Get off the beaten path and visit Laos! Let us take you off the beaten path on our backpacker trip in Laos. Starting in Bangkok Thailand, you can head through one of the most rewarding countries in South East Asia, and experience the joys of tubing, waterfalls and mind boggling scenery and beer Lao!
 

Discover The Best Parts  of South East Asia

Book Now

backpacking in south east asia (1)Backpacking in South East Asia´s incredible Laos, Cambodia and Thailand!
Discovering mountain villages, with incredible views and a country set back in time in Laos. Find out why people rave about Luang Prabang and Vientiane on our blog and not forgetting there is the awesome tubing experience, drifting down a river in an inner tire stopping off at bars and rope swings all the way down.
Cambodia will amaze and horrify you with an incredible history and people. See the horrifying S21 Genocide museum in Phnom Penh, relax on an undeveloped island in Koh Tunsay and speed down an abandon railway on a bamboo cart.

 

Backpacking in South East Asia Highlights:

  • backpacking in south east asia (5)Trek to mountain villages, see a way of life less known, and most of all be greeted by a heart warming “Sabaidee”
  • Travel on trains, buses, longboats and tuk tuks up Thailand and around Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, the friendliest and least discovered country in Asia!
  • This is the first guided bus travel network in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam! Connect from Thailand on trains and traverse Laos from north to south to Cambodia and then on to Vietnam, or choose a section that appeals to you.
  • We have an extensive range of South East Asian bus tours and travel passes for all time frames.
  • Your pass is valid for 12 months so take your time to explore!
  • ´Jump-on´ and ´jump-off´ the trip anywhere that you want along the way around our comprehensive route.
  • Go further off the beaten track and save money with unique down-to-earth stops, local culture and amazing activities.
  • Travel with like-minded people, and get guidance from our legendary guides and local drivers.
  • Our guides organise your accommodation at each overnight stop from guest houses, backpacker hostels, budget hotels, ecolodges and camping.
  • Backpacking in South East Asia trip time depends on the pass you take you can do it in 10 days or 3 weeks or even longer if you need. Starting in Bangkok, you can travel to Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, enjoying a free day in Chiang Mai, before meeting Xtreme Gap crew private boat in Huay Xai, Laos. A superb combination with any of our Thailand programs you can experience a whole different side to Asia.

Want more?

Make it a bigger trip!

By combining exciting programmes like the Xtreme Thailand Experience at the start and finishing with the Vietnam Experience you can turn these trip in to an epic adventure!

Add Vietnam!

Did you know you can add Vietnam to your itinerary with our South East Asia Xplorer? Check it out!
Vietnam is an assault on all the senses, breath in the amazing smell of the coffee plantations in Da Lat, Taste amazing Pho, see incredible locals at the Ban Ma Thout home stay, hear the incredible story of the Ho Chi Minh trail in Vin Moc and touch beautiful golden sand beaches and the finest silks in Hoi An.

Photos

Hop On Hop Off  Backpacking Passes In Laos, Cambodia and Thailand

Discover why people are starting to discover Laos as an incredible backpacking destination. From tubing in Vang Vieng, to the stunning Luang prabang, sublime water falls, national parks, epic scenery. Fair warning though, this will make you want to book your flight and leave immediately!

backpacking in south east asia (23)Minimum Trip Times

  • Mekong Pass – min 36 days
  • Full Moon Pass – min 30 days
  • Dtui Noy Pass – min 17 days
  • Tom Yum Pass – min 16 days

 

Mekong Pass

DEPARTS:

  • Wet Season / Jun – Oct,  TUESDAYS, SATURDAYS,
  • Dry Season / Nov – May  TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS

A comprehensive trip through northern Thailand, Laos and Cambodia with the option to end in Bangkok, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh or Ho Chi Minh City.
For travellers who have 4 weeks or more and want to see as much of these amazing countries as possible.

Experience the sights, sounds and smells of Bangkok, travel north via the amazing Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai, before meeting the  Bus at the Huay Xai border crossing in Laos.
Experience mountains and vibrant cultures in Northern Laos and amazing wilderness and wildlife in the South; follow narrow mountain roads to scenic rivers and waterfalls, hidden archaeological sites, communist caves and friendly remote villages.
Head into Cambodia to explore ancient temples, pagodas and palaces, snack on fried spiders or enjoy a local Khmer BBQ. Chill out in the beach sanctuary of Koh Tunsay, see the rare Irrawady Dolphins and visit the infamous Khmer Rouge S21 prison and killing fields. Cycle or trek the Bokor National Parks and get to know the locals in a remote village homestay.

backpacking in south east asia (15)Pass Highlights and Inclusions

  • Ayutthaya Temples
  • Pha Tok Cave
  • Pak Ou Cave
  • Tham Jang Cave
  • National Park Entry
  • Kong Lor Park Entry
  • Mahaxai Cave
  • Turtle Lake
  • Hotay Pitok Library
  • Tad Ngeuang
  • Wat Phu
  • S21 & Killing Fields
  • Udong
  • Bamboo Train

