day of travel and you can hop-on and off as much as you like.

Included Activities:

  • White Temple entrance fee 
  • Pak Ou Caves entrance fee
  • Tham Jang Cave entrance fee
  • Wat Prabat Phonsone entrance fee
  • Kong Lor National Park fee
  • Old Wat Taleow
  • Turtle Lake entry donation
  • Tad Ngeuang Waterfall
  • Wat Phou Temple entrance fee

Not included: The cost of your accommodation and optional activities is not included in a hop-on, hop-off pass. You have the flexibility to choose what suits your budget and pay-as-you-go. These can be booked via your Tour Leader. 

If you would prefer a tour with accommodation and more activities included, check out the Dtui Noy Flexi Tour. Get all the same great benefits + accommodation and top rated activities.

 


HOW DO YOU HOP ON AND OFF THE BUS?

Hop off‘Hop off’ the bus anywhere along the route, even places in between the designated stops. Either plan to hop off in advance or do it spur of the moment – it’s up to you!

To hop back on, simply book your next travel date and pickup location through Stray Mate, your online Trip Manager (you'll receive your log in once you've booked). 

The buses run twice a week so the minimum amount of time you can hop off for is 3 days, but your pass is valid for up to 12 months from your first day of travel, meaning you can hop on and off as often as you like, for as long as you like, up to a year!


SHORT ON TIME?

You are not required to hop off the bus at all, you can use your pass like a tour and complete the itinerary in its ‘minimum days’. Either way you'll have a great time!


Want More?

Destination guide icon Laos Travel Guide
Start planning your adventure! 
Read our blog!

BLOG - The 7 Best Things To Do in Vang Vieng Laos

Here are a few of our favourite things to do in Vang Vieng, whether you’re a party animal or a nature hound..

   

Itinerary

Please note: Given the spontaneous nature of our trips, what we do each day might occasionally vary. 

NB. The cost of accommodation is not included in your travel pass, giving you the flexibility to stay where you like, however under each day we have described our recommended (Stray preferred) accommodation, along with some free and paid activity suggestions.


Starting travel after 1 October 2017? 

You'll be travelling in the 17-18 season and the itinerary differs slightly from the itinerary below. We've also changed the name to the Long Laos (which is a lot easier to pronounce!). 

Arrival in Chiang Mai

Sawadee, Sabaidee (hello) and welcome to Stray! Your adventures kicks off in popular Chiang Mai, an amazing city full of endless activity options, such as Thai cooking classes, bike tours or Muay Thai kickboxing. If you arrive early in the day feel free to visit a few of the 300 Buddhist temples in the city, the old walled city or the Tapae Gate. At 6pm you’ll meet your Tour Leader and new travel mates at the Deejai Backpackers Hostel for a Welcome Night introduction. We’ll cover how Stray works and answer any questions you have about the upcoming trip. Afterwards, make the most of your first night by getting to know each other over a delicious Thai dinner and a few cold beverages. 

Guesthouse located near the historic old quarter

Welcome Night meeting with Tour Leader and Stray group 

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 playground on the longest zip-line in Southeast Asia. This evening you can enjoy dinner at one of the many great restaurants then browse the night market, take in a ladyboy show or the Muay Thai boxing or head out for a few drinks with friends.

This morning we depart Chiang Mai to head for the Thailand-Laos border. We’ll make a stop near Chiang Rai to check out the famous and intriguing White Temple (Wat Rong Khun). Wat Rong is a unique modern Buddhist temple that features some curious statues and murals that include images from Star Wars and The Matrix, Freddie Kruger’s head hanging in the trees and a giant Predator emerging from the garden. We stop here long enough 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 into the chilled out town of Houay Xai, our stop for the night. 

Guesthouse with views across the Mekong River

Visit an ethnic lantern village near Chiang Rai, access the Gibbon Experience from Houay Xai (must hop off for these activities).
White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) visit

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!

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

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.

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 and some delicious cheap local food. 

Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms close to night market

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 can take tubing trips down the Nam Song River stopping along the way at riverside bars and enjoying the beauty of Vang Vieng's landscape as you float downstream. 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!

Family run guesthouse in the centre of the action

River tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, caving, visit the Blue Lagoon. 

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.

Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI

Tham Jang Cave entrance, highlights of Vientiane

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.

Comfortable garden view bungalows with spectacular views of the karst mountains and just a short drive from the cave

Wat Prabat Phonsone, Kong Lor National Park Entry Fee

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.

