A trip packed with sights, sounds and experiences from mountain top temples to pristine beaches. For travellers who want to experience a little more of Cambodia, a little further off the beaten track.
Start in the town of Siem Reap and travel to Phnom Kulen National Park, a place of pilgrimage for the Cambodian people and home to the riverbed rock carvings, the 1,000 lingas. Head to the commercial hub Kompong Thom, and learn about the silk making process in a nearby farm. Travel via the town of Skon and sample a crunchy Cambodian delicacy, fried spider, before visiting Phnom Penh for the infamous Khmer Rouge S21 Prison and Killing Fields.
Relax on the pristine beaches of the unspoilt island hideaway of Koh Tunsay, feast on a Khmer BBQ and get to know the friendly locals and village life in a remote homestay in Battambang, before heading back to Siem Reap to explore the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Angkor temples and the town’s vibrant markets and nightlife.
Stray operates an adventurous hop-on, hop-off guided bus network across New Zealand and Southeast Asia. With your pass you will enjoy comfortable private transport and a knowledgeable guide who will assist you with booking accommodation and activities. Stray has designed a route that will take you to the ‘must do’ places along with some more intriguing off the beaten track destinations. With multiple departures per week, you have the freedom to hop on and off along the route to spend time exploring the places you love. Simply book yourself on and off the bus with an easy to use online booking tool. It’s a fun, friendly, hassle free way to ensure you get more out of your travels.
Arrival in Bangkok
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 outthe vibrant markets and ancient temples that make up only a small side of this multifaceted city. By 4pm, head to our Khao San Road Stray Shop to meet with a Stray staff member, who will give you your bus ticket and a briefing on what to expect on tomorrow’s express trip to Siem Reap. You will also have the chance to sign up for Siem Reap’s highlight activities so you’re ready to dive right into the Cambodian scene. Make the most of your first night in Asia by exploring the exhilarating and intense Bangkok nightlife, snagging a bargain at a night market or dining out on some delicious Thai cuisine!
Accommodation: Comfortable guesthouse near Khao San Road
Bangkok to Siem Reap (Express Day)
You’ll leave Bangkok at 9am on an unguided public connection heading across the border to Cambodia. Today your destination is the small, but vibrant city of Siem Reap, best known as home to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Angkor temple complex. After your early evening arrival, your Cambodia Tour Leader will meet you at the Living Quarters Hostel 543 at 7.30pm to welcome you and explain more about how Stray works. Afterwards you are invited to join your Stray group for a walk along the iconic Pub Street where you will get to know your new travel mates over a tasty dinner and cold drinks.
Accommodation: Hostel with dorm beds
Free Inclusions: Welcome Night with Stray Tour Leader and group
Today is a free day and we highly recommend you use it to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Angkor temples. Ranked at the top of many ultimate travel bucketlists (including Lonely Planet’s), the awe-inspiring ancient city of Angkor is the largest temple complex in the world. You can easily spend a full day at the site and still only see a small portion of this dramatic architectural wonder, but make sure you check out the famous Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm, which most people recognise from Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider movie. In the evening you have the option to attend the unforgettably unique Phare Circus, a locally run non-profit troupe that provides disadvantaged young people from the community with a place to learn the skills needed to earn their livings as professional performing artists. Prepare to be amazed by how these talented young artists share authentic modern and folk Cambodian stories through an energetic display of acrobatic feats, music and dance.
Accommodation: Hostel with dorm beds
Optional Paid Activities: Cycle or take a guided tour of the Angkor temple complex, Khmer circus.
Siem Reap to Battambang (Homestay)
Today you depart Siem Reap early enough to arrive in Battambang for a late lunch. After lunch we’ll take a ride on the Bamboo Train, a rail system that was built by the French and destroyed by the Khmer Rouge, but the locals still use it as simple form of transport. Then we make our way to tonight’s village stay, located in the picturesque countryside. You’ll stay in a Cambodian family’s home, experience rural community life, sit in on a lesson at the local school and maybe join in a friendly game or help the school kids with their English. You can wander through the village and nearby rice paddies and finish the day by enjoying a delicious traditional meal with your host family.