Mekong pass itinerary

Bangkok to Chiang Mai (Via Ayutthaya)

Your adventure kicks off 8am at the  Bangkok shop where you meet your guide and group. After a brief induction to how the pass works we depart for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya. We arrive mid-morning, giving you plenty of time to explore the fascinating historical park by bike or enjoy a boat journey through the “Venice of the East”. We leave late evening to Chiang Mai.
Overnight train or bus (price included)
Non Travel Day: Arrival in Chiang Mai
We arrive into the train station between 8:00 11:00am. Chiang Mai is an amazing city with endless activity options. Some of our favourites are a tree top adventure with Flight of the Gibbon, trekking, rafting, and traditional cooking classes. For those looking for adrenalin try the down-hill mountain biking and traditional Muay Thai Boxing training! There’s also the famous night market, the Night Safari (Asia’s largest) and easy access to Pai village.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20
Non Travel Day: Chiang Mai

You have a full day to enjoy this historically rich city, or partake in one of the many adventure activities on offer. We suggest spending time to take in the ancient sights, including the old walled-city and the Tapae Gate, and some of the magnificent 300 Buddhist Temples.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20
Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong

Meet your group and guide at the Xtreme  preferred accommodation, before kicking off your Xtreme  journey. We leave at midday to visit the famous and intriguing White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), and then continue on to the border town of Chiang Khong to enjoy our last night in Thailand.
Guesthouse with views across the Mekong River USD20
Chiang Khong to Pakbeng

A short boat ride across the Mekong River whisks us away towards Huay Xai, Laos. This is where we clear customs before boarding the boat to Pakbeng. Sit back and soak up the incredible journey as the river winds through lush farmland, rugged mountains and jungle. You will spot water buffalo, mountain-side rice paddies, local fishermen, and kids splashing in the shallows. We arrive in the remote village of Pakbeng late afternoon and stay overnight by the river.
Guesthouse near boat ramp USD8 15
Pakbeng to Ban Lad Khammune (homestay)

Leaving Pakbeng early, we continue our journey down the Mekong to the secluded village of Ban Lad Khammune. Here you will experience traditional village life by staying with a local family in their home. Attend a Baci (welcoming) Ceremony and have a chance to wander around the village, watch the women weaving or try your luck in a friendly game of petanque in the square!
Homestay including accommodation, traditional Baci ceremony and meals USD $17
Ban Lad Khammune (homestay) to Luang Prabang

We wave goodbye to the village and jump back aboard our private boat downriver to the famous Pak Ou Caves. Here you will see thousands of Buddha images that were placed throughout the caves over a period of hundreds of years. A short trip takes us into the stunningly beautiful Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage town with a fusion of French colonial architecture and traditional Lao buildings. This is home to the famous Kuang Si waterfalls, a bear sanctuary, ancient Buddhist temples and many sacred sites.
Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms close to night market USD12-40
Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng

It´s an early start as we head south through mountainous terrain, taking in the breathtaking views. Upon arrival into Vang Vieng there is plenty of time to go tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, start partying or even 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 USD8-30
Vang Vieng to Vientiane

Today we cruise through to the capital of Laos and take a tour of the city´s main attractions: 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 get a massage, go shopping at the night market, or watch the action from one of the local restaurants by the river.
Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast USD20
Vientiane to Kong Lor (7 Km Cave)

An early escape this morning takes us away from the crowds and south to Kong Lor, and the Phu Hin Bun National Park. About an hour into the journey we visit Wat Prabat Phonsone, the “Buddha´s Footprint” temple, which has become an important pilgrimage site for local communities. There is time before sunset to explore the Kong Lor village and take in the stunning scenery of the surrounding rice paddies and limestone Karst Mountains.
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave USD10
Non Travel Day: Kong Lor (7 Km Cave)

This morning you´re free to head down to the Cave (or Tham Kong Lor to the locals) and venture deep into the 7km abyss! Ride in a traditional motorised canoe and take in the amazing rock formations, swim in the cool waters of the cave entrance. There may also be the option to travel to Ban Tabak village, to take a ride in a ‘bomb boat´ made from the metal fuel casings of B52 bombers, dumped on Laos during the Secret War (this is subject to availability on the day).
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views of the Karst Mountains and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave USD10
Kong Lor (7 Km Cave) to Thakek

Today is a short travel day and includes a stop to view the “Great Wall of Tha Kek” before heading into town to check into our hotel on the banks of the Mekong River. This afternoon we´ll head out of town towards the Khammouane Protected Area, home to the Mahaxai Caves scattered amongst rugged limestone cliffs and pristine jungle scenery. We will stop at Tha Farang for an afternoon swim before returning to town to relax and enjoy a sunset over the Mekong River.
Mekong riverside Guesthouse USD12

Thakek to Xe Champhone (village stay)

