Every Stray Asia group is accompanied by an awesome, experienced English-speaking Tour Leader, who comes with expert knowledge, invaluable insight and more than a few stories!
These dudes and dudettes are consistently mentioned when passengers talk about their favourite things on Stray. They will also book accommodation and activities on your behalf, giving you one less thing to worry about, help you interpret signs, menus and communicate at the homestays and remote villages, explain the local history, and show you the best place to have a beer.
We believe employing local guides is not only the right thing to do to support the countries that we travel in, it also provides the best experience for our customers too.
"Thank you to all of the amazing Stray guides who helped us along the way. All of the guides always ensured all the needs of the group were met, while also providing both historical and current information about the city we were in or the country as a whole. Every single guide was enthusiastic and seemed genuinely passionate about making our SE Asia adventure the best they possibly could. All guides were so happy to help us plan and book anything we wanted and I always felt safe and comfortable travelling with them. The guides made all of the difference in our trip and were an invaluable asset to our trip. I know we both will never forget them and the impact they had on not only our trip, but the life lessons we have learned while travelling."
Lucy Johnston - January 2017
Where are you from? Luang Prabang, Laos
What's your favourite "off the beaten track" experience?
My favourite off the beaten track experience in Laos is the Mekong River cruise from Thailand to Lao and blessing Ceremony at the homestay. These Lao customs create friendships. In Vang Vieng I love going swimming at the Spring River, the cave and kayaking on the Nam song River, that's amazing.
Where are you from? Luang Prabang, Laos
What's your favourite "off the beaten track" place?
The Mekong River cruise from Thailand to Laos and blessing ceremony at homestay is unique and the Lao customs make friendships and deep memories between local villagers and travellers!
Where are you from? Luang Prabang, Laos
What's your favourite "off the beaten track" place? The Laos homestay where we enjoy the warm welcome ceremony and learn about traditional Lao culture.
Where are you from? Vientiane, Laos
What are your favourite things? Favourite Song - Hotel California, Favourite hobby - Dancing, Favourite road snack - peanuts or cashews, Favourite festival - Full Moon Party and the Rocket Festival
Summarise yourself in three words: Friendly, easy going and helpful!
Where are you from? Luang Prabang, Laos
What's your favourite "off the beaten track" place? Most places Stray visits are awesome! In Thailand Chiang Mai is a charming beautiful city with a lot of activities. In Laos the boat cruise has beautiful scenery both sides of Mekong river and at the homestay on the banks of the Mekong, we experience a Baci holy Hindu ceremony which is very special. Luang Prabang also one of the most beautiful charming ancient capital cities, it is rich in culture, nature and local living.
What do you enjoy introducing Stray passengers to? I always teach them about Lao's customs and culture how to respect the local communities. I am easy-going, friendly and helpful!
Where are you from? A small village north of Luang Prabang in Laos
What's your favourite "off the beaten track" place? My favourite off the beaten track activity is the boat cruise downstream of the Mekong river to Luang Prabang the word heritage city, which includes an overnight stop at a homestay on the Mekong river bank, and getting to know the local life of way.
What do you enjoy introducing Stray passengers to? I like to teach everyone how to say hello and thanks in Lao: SABAIDEE and KHOP CHAI LAI LAI. I also like to tell them know how Laos came to be Laos, it is a complicated history and a beautiful culture. Welcome to Lao: land of sticky rice!
If you travel with Stray Asia, we will take you further off beaten track, I'll teach you about my country and tell you local stories, I'll be helpful, keep you safe and we'll have lots of fun. Do it, then you'll never forget us!
Where are you from? Battambang Province (in the countryside), Cambodia
What's your favourite "off the beaten track" place? The Battambang Village Stay. I like to teach the Stray passengers about the geography of the countryside and introduce them to the way we live in a traditional village. I like to teach them about culture, religion, Fine Art and the landscape, and help them to discover new places which they wouldn't find on their own. I try to be the best guide I can and make their time in Cambodia really special.
Where are you from? I'm from Battambang in Cambodia.
What's your favourite local secret place? I like the rural waterfalls surrounded by valleys and mountains - places you wouldn't find on your own!
What do you enjoy most about being a Stray Tour Leader? I like learning things of life experiences from the people I meet and sharing my life experiences too.
Where are you from? I'm from Battambang, Cambodia.
What's your favourite local secret place? My favourite 'local secret place' is ARCADIA Water Park in Kampot, as it's really fun, and exciting, located on the Kampot river, surrounded by mountains with a great atmosphere.
What do you enjoy most about being a Stray Tour Leader? I love traveling in my country, telling people about history and culture of Cambodia and meeting people from different countries.
Where are you from? I come from Gia lai in Vietnam, a central highland province which is famous for it’s mighty mountains, cool green forests, impressive waterfalls, and special produce, such as coffee, pepper, and cashew nuts.
