Tourists Visiting Wat Phra Kaeo
Redlink - Corbis
For an escorted expedition to Thailand, check out the 12-day package to the Southeast Asia kingdom available through Gate 1 Travel.
updated 9/22/2008 9:39:32 AM ET 2008-09-22T13:39:32

Book by: October 22, 2008 for best rates
Travel by: Various dates into 2009

The deal
Feeling antsy with blurry visions of faraway lands and an irresistible urge to pack a suitcase? Sounds like you’ve caught the travel bug. We suggest you call into work “on vacation” and get going with one of these excellent flight/hotel packages to Asia. Choose from China, Thailand or Cambodia and Vietnam. Between the captivating sights from Angkor Wat to the Great Wall and favorable exchange rates, these distinct destinations are sure to sate the most severe case of wanderlust. The escorted tours will take you to each country’s respective capital — Beijing, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and Hanoi — and beyond, delving into intriguing histories and rich traditions along the way. Starting at just $1,399, these packages are priced to go!

11-day trip to China, $1,399
Whether the Summer Olympics planted the seed or you’ve always been curious about China, Smartours.com has an ideal introductory trip: the China Sampler. You’ll have two full days in Beijing with trips to the Great Wall and Forbidden City. Next it’s on to Xian, where you’ll visit the terracotta army-guarded tomb of Emperor Qin Shi. Shanghai is the last destination. You’ll have two more full days to explore this hub on the Yangtze River Delta. The 11-day/nine-night tour package is priced from $1,399. That covers roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles, airline fuel surcharges, all transportation within China, first-class and deluxe hotel accommodations, 12 meals and tours. The quoted rate is valid for travel November 26- December 6 and February 11-21. All reservations must be made by October 30, 2008, to pocket savings up to $400. After that, the starting price jumps to $1,799. Optional tours are available at an additional charge.

Thailand 10-night tour for $1,699
For an escorted expedition to Thailand, check out the 12-day package to the Southeast Asia kingdom available through Gate 1 Travel. You’ll visit Buddhist temples, take a boat ride to the Golden Triangle — where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar (Burma) meet — and tour the Maesa Elephant Camp during your northbound guided trip from the capital Bangkok to lush Chaing Mai. The package includes flights between Los Angeles and Bangkok, airfare from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, all transfers, and first-class accommodations in Bangkok for four nights, Chiang Rai for three, Chaing Mai for two nights, and Phitsanulok for one. Eleven meals are also covered, as are entrance fees to stops on the itinerary. If you book by December 12, you’ll automatically save $200 and can travel on select dates this year or next from $1,699. As of December 13, prices start at $1,899.

Vietnam and Cambodia combo from $2,939
Friendly Planet offers a brilliant overview of Vietnam and Cambodia with its 15-day guided trip covering roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles, all transportation within the two countries, deluxe and first-class accommodations and 27 meals. On the itinerary: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi. In addition, you’ll be able to explore the temples of Angkor and the Cu Chi Tunnels, visit Tonle Sap Lake and its floating villages, and enjoy an overnight cruise of Ha Long Bay aboard the classic paddle steamer, the Emeraude. The October 19 trip is priced from $2,939, but if that’s too soon, you can still snag a stellar rate — with savings of $400 — by booking by October 22 for travel between November 2, 2008, and March 15, 2009. Rates range from $2,999 to $3,639, but mushroom — from $3,399 on the low end to $4,039 on the high end — if you miss you the sale deadline. Optional tours are also available, including a trip extension to Sapa, for an extra fee.

The dollars
Rates are per person and based on double occupancy. Airport fees and taxes, gratuities and visas are not covered.

The catch
Phrase books and dictionaries not included.

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