This is what Xtreme is all about, getting totally off the beaten track! We head into Xe Champhone wetlands – an area so remote that occasionally our  buses can’t access it, so we have to jump on board an off-road truck! Along the way we visit Old Wat Taleow, a beautiful temple bombed in 1969, then onto Turtle Lake where you might spot soft-shell turtles. Our last stop for the day is the 200-year-old Hotay Pidok Buddhist library. Once here we spend the night with the friendly locals in the Monkey forest, a sacred place and home to hundreds of wild Rhesus Macaque monkeys.
Basic village stay including accommodation and meals USD17
Xe Champhone to Pakse

Driving south this morning we head for the bright lights of Pakse. From here, you can check out the Bolaven Plateau with its cool climate, coffee and tea plantations, and spectacular waterfalls. Paske is a great place to hop off the bus and experience the unforgettable Tree Top Explorer adventure. This an amazing experience that includes trekking though jungle, tree house accommodation, wildlife, thundering waterfalls, and a zip- line system that will have you flying through the tree-tops and across ravines.
Guesthouse with fan or air-conditioned rooms in the centre of town surrounded by everything you need USD8-10
Pakse to Don Det (4000 Islands)

An early start takes us to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer temple. We´ll explore the site and climb to the mountain top temple, before heading south to the 4000 Islands area to experience its laidback lifestyle and natural beauty. We arrive around lunchtime giving you time to cycle across to the neighbouring Don Khone Island and visit Li Phi waterfall or take a boat trip for a chance to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins.
Rustic style guesthouse USD5-15
Don Det to Phnom Penh

Saying goodbye to Laos, we make an early start to join the public bus for the journey to Cambodia. A short drive will bring you to the Don Kralor Border where you will complete immigration procedures, then continue the journey into Cambodia, once again following the mighty Mekong River. We arrive in the majestic capital of Phnom Penh late evening, and you´ll get a chance to freshen up before meeting your new tour leader for dinner and drinks along the iconic waterfront.
Guesthouse near the main tourist area USD20
Phnom Penh to Koh Tunsay (Rabbit Island)

After a tour of the infamous Khmer Rouge S21 Prison and Killing Fields we head for the Cambodian coast, passing through the river town of Kampot. Kampot is famous for its pepper and salt farms and delicious seafood – your local guide will show you the best spot to taste some! From Kampot we head to the old French resort town of Kep where we board traditional Khmer wooden fishing boats for a 30 minute voyage to the island sanctuary of Koh Tunsay. Once on shore you can check out the island or just relax on the beach, and watch the sun go down.
Bungalows on the beach (sleep 4 people) USD25 per bungalow
Koh Tunsay (Rabbit Island) to Kampot

Tearing ourselves away from the beach, a short drive takes us back to the town of Kampot where you will have a free afternoon to visit the pepper and salt Farms, do some cycling or trekking in Bokor National Park or take a sunset cruise up the river.
Highly Recommended: Hop off here to head to Sihanoukville to enjoy the beach; local seafood and nightlife!
Guesthouse with dorm beds or private rooms USD6-15
Kampot to Battambang (homestay)

A full day today will take us to our village homestay near the provincial town of Battambang. En-route we will visit the 18th Century Khmer stronghold of Udong, where you can hike to the mountain top pagoda or relax in a hammock and enjoy a local Khmer BBQ! We pass through Kompong Chhnang (pronounced kom pong ch nang) with its bustling local market and floating villages along the river and delta area. Our homestay tonight will give you a taste of local family and community life in the village with its seasonal farming, fishing, temple gatherings and festivals.
Homestay in local village including meals USD18
Battambang to Siem Reap

After breakfast with our homestay family we drive into Battambang where we will take a ride on the Bamboo Train before an early lunch and drive to Siem Reap home of the incredible Angkor Temples. We recommend a free day to explore the magnificent Angkor Temples and take in some of Siem Reap´s vibrant markets and nightlife. Your guide will show you the best one to head to first!
Guesthouse with dorm beds or private rooms USD8-20
Non Travel Day: Siem Reap

Today is a free day for you to explore the magnificent Angkor Temples and take in some of Siem Reap´s vibrant markets and nightlife. Your guide will show you the best ones to head to first!
Guesthouse with dorm beds or private rooms USD8-20
Siem Reap to Bangkok or HCMC (via Phnom Penh)
If you are traveling to Bangkok you will be driven to the border town of Poipet. Here you will process through Thai immigration and change buses for the drive to Bangkok, arriving in the evening. Alternatively if you are travelling to HCMC you´ll board the bus from Phnom Penh and head to Moc Bai on the Vietnamese border, where you will be processed through immigration (you will need to organise your Visa in advance) and then driven on to Ho Chi Minh City arriving mid-afternoon.