Comfortable garden view bungalows with spectacular views of the karst mountains and just a short drive from the cave

Kong Lor Cave boat trip

Today is a short travel day as we head for the small town of Thakhek on the banks of the Mekong River. Thakhek 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. 

Mekong riverside guesthouse

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. Next stop is the 200-year-old Hotay Pidok Buddhist library, a fascinating stilt structure that’s home to thousands of Sanskrit scriptures and bamboo tablets. Before heading for our guesthouse in the small village of Ban Keng Kok we stop at Monkey Forest. On arrival, grab some bananas and venture into the forest to get up close with curious and friendly wild rhesus macaque monkeys. 

Rustic Guesthouse with twin share bungalows

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

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.

Guesthouse with fan or air-conditioned rooms in centre of town surrounded by everything you need 

Tree Top Adventure, waterfall visits including the spectacular Tad Fane.

Bolaven Plateau, Tad Ngeuang Waterfall Entry Fee

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, Don Det, 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. 

Rustic style guesthouse

Bicycle or tube hire, boat trip to spot Irrawaddy dolphins, fishing.

Wat Phou UNESCO Temple Entry Fee

Timetable

Starts: Chiang Mai

Days: Wednesday or Sunday

Time: 6pm Welcome Night at Deejai Backpackers

Arrival in Chiang Mai

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Deejai Backpackers (Welcome Night) 18:00 18:00

Chiang Mai - Free Day

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Chiang Mai (Free Day) Free Day Free Day

Chiang Mai to Houay Xai

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Chiang Mai - Deejai Hostel (Depart) 09:00 09:00
Chiang Rai - Bus Terminal 2 (Phaholayotin Rd) (Depart) 12:15 12:15
Chiang Khong (Thai Border) (Depart) 14:30 14:30
Houay Xai (Laos Border) (Arrive) 16:00 16:00

Houay Xai to Ban Pak Nguey (Homestay)

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Houay Xai (Laos Border) - Oudomphone Hotel 2 (Depart) 07:30 07:30
Ban Pak Nguey (Homestay Village) (Arrive) 15:30 15:30

Ban Pak Nguey to Luang Prabang

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Ban Pak Nguey - Boat Landing (Depart) 08:00 08:00
Pak Ou Caves (Depart) 14:00 14:00
Luang Prabang (Arrive) 16:00 16:00

Luang Prabang - Free Day

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Luang Prabang (Free Day) Free Day Free Day

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Luang Prabang - Joma Bakery near the Post Office (Depart) 07:00 07:00
Vang Vieng (Arrive) 13:30 13:30

Vang Vieng to Vientiane

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Vang Vieng - Seng Aloun Guesthouse (Depart) 10:00 10:00
Vientiane (Arrive) 17:30 17:30

Vientiane to Kong Lor

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Vientiane - Mixay Paradise Guesthouse (Depart) 08:00 08:00
Kong Lor (Arrive) 15:00 15:00

Kong Lor - Free Day

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Kong Lor (Free Day) Free Day Free Day

Kong Lor to Thakhek

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Kong Lor - Spring River Resort (Depart) 11:00 11:00
Thakhek (Arrive) 15:30 15:30

Thakhek to Xe Champhone

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Thakhek - Mekong Hotel (Depart) 07:30 07:30
Ban Lak 35 (Depart) 09:00 09:00
Xe Champhone (Arrive) 17:30 17:30

Xe Champhone to Pakse

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Xe Champhone - Phonethavy Guesthouse (Depart) 08:00 08:00
Ban Khongxedon (Depart) 11:30 11:30
Pakse (Arrive) 13:00 13:00

Pakse to Don Det (4000 Islands)

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Pakse - Sala Champa Hotel (Depart) 07:30 07:30
Champasak - Wat Phou (Depart) 10:30 10:30
Ban Nakasang - Pier (Depart) 14:00 14:00
Don Det (Arrive) 14:30 14:30

Upgrade to a Flexi Tour

A Flexi Tour is a unique combination of a guided hop-on, hop-off Stray pass with accommodation and activities, hand-picked by our Stray experts, included in the price.

This 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.

With a Dtui Noy Flexi Tour you'll get:

Asia Contents2 Web

Check out the Dtui Noy Flexi Tour

DtuiNoy Thailand Laos Tour Map strayasia