What's your favourite destination? Vietnam has diverse scenery and a rich culture making each place unique, however I love Da Lat the most. A central highland French style city with mountains, lakes, and waterfalls, Dalat is built one thousand five hundred metres above sea level, which means the city is cool all year round. The temperature here is perfect for growing flowers, all types of vegetables, teas and arabica coffee. Apart from that, Dalat is a great place for many activities which attract tourists the first time they come. From adventurous tours to cultural tours, good healthy food, and friendly people, this “honeymoon city” will bring you a great experience during your staying.
What do you like teaching Stray passengers? As a local guide, I am more than happy to share with tourists about Vietnamese history and culture, especially how Vietnamese people lived right after the Vietnam war (which we call American war). Come and have fun with us!
Where are you from? I am from Da Nang City, considering the city with the best living standards in Vietnam. You may ask why? I think it comes from the outstanding hospitality of local people, authentic delicious foods and amazing bridges such as Dragon bridge which lights up and puts on a show, breathing fire every Saturday and Sunday night. Welcome to my province!!! It’s close to Hoi An about an hour by bus, so if you hop off in Hoi An then please visit.
What’s your favourite stop in Vietnam? Well I must say Hoi An, but I would add a few more places! Da Lat – paradise for love, cool temperatures and pleasure, or Ninh Binh – most unique mix of culture and landscape in Southeast Asia, but also I like the vibrant atmosphere of Ho Chi Minh City. I feel like Hoi An combines most all of these things and it is also closer to my hometown so I am a bit partial. Haha!
What do you like most about being a tour leader? My personality is just so well suited to this job as tour leader. I feel happy and myself when I am doing my “job”, I do not think of it as a job - instead I feel like a happy local person introducing my country Vietnam to new international friends from all over the world. I also love interacting and gathering everyone to do something together and spending time with each other to make the trip even more special and create positivity, happiness but also safety and fulfilment. – that’s also the main purpose you are traveling right? Happy vibes only.
Where are you from? I'm from Da Nang, a beautiful coastal city in central of Vietnam.
What's your favourite off the beaten track place? I love riding my motorbike around Mekong Delta area. It's fantastic to get inside the village with small roads to see local people living, working and enjoy the fresh air of rivers and farms.
What do you like teaching Stray passengers? I like to share with them about Vietnamese history, culture, our lovely food and also language. "Xin Chào". I am friendly, easy-going and always smile :)
Where are you from? I am from Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam
What’s your favourite ‘local secret’ place? My local secret place is Dong Van town - Ha Giang province, home of Mong minority tribe, where the local life is not impacted by tourism, where you can feel the purest love and hospitality of the local people and where the spectacular landscape can take your breath away.
What is your favourite destination on the Stray route? Hoi An is an amazing stop which is rich of culture, history and activities. Hoi An ancient town is charming and peaceful enough for the ones looking to relax. For those seeking an adventure experience; scuba diving, rock climbing, motorcycling are all on offer in Hoi An. For people with a love of culture and history, this town is over a thousand years old, and combines influences of local and foreign culture.
What do you like most about being a Stray Tour Leader? I love to bring travellers to off the beaten track places to see the different and more authentic parts of my country.
Where are you from? I was born and grew up in Hanoi, a one-thousand year old city, the heart of culture and tradition in Vietnamese Civilization. Hanoi has been known by several names, one of its names meant "ascending dragon" as the King claimed he saw a dragon rise from the lake.
What's your favourite off the beaten track place? Phong Nha
What do you like most about being a Tour Leader? Being a tour leader gives me the opportunity to live an actual 'Stray life'! I meet many interesting people from all around the world, experience many adventures, and discoveries and excitements pop up everyday!
Where are you from? I'm from the largest port-city in North of Vietnam, Hai Phong, 2 hours by bus East of Hanoi. Not many people know about this fact: Catba island belongs to my home province, not Halong Bay.
Where is your favourite place?
I would choose Ninh Binh for my favorite destination in Vietnam. Just be there, make yourself be one with the mountains, rivers, take a good view at the hotel's roof top to see the last light of the day go away behind the mountains. You will feel the same as I do.
Where are you from? I am from a small village call Naung Ta Yar, about 3 hours drive from Kalaw, Shan State, Myanmar. My parents and my brother and sister are farmers. They live in the village. They grow a lot of potato, chilli, ginger and different kinds of beans. I moved to Kalaw for high school and completed three years of university. I have been a tour guide for 5 years and my family are very proud of me.
Where is your favourite place? Bagan, which is rich in culture, history and has over 2000 pagodas from 13th and 14th century. We also go to visit some villages around Bagan, and the villagers are very friendly and hospitable. Another place I like is Kalaw because of the very cool weather and fresh air. The most interesting thing is to do is the trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake. We meet different people from mountain tribes and eat different kinds of fresh vegetables and fruit.The temperature here is perfect for growing vegetables and fruit.