 

Fullmoon Pass

backpacking in south east asia (21)Pass Highlights and Inclusions

  • Ayutthaya Temples
  • Pha Tok Cave
  • Pak Ou Cave
  • Tham Jang Cave
  • National Park Entry
  • Kong Lor Park Entry
  • Mahaxai Cave
  • Turtle Lake
  • Hotay Pitok Library
  • Tad Ngeuang
  • Wat Phu

DEPARTS:

  • Wet Season / Jun – Oct:  TUESDAY, SATURDAYS
  • Dry Season / Nov – May  TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS

A comprehensive trip through Northern Thailand and Laos, for those travellers who have two and a half weeks or more. By joining us in Bangkok, you can travel to Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, enjoying a free day in Chiang Mai, before meeting the  bus in Luang Prabang, Laos. Experience Laos from the mountains and vibrant cultures in the north to the islands and Mekong falls in the south. Return to Bangkok via local bus or train from Pakse to Ubon Ratchathani and train from there. We will get you closer to the action the whole way.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai (Via Ayutthaya)

Your adventure kicks off 8am at the  Bangkok shop where you meet your  guide and group. After a brief induction to how it works we depart for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya. We arrive mid-morning, giving you plenty of time to explore the fascinating historical park by bike or enjoy a boat journey through the “Venice of the East”. We leave late evening to Chiang Mai.

Overnight train or bus (price included)

Non Travel Day: Arrival in Chiang Mai
We arrive into the train station between 8:00 11:00am. Chiang Mai is an amazing city with endless activity options. Some of our favourites are a tree top adventure with Flight of the Gibbon, trekking, rafting, and traditional cooking classes. For those looking for adrenalin try the down-hill mountain biking and traditional Muay Thai Boxing training! There’s also the famous night market, the Night Safari (Asia’s largest) and easy access to Pai village.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20

Non Travel Day: Chiang Mai
You have a full day to enjoy this historically rich city, or partake in one of the many adventure activities on offer. We suggest spending time to take in the ancient sights, including the old walled-city and the Tapae Gate, and some of the magnificent 300 Buddhist Temples.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20

Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong
After a chilled out morning, we depart after lunch and visit the famous and intriguing White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), then continue on to the border town of Chiang Khong to enjoy our last night in Thailand.
Guesthouse with views across the Mekong River USD20

Chiang Khong to Pakbeng
A short boat ride across the Mekong River whisks us away towards Huay Xai, Laos. This is where we clear customs before boarding the boat to Pakbeng. Sit back and soak up the incredible journey as the river winds through lush farmland, rugged mountains and jungle. You will spot water buffalo, mountain-side rice paddies, local fishermen, and kids splashing in the shallows. We arrive in the remote village of Pakbeng late afternoon and stay overnight by the river.
Guesthouse near boat ramp USD8 15

Pakbeng to Ban Lad Khammune
Leaving Pakbeng early, we continue our journey down the Mekong to the secluded village of Ban Lad Khammune. Here you will experience traditional village life by staying with a local family in their home. Attend a Baci (welcoming) Ceremony and have a chance to wander around the village, watch the women weaving or try your luck in a friendly game of petanque in the square!
Homestay including accommodation, traditional Baci ceremony and meals USD17

Ban Lad Khamoune to Luang Prabang
Our boat journey this morning takes us to the Pak Ou Caves where you will see thousands of Buddha images placed in the caves over hundreds of years. From the caves we have a short trip to Luang Prabang, arriving around midday into this world heritage town with French colonial architecture, temples and sacred sites.
Accommodation: Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms clost to night market $12-40

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng
It´s an early start as we head south through mountainous terrain, taking in the breathtaking views. Upon arrival into Vang Vieng there is plenty of time to go tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, start partying or even 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 USD8-30

Vang Vieng to Vientiane
Today we cruise through to the capital of Laos and take a tour of the city´s main attractions: 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 get a massage, go shopping at the night market, or watch the action from one of the local restaurants by the river.
Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast USD20

Vientiane to Kong Lor (7km Cave)

A comprehensive trip through Northern Thailand and Laos, for those travellers who have two and a half weeks or more. By joining us in Bangkok, you can travel to Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, enjoying a free day in Chiang Mai, before meeting the  bus in Luang Prabang, Laos. Experience Laos from the mountains and vibrant cultures in the north to the islands and Mekong falls in the south. Return to Bangkok via local bus or train from Pakse to Ubon Ratchathani and train from there. We will get you closer to the action the whole way.

This morning you´re free to head down to the Cave (or Tham Kong Lor to the locals) and venture deep into the 7 km abyss! Ride in a traditional motorised canoe and take in the amazing rock formations, swim in the cool waters of the cave entrance. You also have the chance to travel to Ban Tabak village and take a ride in a ‘bomb boat’! These are made from the metal fuel casings of B52 bombers, dumped on Laos during the Secret War.
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views of the Karst Mountains and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave USD10

Kong Lor (7 Km Cave) to Thakek

Today is a short travel day, which includes a stop to view the “Great Wall of Thakek” before heading onto Pha Tam Kam, home of some of Southeast Asia´s best rock climbing and amazing lush, jungle scenery. For the adventurous crowd, there is the option to try out slack-lining or rock climbing, before heading back into town.
Mekong riverside Guesthouse USD12

