All about the Tom Yum Pass

Discover the sights, sounds and smells of Bangkok, travel north via amazing Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai, before crossing the border into Laos at Houay Xai for a journey by boat through lush farmland and rugged mountains to the riverside village Ban Pak Nguey. Experience traditional village life and stay in a remote homestay in Ban Pak Nguey; marvel at the beautiful architecture, temples and many sacred sites in the UNESCO World Heritage town Luang Prabang with access to the spectacular Kuang Si waterfalls nearby.

Travel through mountainous terrain and past breathtaking views to Vang Vieng and go tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing or hot air ballooning; before heading to the country’s capital Vientiane to visit the city’s main sites, dine by the river at a local restaurant or shop at a night market. Finish in Vientiane and travel by overnight train to Bangkok.

You’ll want to hop off and explore… the truly unique Gibbon Experience by Houay Xai, and the hip university town of Chiang Mai. Start Anywhere!

This pass is a loop, so you are able to begin anywhere along the route (not only Bangkok), and finish where you started. Just let us know upon booking. Minimum days is 11 when departing Bangkok on a Tuesday.

Hop on Hop Off Highlights

Thailand Highlights

Ayutthaya: Explore the incredible UNESCO World Heritage temple ruins by bicycle.

Chiang Mai: An adventure seeker’s paradise. Zip-line with Flight of the Gibbon, take a cooking class, trek in the jungle, get a massage, do Muay Thai training, and shop at the weekend night market.

Chiang Rai: Home of the elaborate White Temple.

Laos Highlights

Ban Pak Nguey: Experience village life, attend a Baci (welcoming) ceremony and stay in a remote village homestay on the banks of the Mekong River.

Luang Prabang: UNESCO World Heritage City and the cultural gem of South East Asia. Swim in spectacular Kuang Si Waterfall; bathe with elephants in the Khan River, visit a bear sanctuary, and get hands and learn how to cultivate and harvest rice from a rice farmer.

Vang Vieng: Stunning karst rock formations and plenty of outdoor activities other than tubing. Enjoy the vibrant nightlife or get away from it all in a river view bungalow.

Vientiane: Visit the COPE Centre where you’ll learn about the on-going effects of the Vietnam War.