Accommodation: Village stay includes accommodation in a Cambodian family’s home, local activities, dinner, breakfast, and contribution to the village fund/project
Free Inclusions: Bamboo Train ride
Battambang to Sihanoukville
A full day of travel takes us from the countryside to the popular seaside town of Sihanoukville on the Cambodian coast. En-route we pass through the bustling riverside Khmer town Kompong Chhnang (pronounced ‘kom-pong-ch-nang’), with its busy market and floating village. Arriving in Sihanoukville by late afternoon, settle in at your guesthouse and then you are free to wander down to the beach for a refreshing dip or kick back at one of the many beachfront restaurants and bars. Tonight join one of the beach parties or have seafood BBQ on beach.
Included activities in Cambodia:
Bamboo train ride
Udong Historical Site
S21 Prison & Killing Fields
For all Stray passes, your guide will reserve and book your accommodation at each overnight stop but the cost is not included in your pass. Prices vary depending on location and season, but expect to pay from USD $5 for a shared room to USD $24 for a twin or double (up to USD $60 for top end private rooms in the main cities). You need to pay as you go, directly to the accommodation. Our preferred accommodation is usually in guesthouses - but in some remote stops we have homestay and camping options. You are welcome to stay at other accommodation where there are alternatives, however, we only reserve beds and pick up from our preferred accommodation. For an idea of where we stay and prices at each overnight stop, have a look at the itinerary section of your Stray pass.
You'll need to book your own accommodation at stops along the route if you hop off between overnight stops.
You don’t need to bring a sleeping bag but a sleeping bag liner/inner can be good.
We use our own mini-coaches for much of the route, which means we can go where we want and ensure safety, reliability and service. However, be prepared to take on any form of transport as you will be on buses, boats, trains and tuk tuks! Your train, bus and longboat transport is included in your pass as well as entrance fees as listed under "Activities". Your guides will help you book accommodation and additional activities, and give you commentary on the local history, wildlife and culture of the area. You can hop on and off the Stray bus anywhere en route at the recommended night stops and as often as you like, as long as you verify your trip changes online or with our reservations team.
Meals are not included in the price of the pass. Western food is sparse outside the main centers so be prepared and open minded about eating local food. At our stops we will recommend tasty restaurants but when you get into local villages and homestays be prepared to eat simple local fare, with maybe the odd wild-card 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. Depending on what you eat, you can spend USD5 - 15 a day on food. Please note vegetarian meal options may at times be limited but there is always rice, noodles and soups, and excellent fruit and vegetables are plentiful at the local markets.
PLEASE NOTE: The itinerary is seasonal and subject to change.
Top reasons to go with Stray!
- Discover Where No One Else Knows
Pioneering into the remote Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodian landscape is a daily occurrence on Stray. Some of the villages you will visit are so off the beaten track they aren’t even on the map! We also ensure you tick everything off your Southeast Asia “must-do” list - those great destinations we all know and love.
- Go Guided
One of the best things about travelling with Stray is our local and western tour leaders. They amplify your Southeast Asia experience with invaluable knowledge, support and local insight… plus they can book accommodation, activities and connections on your behalf. You won’t get this on public transport!
- Make Friends For Life
It might be a cliché, but you will meet like-minded travellers and you will make life-long friendships. Stray attracts adventurous people of all ages, with a common attitude of exploration, open-mindedness and trailblazing.
- “Stray” Safe and Stress Free
Relax in the knowledge that our experienced crew have done the hard work for you. We have worked out the best routes, times to depart and must-do inclusions. Need help with something? Our Tour Leaders are there for guidance and support. Lastly, we use our own mini-coaches for the bus travel, which means not only we can go where we want, we can ensure safety, reliability and a high quality, comfortable service.
Frequently asked questions for Stray!
- Is it a full on party bus or a nature bus?
Stray's main priority is the culture and nature. What you do in the evenings is your choice but we do have a couple of big nights out on the circuit if you're keen. It is important to respect the local culture and customs at all times.
- What is the average age of travellers on Stray?
Stray is not an age but a mind set. If you enjoy being active and meeting people you are of the right age for Stray.
- Is it ok to travel alone on Stray?
Absolutely, you will find friends and roommates and we can make your trip fun and hassle-free
- Can I hop off and hop on the bus anywhere or just at the overnight stops?
You can hop off at any place around the circuit.