Thakek to Xe Champhone (village stay)

This is what we are all about, getting totally off the beaten track! We head into Xe Champhone wetlands – an area so remote that occasionally our  buses can’t access it, so we have to jump on board an off-road truck! Along the way we visit Old Wat Taleow, a beautiful temple bombed in 1969, then onto Turtle Lake where you might spot soft-shell turtles. Our last stop for the day is the 200-year-old Hotay Pidok Buddhist library. Once here we spend the night with the friendly locals in the Monkey forest, a sacred place and home to hundreds of wild Rhesus Macaque monkeys.
Basic village stay including accommodation and meals USD17

Xe Champhone to Pakse

Driving south this morning we head for the bright lights of Pakse. From here, you can check out the Bolaven Plateau with its cool climate, coffee and tea plantations, and spectacular waterfalls. Paske is a great place to hop off the bus and experience the unforgettable Tree Top Explorer adventure. This an amazing experience that includes trekking though jungle, tree house accommodation, wildlife, thundering waterfalls, and a zip- line system that will have you flying through the tree-tops and across ravines.
Guesthouse with fan or air-conditioned rooms in the centre of town surrounded by everything you need USD8-10

Pakse to Don Det (4000 Islands)

An early start takes us to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer temple. We´ll explore the site and climb to the mountain top temple, before heading south to the 4000 Islands area to experience its laidback lifestyle and natural beauty. We arrive around lunchtime giving you time to cycle across to the neighbouring Don Khone Island and visit Li Phi waterfall or take a boat trip for a chance to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins.
Rustic style guesthouse USD5-15

Don Det to Bangkok

We leave Don Det early by local mini-van towards Pakse and then on to the Thai border and Ubon Ratchathani, where you board the overnight bus. Your bus journey finishes when you arrive in Bangkok early the next morning.

 

Full moon pass

Dtui Noy Pass

DEPARTS:

  • Wet Season / Jun – Oct,  TUESDAYS, SATURDAYS,
  • Dry Season / Nov – May  TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS

Finishes Pakse (for Thailand) or Don Det (for Cambodia)

A comprehensive trip through Laos, for those travellers who have 2 weeks of more. Meet your  guide and group and head on the slow boat to Luang Prabang and experience Laos from the mountains, ethnic cultures and monastic traditions in the north to the natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle of the south. Hop off the  bus in 4000 Islands and continue on your own to Cambodia. Or hop off the  bus in Pakse and take a local bus to Ubon Ratchathani in eastern Thailand, where connections to trains, buses or planes are available to other Thai destinations.   You’ll want to hop-off and explore… the waterfalls, caves and jungles of Laos, and chill out on the idyllic island of Don Det)

Pass Highlights and Inclusions

  • Pha Tok Cave
  • Pak Ou Cave
  • Tham Jang Cave
  • National Park Entry
  • Kong Lor Park Entry
  • Mahaxai Cave
  • Turtle Lake
  • Hotay Pitok Library
  • Tad Ngeuang
  • Wat Phou

 

Dtui Noy pass itinerary

Chiang Khong to Pakbeng

A short boat ride across the Mekong River whisks us away towards Huay Xai, Laos. This is where we clear customs before boarding the boat to Pakbeng. Sit back and soak up the incredible journey as the river winds through lush farmland, rugged mountains and jungle. You will spot water buffalo, mountain-side rice paddies, local fishermen, and kids splashing in the shallows. We arrive in the remote village of Pakbeng late afternoon and stay overnight by the river.Guesthouse near boat ramp USD8 15

Pakbeng to Ban Lad Khammune (homestay)

Leaving Pakbeng early, we continue our journey down the Mekong to the secluded village of Ban Lad Khammune. Here you will experience traditional village life by staying with a local family in their home. Attend a Baci (welcoming) Ceremony and have a chance to wander around the village, watch the women weaving or try your luck in a friendly game of petanque in the square! Homestay including accommodation, traditional Baci ceremony and meals USD $17

Ban Lad Khammune (homestay) to Luang Prabang

We wave goodbye to the village and jump back aboard our private boat downriver to the famous Pak Ou Caves. Here you will see thousands of Buddha images that were placed throughout the caves over a period of hundreds of years. A short trip takes us into the stunningly beautiful Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage town with a fusion of French colonial architecture and traditional Lao buildings. This is home to the famous Kuang Si waterfalls, a bear sanctuary, ancient Buddhist temples and many sacred sites.
Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms close to night market USD12-40

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng

It´s an early start as we head south through mountainous terrain, taking in the breathtaking views. Upon arrival into Vang Vieng there is plenty of time to go tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, start partying or even 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 USD8-30

Vang Vieng to Vientiane

Today we cruise through to the capital of Laos and take a tour of the city´s main attractions: 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 get a massage, go shopping at the night market, or watch the action from one of the local restaurants by the river.

Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast USD20

Vientiane to Kong Lor (7 Km Cave)

An early escape this morning takes us away from the crowds and south to Kong Lor, and the Phu Hin Bun National Park. About an hour into the journey we visit Wat Prabat Phonsone, the “Buddha´s Footprint” temple, which has become an important pilgrimage site for local communities. There is time before sunset to explore the Kong Lor village and take in the stunning scenery of the surrounding rice paddies and limestone Karst Mountains.
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave USD10

Non Travel Day: Kong Lor (7 Km Cave)

This morning you´re free to head down to the Cave (or Tham Kong Lor to the locals) and venture deep into the 7 km abyss! Ride in a traditional motorised canoe and take in the amazing rock formations, swim in the cool waters of the cave entrance. You also have the chance to travel to Ban Tabak village and take a ride in a ‘bomb boat’! These are made from the metal fuel casings of B52 bombers, dumped on Laos during the Secret War.
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views of the Karst Mountains and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave USD10

Kong Lor (7 Km Cave) to Thakek

Today is a short travel day, which includes a stop to view the “Great Wall of Thakek” before heading onto Pha Tam Kam, home of some of Southeast Asia´s best rock climbing and amazing lush, jungle scenery. For the adventurous crowd, there is the option to try out slack-lining or rock climbing, before heading back into town.
Mekong riverside Guesthouse USD12

Thakek to Xe Champhone (village stay)

This is what we are all about, getting totally off the beaten track! We head into Xe Champhone wetlands – an area so remote that occasionally our  buses can’t access it, so we have to jump on board an off-road truck! Along the way we visit Old Wat Taleow, a beautiful temple bombed in 1969, then onto Turtle Lake where you might spot soft-shell turtles. Our last stop for the day is the 200-year-old Hotay Pidok Buddhist library. Once here we spend the night with the friendly locals in the Monkey forest, a sacred place and home to hundreds of wild Rhesus Macaque monkeys.
Basic village stay including accommodation and meals USD17

Xe Champhone to Pakse

Driving south this morning we head for the bright lights of Pakse. From here, you can check out the Bolaven Plateau with its cool climate, coffee and tea plantations, and spectacular waterfalls. Paske is a great place to hop off the bus and experience the unforgettable Tree Top Explorer adventure. This an amazing experience that includes trekking though jungle, tree house accommodation, wildlife, thundering waterfalls, and a zip- line system that will have you flying through the tree-tops and across ravines.
Guesthouse with fan or air-conditioned rooms in the centre of town surrounded by everything you need USD8-10

Pakse to Don Det (4000 Islands)

An early start takes us to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer temple. We´ll explore the site and climb to the mountain top temple, before heading south to the 4000 Islands area to experience its laidback lifestyle and natural beauty. We arrive around lunchtime giving you time to cycle across to the neighbouring Don Khone Island and visit Li Phi waterfall or take a boat trip for a chance to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins. Rustic style guesthouse USD5-15

 

Tom Yum Pass

backpacking in south east asia (4)Pass Highlights and Inclusions

  • Ayutthaya Temples
  • Pha Tok Cave
  • Pak Ou Cave
  • Tham Jang Cave

DEPARTS:  

  • Wet Season / Jun – Oct  TUESDAY, SATURDAYS
  • Dry Season / Nov – May  TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS

A comprehensive trip through Northern Thailand and Northern Laos for those with 10 days or more. Start in Bangkok, visit the ancient capitals of Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai enroute to the northern Laos. Once in Laos, join the  bus and encounter the magic of the northern provinces; Luang Namtha, trekking central (dry season); Pak Beng and Ban Lad Khammune riverside villages (wet season); Luang Prabang remote river villages and the monastic capital of the same name; Vang Vieng with its tubing and night life, and Vientiane, the country´s capital. Hop off the  bus in Vientiane for the overnight train or bus back to Bangkok.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai (Via Ayutthaya)
Your adventure kicks off 8am at the  Bangkok shop where you meet your  guide and group. After a brief induction to how it  works we depart for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya. We arrive mid-morning, giving you plenty of time to explore the fascinating historical park by bike or enjoy a boat journey through the “Venice of the East”. We leave late evening to Chiang Mai.
Overnight train or bus (price included)

Non Travel Day: Arrival in Chiang Mai
We arrive into the train station between 8:00 11:00am. Chiang Mai is an amazing city with endless activity options. Some of our favourites are a tree top adventure with Flight of the Gibbon, trekking, rafting, and traditional cooking classes. For those looking for adrenalin try the down-hill mountain biking and traditional Muay Thai Boxing training! There’s also the famous night market, the Night Safari (Asia’s largest) and easy access to Pai village.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20

Non Travel Day: Chiang Mai
You have a full day to enjoy this historically rich city, or partake in one of the many adventure activities on offer. We suggest spending time to take in the ancient sights, including the old walled-city and the Tapae Gate, and some of the magnificent 300 Buddhist Temples.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20

Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong
After a chilled out morning, we depart after lunch and visit the famous and intriguing White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), then continue on to the border town of Chiang Khong to enjoy our last night in Thailand.
Guesthouse with views across the Mekong River USD20

Chiang Khong to Pakbeng
A short boat ride across the Mekong River whisks us away towards Huay Xai, Laos. This is where we clear customs before boarding the boat to Pakbeng. Sit back and soak up the incredible journey as the river winds through lush farmland, rugged mountains and jungle. You will spot water buffalo, mountain-side rice paddies, local fishermen, and kids splashing in the shallows. We arrive in the remote village of Pakbeng late afternoon and stay overnight by the river.
Guesthouse near boat ramp USD8 15

Pakbeng to Ban Lad Khammune
Leaving Pakbeng early, we continue our journey down the Mekong to the secluded village of Ban Lad Khammune. Here you will experience traditional village life by staying with a local family in their home. Attend a Baci (welcoming) Ceremony and have a chance to wander around the village, watch the women weaving or try your luck in a friendly game of petanque in the square!
Homestay including accommodation, traditional Baci ceremony and meals USD17

Ban Lad Khamoune to Luang Prabang
Our boat journey this morning takes us to the Pak Ou Caves where you will see thousands of Buddha images placed in the caves over hundreds of years. From the caves we have a short trip to Luang Prabang, arriving around midday into this world heritage town with French colonial architecture, temples and sacred sites.
Accommodation: Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms clost to night market $12-40

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng
It´s an early start as we head south through mountainous terrain, taking in the breathtaking views. Upon arrival into Vang Vieng there is plenty of time to go tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, start partying or even 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 USD8-30

Vang Vieng to Vientiane
Today we cruise through to the capital of Laos and take a tour of the city´s main attractions: 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 get a massage, go shopping at the night market, or watch the action from one of the local restaurants by the river.
Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast USD20

Vientiane to Bangkok
You´ll 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 where your  adventure will end: until next time.

 

 

With our partners , you travel on trains, buses, longboats and tuk tuks up Thailand and around Laos and see the parts most people miss!

Connect from Thailand on trains and traverse Laos from north to south, or choose a section that appeals to you.

  • Jump-on’ and ‘jump-off’ the bus anywhere that you want along the way around our comprehensive route.
  • Go further off the beaten track for unique down-to-earth stops, local culture and amazing activities.
  • We have an extensive range of Thailand – Laos travel passes for all time frames.
  • Your pass is valid for 12 months so take your time to explore!
  • Travel with like-minded people, our legendary guides and local drivers
  • We can organise guest houses, hostels, budget hotels, ecolodges and camping accommodation options enroute.

 

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

Accommodation

Actually there is none with this trip! The passes do not include accommodation because you can choose how long you want to stay in one place and where. If you want the tour leaders to book you a bed, it is no problem, you can do it on the bus as you travel. This way we make it easy for you and you do not have to look around in the hot sun to check out accommodation options and haggle on prices.

Light clothes for the wet season (May Oct) and something warm for the dry season (Nov Mar), especially for the north of Laos and Thailand; a good travel medical kit supplied by a doctor (for any inconveniences, dietary or otherwise); your travel insurance details; sunscreen; bug repellent (at least 30% deet content); girls – a sarong for swimming in remote areas, Lao culture requires modesty; a poncho or light raincoat (it can rain even in the dry season in the north), shoes/trainers for walking and a good sense of adventure!
The best (and easiest) way to carry gear around Laos is in a sturdy backpack. You can bring a suitcase with wheels but you may find yourself dragging it down a dirt track! Bring a smaller day pack so you can carry bug repellent, a camera, sunscreen and water.
things may change depending on the group, driver, season and local conditions. On our bus routes you can break your journey and spend longer anywhere along the way.
We pick up from selected locations in each town (specific accommodation places and our offices). You need to advise us before 5pm the day before you want to depart where you want to be picked up. Please login to your bookings to confirm your departure time and place. Please note we do not visit all departure points every day, only if we have confirmed pickups, so please ensure you let us know where you will be waiting.
Western food is sparse outside the main centres of Laos so be prepared and open minded about eating local food. At our stops we recommend tasty restaurants but when you get into local villages and home stays be prepared to eat simple local fare, with maybe the odd wildcard ingredient (which is part of the fun). Supermarkets are not the norm but we will point out places where you can stock up on food for the day. Please note vegetarian meal options are not always available but excellent fruit and vegetables are plentiful at the local markets.

Duration Option Price  
16 (Days)Tom YumUSD 755Book Now
17 (Days)Dtui NoiUSD 895Book Now
30 (Days)Full MoonUSD 1155Book Now
36 (Days)Mekong PassUSD 1655Book Now

Pricing Feedback

Great Value
Well Priced
Can´t Afford it right now
Book 16 or more weeks up front to secure these deals.
Duration Option Price
16 (Days)Tom YumUSD 755 USD 740 (Early Bird)
Enquire here
30 (Days)Full MoonUSD 1155 USD 1132 (Early Bird)
Enquire here
36 (Days)Mekong PassUSD 1655 USD 1622 (Early Bird)
Enquire here

Book today with a deposit and travel after 13 - Nov - 2017 to lock in the early bird price. "Hurry only limited early bird spots available !"

