2-3 months is a great amount of time to travel the backpacker crowd favourites: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, affectionately known as the 'Banana Pancake' trail.
There are some truely incredible highlight destinations and attractions along this track, but if you're keen to also check out some less well known, off the beaten track places, that are harder to reach - the Stray route could be for you!
If you're wanting to
- have freedom in your schedule
- be able to change your itinerary to stay longer in the places you love
- meet loads of different people
- connect with the locals
- learn more about the culture and country you're travelling in
- get local insights from a local Tour Leader
- be guaranteed a bed to sleep in each night
- travel on reliable transport
- feel safe while you're travelling
- have a fun trip without extra travel stress
- and not travel on a traditional touring style product...
...then keep on reading. We think we could make great travel buddies!
Working out where to go...
Most travellers want to see Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam so that's precisely where our route will take you, and we've been refining this travel route for years - check out a map of the full route here.
The destinations on the route are a mixture of 'must see' places backpackers love, like Chiang Mai, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap and Hoi An, and epic little off the beaten track places you won't find in the guidebooks, but may just be the most memorable places you visit.
If you've got 2months or more, we recommend the Lot Pass - this is our entire Southeast Asia route.
Sorting out how to get around...
Travelling around Southeast Asia on public transport is cheap, but it can take a lot of admin time working out timetables, which bus station to go to, which bus to catch, how to buy tickets etc. Not to mention public transport in Southeast Asia isn't the most reliable, safe or comfortable.
When you travel with Stray you don't have to worry about getting dropped at the wrong bus stop or whether the bus will show up or not because you're travelling on Stray's private transport network. This includes all buses, trains, boats, vans, even tuk-tuks - whatever means necessary to get around and get the full Southeast Asia experience without the hassle.
You have control over your trip and can manage your travel in Stray Mate, the online personalised Trip Manager tool which makes it super easy to book on and off buses.
Minimise the travel anxiety and maximise the good times.
And we don't just go from A to B, if there are cool things to see on the way, we'll stop off and check them out. We break up long travel sectors with short walks, waterfall swims, a visit to an important landmark, or a photo op from a gorgeous scenic look out.
Who travels with Stray?
Travelling on the Stray buses you'll find a bunch of like-minded travellers who crave adventure and want to see and do more than the average tourist.
You'll also find an awesome, local, English-speaking guide, who's job it is to ensure you're having a great time, are safe and teach you about the culture and country you're travelling in. Guides can also suggest great places to eat, help you order food (particularly useful if you have specific dietary requirements), book accommodation and activities and translate anything you're curious about.
Deciding where to stay and what to do...
That's completely up to you! Accommodation and Activities are not included with a Freestyle Pass, which allows you the flexibility to choose where you want to stay (to suit your taste and budget) and only do the things you want to do.
Guides are always happy to offer recommendations and we guarantee that there will always be a bed reserved for you at the Stray preferred accommodation at each overnight stop - so you'll never get caught out without somewhere to stay. The guide will ask you on the day if you'd like to stay at the Stray accommodation, or if you've arranged something on your own. Either way - it's completely up to you.
Figuring out how much time to spend in each place...
One of the most amazing things about travelling is the freedom!
Because your Stray Pass is flexible, you can decide how much time you want to spend in each place, as you go. If you arrive somewhere and want to stay longer, that's completely fine!
The bus departs twice a week all year round. So when you hop off you can spend 3-4 days exploring, then jump back on the next bus with a new Guide and a new group of travellers.
Passes are valid for 12 months so you can hop on and off the bus as much as you like for up to a year.
If you want to, you can also check out the Destination Guides and plan where you are going to hop off in advance. You can book the dates in Stray Mate Trip Manager - but if you change your mind you can clear your dates - no worries at all!
Are we a good match?
If you like things to go smoothly, with less stress and more fun, have the flexibility to go with the flow, and meet lots of other travellers, then you'll love travelling Southeast Asia the 'Stray way'!
The convenience of hassle-free travel, safety, reliability and fun, social travel is what Stray is all about.
If you're looking to travel Southeast Asia for 2-12 months we recommend checking out the Lot Pass