chiang mai

Phou Travel Pass

Travel through Northern Thailand and Northern Laos, in a comprehensive trip for travellers with six days or more.

Marvel at the famous and intriguing White Temple, travel by boat through lush farmland, rugged mountains and jungles. Experience traditional village life in a remote village homestay. Visit the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang and cool off in the spectacular Kuang Si waterfall. Travel through mountainous terrain and past breathtaking views. Get adventurous: go tubing, cycling, kayaking or rock climbing. From beautiful landscapes to adventure sports, local cuisine and bustling night markets, the Phou pass gets you closer to the action in Laos!

*Price displayed is Low Bird and available on departures between 1 May and 30 September 2017. If you would like to depart outside these dates, select the 'Travel Anytime' option. 


Highlights


UNIQUE STRAY EXPERIENCES

Our mission is to get you off the beaten track amongst authentic local culture and our experienced crew has chosen some incredible and unique destinations to explore for the complete Stray experience!

Only Stray visits Ban Pak Nguey, 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.


Reviews

5star review

"Our Stray guide was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and friendly. Always happy to offer advice and tips for the whole of SE Asia and beyond and help book and plan our personal plans. Ran the entire trip smoothly and was a good friend too. There is a lot of travelling on this pass, but the sights and towns visited make it worth it. The two day boat ride is a good time to chill out and get to know your fellow Strayers and the homestay in between is a wonderful experience. Would definitely recommend Stray."

 

Martin, January 2016

   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

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 Phou Flexi Tour. Get all the same great benefits + accommodation and top rated activities.


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Thai Beach + Full Moon Adventure

Start or finish your trip with 5 nights on the beautiful Thai island of Koh Phangan, famous for its epic Full Moon parties! Departs from Bangkok.

Phou Travel Pass

was $445 $312
$0

Total

$312

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.

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

Phou Travel Pass

was $445 $312
$0

Total

$312

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

Phou Travel Pass

was $445 $312
$0

Total

$312

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 Phou Flexi Tour you'll get:

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Check out the Phou Flexi Tour