Terms: $250 USD deposit required on booking. Full payment 12 weeks prior to trip start.

Included

  • Pre departure information
  • Pick up at different locations in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia
  • Reservations for extra tours and accommodation will be made by the guide
  • Flexible hop on hop off Tour Pass
  • All Transportation
  • Services of the Tour Leader

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Activities

A guide to inclusions

So what’s included in your backpacker bus pass? The following inclusions listed below explain many of the activities involved on most of these passes. Please refer to the individual pass itinerary to see which inclusions are valid for that particular pass.

Thailand

Ayutthaya Temples The ancient former Thai capital of Ayutthaya was founded in the early 1300s and quickly became one of world´s largest trading ports. History tells of a lavish city, laden with golden palaces, huge monasteries and temples. The city was burnt almost to the ground in 1767 when the Burmese invaded, and today only a fraction of the impressive city remains. In 1991 the significant cultural value of this historic city´s ruins were recognised when it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Laos

  • Pha Tok Cave– The Pha Tok Caves were used by the Laos people as a secret stronghold and hideaway from the America bombings during the second Indochina War in the 1960s and 70s. The cave was accessed by a long bamboo ladder, of which the remains can still be seen today.
  • Pak Ou Cave – Located on the convergence of the Mekong and Ou Rivers north of Luang Prabang, Pak Ou Cave is an ancient pilgrimage site containing thousands of Buddha images placed there over hundreds of years.
  • Tham Jang Cave Tham Jang Cave is one of many limestone caves located near Vang Vieng in central Laos. The cave was used as a bunker during the war in the early 1900s and is now a popular sacred site for the locals. A crystal clear spring is located deep inside the cave, which is a popular swimming spot.
  • Tad Leuk Waterfall – Tad Leuk Waterfall is a popular but uncrowded swimming spot situated inside a national park. The picturesque flat, sandstone waterfall is surrounded by native flora and fauna and lots of bush walks.
  • Kong Lor Cave Situated underneath tall karst mountains, the 7 kilometre long Kong Lor Cave is lined with beautiful limestone stalic tights and stalic mights. Travel through the pitch black, windy cave by guided narrow boat using headlamps to see. The river is also popular for swimming in.
  • Mahaxai Caves – located 12kms west of the town of Thakek in southern Laos, Mahaxai is a complex of caves in the surrounding limestone mountains. This is also a popular mountain climbing region and eco tourism site.
  • Turtle Lake or Hong Dao – Located on the Xe Champhone Wetlands in south, central Laos is a large lake important in local mythology because of the many turtles that live in the lake. These turtles are considered sacred.
  • Hotay Pitok Library – located on the Xe Champhone wetlands is an old Buddhist Repository where thousands of Buddhist manuscripts written on reeds and bamboo are stored.
  • Tad Ngeuang – This waterfall is located on the Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos. It is one of the highest waterfalls in the region and you can take a refreshing swim in the pools.
  • Wat Phu – located in Champassak Province in southern Laos was the capital of the Khmer Empire before it was moved to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
  • Vieng Thong Hot Springs – located in western Laos these natural hot springs are popular with the locals for the treatment of all sorts of ailments. You can take a bath with the locals or cook an egg in the boiling waters at the spring source.
  • Vieng Xai Caves – located in western Laos near the Vietnamese border this complex of caves was the stronghold and head quarters of the Phathet Lao during the Secret War during the 60’s and 70’s.
  • Plain of Jars – located around Phonsavanh in western Laos, these giant stone jars litter the countryside around the township. No one really knows their origin or use but there are a number of local legends shedding light on the story of the jars.

Cambodia

  • Preah Vihear – located on the Thai/Cambodia border in northern Cambodia, this ancient temple is a source of ongoing territorial disputes between the two countries. Located on the top of a mountain it has stunning views across both countries.
  • S21 & Killing Fields – these two sites located in and around Phnom Penh were used during the Khmer Rouge era to imprison, torture and kill anyone who was considered a threat to the regime. They have become a museum and shrine in modern day Cambodia.
  • Udong – located just northeast of Phnom Penh, ancient Udong was a Khmer stronghold when Cambodia was under siege from Thailand in the 16th century. Today it is a popular sacred site for the locals who come to make offerings at the mountain top pagodas and picnic at the hammock restaurant at the base of the mountain.
  • Bamboo Train – located outside Battambang in eastern Cambodia the bamboo train is what is left of the rail system built by the French and destroyed by the Khmer Rouge. Locals use it as simple form of transport between villages and tourists are welcome to take a ride.

Dates

Starts 2 times per week. Mostly Tuesday and Saturday.
×

Contact us with your questions below & Get a personalised response.