Image: Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Barbara Walton  /  EPA file
With the Vietnam and Cambodia package you'll city-hop from the laid-back capital Hanoi to the country's commercial center in Ho Chi Minh City, and enjoy an excursion to the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
updated 10/17/2007 11:39:35 AM ET 2007-10-17T15:39:35

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare, nine nights' accommodations, and intercity airfare from $2,483 per person—plus taxes of $79.

When: Departures on Oct. 31, Nov. 21, Dec. 12, 2007; Jan. 9, 30, Feb. 20, Mar. 12, 2008.

Gateways: Los Angeles, San Francisco; add $100 for New York City.

The fine print: Daily breakfast, eight lunches, four dinners, guided sightseeing tours, admission fees, the services of an English-speaking tour guide, hotel taxes, and fuel surcharges of $184 are included. Travel insurance is also included, as long as final payment is received 60 days prior to departure. Airport taxes are an additional $79 per person. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $600. U.S. citizens are required to obtain a tourist visa; you can purchase one through a local Vietnamese consulate for about $45, or let Ritz Tours arrange the visa on your behalf for $80. Visas for Cambodia will be available upon entry and cost $20 in cash. When booking, refer to the tour code OAA. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability.

Contact: Ritz Tours, 800/900-2446, ritztours.com.

Why it's a deal: In comparison, the lowest multicity airfare to Vietnam (Los Angeles-Hanoi-Siem Reap-Los Angeles), departing on Oct. 31 and returning on Nov. 12, is $2,242 (multiple carriers)—only $241 less than the entire Ritz Tours package. If you're traveling in the winter, the airfare is significantly cheaper, starting from $1,621 in November (Malaysia), $1,804 in December (Malaysia), and $1,268 in January (multiple carriers). But the Ritz combo is still a steal, considering that for an additional $679-$1,215 it covers the round-trip international airfare, Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City and Ho Chi Minh City-Angkor flights, nine nights' accommodations, some meals, sightseeing tours, and admission fees.

Trip details: The Vietnam and Cambodia package includes round-trip airfare to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, on Cathay Pacific. Your tour guide will meet you upon your arrival and take you to your hotel in the Ba Dinh district, about a 40-minute drive from the airport, for a welcome dinner.

You'll have about two and a half days to explore the city. A guided sightseeing tour kicks things off with visits to the lotus blossom-shaped One Pillar Pagoda, constructed by Emperor Ly Thai Tong; the Temple of Literature which dates back to 1070; and the Tortoise Pagoda, located on an island on the Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of the city.

You'll also hop on a private bus for a day-trip to the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Area of Halong Bay. A boat will take you along the bay, past the islands of Truong, Mai, Am, Chen, and Cong Troi. The 297-room Sofitel Plaza hotel, overlooking the West Lake will be your home for three nights in Hanoi.

Slideshow: Magnificent Seven Next, you'll catch a two-hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City, commonly known as Saigon. Once a small fishing village, it's now the south's thriving commercial center. A packed sightseeing tour covers the neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883; the 100-year-old City Hall; the War Remnants Museum which showcases a collection of photographs and artifacts from the Indochina wars; the markets of Ben Thanh and Binh Tay; and the 124-mile-long network of Cu Chi tunnels, a crucial base during the American War. You'll stay three nights at Saigon's Marriott Renaissance Riverside hotel, which is located in the business district and offers great views of the Saigon River.

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For the final stretch of the trip, you'll board a short flight to Angkor, Cambodia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former seat of the Khmer Empire, which ruled the area from the 9th through the 15th centuries. The temples of Angkor, built by the Khmer civilization, are an ancient architectural marvel that attracts more than a million of visitors each year. During your two days in the area, your guides will take you to some of the most popular temples, such as Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Baphoun, Phimeanakas, Ta Prohm, Ta Keo, and the Rolous Group, as well as the former royal palace, the Terrace of the Elephants, and the Terrace of the Leper King.

You'll spend three nights at the 120-room Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa in the heart of Siem Reap. The hotel is about four miles from the international airport, where you'll board your homebound flight.

For more tips on what to do in the area, visit the official tourism Web sites of Vietnam and Cambodia. You can find the latest exchange rate and the local time at BudgetTravel.com.

The valid travel dates for this package are during the winter and early spring, when rain is typically minimal and the weather is pleasant in Hanoi and northern Vietnam; temperatures average 61 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam, however, remains hot and humid year-round, with highs reaching into the 90s. Cambodia is also warm throughout the year, with an average humidity of 60 percent. Before you go, check the weather forecast.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

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