Tom Yum Pass Itinerary - 10 days

  • Travel Day Arrival in Bangkok
    Sawadee, Sabaidee (hello) and welcome to Stray! Your adventure kicks off in the buzzing Asian metropolis of Bangkok, Thailand. If you arrive early in the day feel free to check out the vibrant markets and ancient temples that make up only a small side of this multifaceted city. Be at our Stray Shop on Khao San Road at 6pm to meet your Tour Leader and your new travel mates for a Welcome Night introduction. We’ll cover how Stray works, answer any questions you have and make sure everyone is ready for tomorrow morning’s departure. Afterwards, make the most of your first night by getting to know each other over a delicious Thai dinner and a few cold beverages on Khao San Road.
    Accommodation: Comfortable guesthouse near Khao San Road
    Free Inclusions: Welcome Night meeting with Stray Tour Leader and group
  • Travel Day Bangkok to Chiang Mai (via Ayutthaya)
    Meet your Stray Tour Leader back at the Stray Bangkok Shop in the morning to depart for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya. We arrive mid-morning, allowing you plenty of time to explore the ‘Venice of the East’ by bike or boat. Ayutthaya is the former capital of the Siamese empire and was once a grandiose city, but many of the ancient monuments were ruined when it was attacked by an invading army. Nevertheless, it is still a fascinating historical park that offers a glimpse of bygone splendour. This afternoon we board our overnight train and head for the city of Chiang Mai.
    Free Inclusions: Overnight train or bus (price included), temple entry in Ayutthaya
    Optional Paid Activities: Bike or boat trip around Ayutthaya Temples.
  • Travel Day Arrival in Chiang Mai
    We arrive into Chiang Mai train station between 8am – 11am. Chiang Mai is a popular place to hop off for many travellers and an amazing city full of endless activity options, such as Thai cooking classes, bike tours or Muay Thai kickboxing. There are over 300 Buddhist temples to discover, you can visit the old walled city, see the Tapae Gate or pick up a bargain at the famous night market and check out the lively music scene.
    Accommodation: Guesthouse located near the historic old quarter
  • Free Day Chiang Mai
    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.
    Accommodation: Guesthouse located near the historic old quarter
    Optional Paid Activities: Thai cooking course, bike tour, Flight of the Gibbon, trekking, kayaking, mountain biking.
  • Travel Day Chiang Mai to Houay Xai
    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.
    Accommodation: Guesthouse with views across the Mekong River
    Free Inclusions: White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) visit
    Optional Paid Activities: Visit an ethnic lantern village near Chiang Rai, access the Gibbon Experience from Houay Xai (must hop off for these activities).
  • Travel Day Houay Xai to Mekong River Homestay
    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!
    Accommodation: Village stay includes accommodation in an indigenous family home, traditional Baci Ceremony, dinner, breakfast, local activities and contribution to the village fund/project
  • Travel Day Mekong River Homestay to Luang Prabang
    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. 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.
    Accommodation: Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms close to night market
    Free Inclusions: Pak Ou Caves entrance
  • Free Day Luang Prabang
    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 plenty of other 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 Photoshopped, or you can get hands on by becoming an organic rice farmer for the day on the unforgettable Rice Experience. Alternatively, you can spend the day cycling or trekking to rural villages, take a cooking class or head to the night market for a hassle-free bargaining experience.
    Accommodation: Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms close to night market
    Optional Paid Activities: Kuang Si Waterfall + bear sanctuary, Rice Experience, cycling, trekking, traditional cooking class, kayak the river.
  • Travel Day Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng
    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 hill-tribe villages, vast green valleys and rolling hills; we’ll make a special stop at the ‘loo with a view’. Our journey today takes us to the little riverside town Vang Vieng, formerly known as the best place to take tubing trips down the Nam Song River to visit riverside bars and indulge in cheap booze. These days you can still go tubing, but now you get to enjoy the beauty of Vang Vieng's landscape without the sound of pounding bass in the background. Upon arrival into Vang Vieng start partying or kick back and watch re-runs of old TV shows playing at the bars around town.
    Accommodation: Family run guesthouse in the centre of the action
    Optional Paid Activities: River tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, caving, visit the Blue Lagoon.
  • Travel Day Vang Vieng
    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.
    Accommodation: Family run guesthouse in the centre of the action
    Optional Paid Activities: River tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, caving, visit the Blue Lagoon.
  • Travel Day Vang Vieng to Vientiane
    Today we cruise through to the capital of Laos, stopping at the impressive Tham Jang Cave that was once used as a bunker during a Chinese invasion in the 19th century. 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.
    Accommodation: Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI
    Free Inclusions: Tham Jang Cave entrance, highlights of Vientiane
  • Travel Day Vientiane to Bangkok (Express Day)
    Today you will be collected from your guesthouse in Vientiane mid-afternoon and be taken by tuk-tuk to Thanaleng Train Station. Here you clear Lao customs; pay your departure fee then board a connecting train which takes you over the Friendship Bridge to Nong Khai in Thailand. You complete Thai immigration at the train station and have time for a meal or drink across the road before boarding the overnight train to Bangkok.
    Free Inclusions: Overnight train (price included)
  • Travel Day Arrival in Bangkok
    Your Stray journey officially finishes when you arrive back in Bangkok in the early morning.
Tom Yum Pass Price information AUD per person

Price

Description

Tour code: TOM
$995
Adult Pass

Departure information

Starts

Tuesdays and Saturdays from Viengtai Hotel, Rambuttri Rd, Banglumphu, Bangkok

Minimum days: 10

Ends
Bangkok


More information

Important Notes

Things you need to know about this tour
  • Non Travel Days vary depending on departure chosen
  • All departures have 2 nights in Chiang Mai

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