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Home. Our Trips » Freestyle Passes » Long Laos Pass

Long Laos Pass

Discover Laos, from north to south. Treat the Long Laos 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. Click here to see the route!


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What's included:

Flexible transport

Whether it be our air-conditioned buses, boat, train, or even tuk-tuk - you can hop-on hop-off anywhere along the route.


Local Tour Leader

Knowledgeable local guides to provide invaluable 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.


12 month travel pass

Your pass is valid for 12 months from the first day of travel.


trekkingTop rated activities

There are some awesome activities and entrance fees included with your pass:

 

  • 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
  • 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. 


Is this trip right for you?

 Do you want to explore with a group of like-minded travellers?


✓ Do you want to focus on Laos but explore at your own pace?


 Do you want to immerse yourself in local culture?


 Do you want to visit some of those harder to reach, remote destinations?


 Do you want the flexibility to stay longer in certain places?

 

The Long Laos Freestyle Pass is a great choice for you!

If you would prefer a tour with accommodation and more activities included, check out the Long Laos Freestyle Tour! Get all the same great benefits + accommodation and top-rated activities.


Highlights:


STRADEMARK PLACES 

LongLaos Strademark asia route 2018 194

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.
  • 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. 

Want more? 

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Long Laos Pass

was $945 $732

Itinerary

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 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. 

Welcome Night meeting with Tour Leader and Stray group 

Today is free for you to explore this historically rich city or venture outside the city to discover the natural beauty of Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai is the perfect base for some of Thailand's best guided hikes and treks, as well as the top spot for adventure activities like mountain biking, abseiling and whitewater rafting. 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. 

Visit an ethnic lantern village near Chiang Rai (must hop off for this activity).
White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) visit

Leaving Houay Xai you’ll board our private slow boat up the Mekong River to the tiny secluded village that will host you for an overnight homestay experience.  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 the village 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 special 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 don’t forget to 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 ($17 USD)

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.

Pak Ou Caves entrance

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. 

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 start partying or kick back and watch re-runs of old TV shows playing at the bars around town!

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

With its stunning natural scenery, adventurous outdoor activities and reputation for a party scene, it’s no surprise that Vang Vieng is a popular spot for travellers. The tubing experience is more sedate now than in days past, but it’s still a real highlight to float down the river soaking up the beautiful mountain surrounds. Aside from tubing, Vang Vieng offers great rock climbing and kayaking options. We also recommend visiting the Blue Lagoon, one of the best natural swimming holes in Laos. The fun doesn’t stop after an adventure filled day either! This evening, check out one of several international restaurants for a taste of home or head to one of the bars to really get the party started.

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.

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 and the gateway to the famous Kong Lor Cave (Tham Kong Lor to the locals). You have free time this afternoon to venture deep into the 7km abyss by riding in a motorised canoe on an underground river through the mountain.

Kong Lor Cave boat trip

Wat Prabat Phonsone, Kong Lor National Park Entry Fee

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. 

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.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. 

Old Wat Taleow & Hotay Pidok Library entrance fee, Monkey Forest.

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.

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. 

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

Wat Phou UNESCO Temple Entry Fee

Long Laos Pass

was $945 $732

Timetable

Starts: Chiang Mai

Days: Wednesday or Sunday

Time: 6pm Welcome Night at Hugnur Hostel

Arrival in Chiang Mai

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Hugnur Hostel (Welcome Night) 18:00 18:00

Chiang Mai

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

Chiang Mai to Houay Xai

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

Houay Xai to Mekong River Homestay

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Houay Xai (Laos Border) - Oudomphone Hotel 2 (Depart) 08:00 08:00
Homestay Village (Arrive) 16:30 16:30

Mekong River Homestay to Luang Prabang

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

Luang Prabang

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

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Luang Prabang - Arham Corner Guesthouse & Sports B (Depart) 08:00 08:00
Vang Vieng (Arrive) 14:30 14:30

Vang Vieng

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Vang Vieng (Free Day) Free Free

Vang Vieng to Vientiane

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Vang Vieng - Seng Aloun Guesthouse (Depart) 09:00 09:00
Vientiane (Arrive) 17:30 17:30

Vientiane to Kong Lor (7km Cave)

  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 to Thakhek

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Kong Lor - Thong Dam Bungalow (Depart) 11:00 11:00
Thakhek (Arrive) 15:30 15:30

Thakek 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 - Khamfong Sihavong 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

Long Laos Pass

was $945 $732

long laos map laos thailand

Need to Know


Some key details...

  • Transport - All transport is included - you'll travel by bus (mostly private, air-conditioned buses with 24 seats), minivans, trains (Thailand only), boats (Laos only) and tuk-tuks. 

  • Guides - Stray employs local Tour Leaders to ensure you get more out of your trip. Hear the local stories, try their food recommendations, get insider tips and advice. Tour Leaders change from country to country so you'll have several different Tour Leaders throughout your journey if you're traveling multiple countries and if you hop on and off the bus - they're all absolute legends! 

  • Validity - This Freestyle Pass is valid for 12 months from your first day of travel and can be travelled once. 

  • Hopping on/off - Hop on and off as much as you like along the travel route.  The buses run twice a week so the minimum amount of time you can hop off for is 3 days. 

  • Minimum Days - You don't need to hop off if you're short on time - you can travel your pass in the "Minimum Days". There are non-travel days throughout the route so you will not be travelling everyday however we recommend allowing extra time to hop off. 

  • Departures - Buses run twice a week. Use the timetable to plan your trip. 

  • Booking Buses - Use Stray Mate (trip manager website) to book buses - you'll receive log in details in your Booking Confirmation email. If you're on a short timeframe, we recommend booking all your buses in advance. 

  • Accommodation - Accommodation is not included - we have preferred accommodation options at each overnight stop and you can book this through your Tour Leader, or you can opt to book your own. Stray's preferred accommodation is simple and budget friendly. 

  • Activities - Activities are not included - your Tour Leader can provide recommendations and assist with booking. 

  • Visas - You are responsible for obtaining any visas you require for the countries you are travelling in. Visa requirements vary depending on where you’re coming from and where you going, so we recommend that you contact the appropriate embassy in your country of origin. 

  • Travel Insurance - You must have a travel insurance policy to cover you for the entire time you are travelling with Stray. You will be asked for your policy details prior to starting travel. 
  • Stray Travellers - Our travellers are from all over the world, are energetic, adventurous and mainly aged between 20-35.  You'll have people who have booked Freestyle Passes and Tours in your group, as the route is exactly the same, it's just the inclusions that are different. 

  • Group Size - Max 18, Average 9

  • Unguided sectors - Some trips may include one or two unguided sectors as our Local Tour Leaders stay in their country of origin and bid you farewell to continue your journey with a new Tour Leader in the next country you're travelling to. Crossing the borders can be a bit of an adventure but your Tour Leader will tell you what to expect.  In Stray Mate Trip Manager you can read the itinerary for each of these days to ensure your unguided sectors go smoothly. 

 

Find out more by reading our FAQs