The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare, nine nights' accommodations, three local flights, and sightseeing, from $1,849 per person—plus estimated taxes of $559.
When: Through Mar. 31, 2009; add $300 for Dec. 6-12; 24-31, 2008. Blackout dates are Dec. 13-23, 2008.
Gateways: L.A., San Francisco; add $200 for Denver, Houston, New York City, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Seattle; $300 for Austin, Dallas; $350 for Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis; $375 for Miami, New Orleans, Orlando; additional cities may be available.
The fine print: The starting rate is based on weekday departures; add $150 per person to travel Friday through Sunday. Included are breakfast daily (except for your last day, in Singapore), hotel taxes, airport-hotel transfers, three local flights (Siem Reap to Vientiane, Vientiane to Luang Prabang, and Luang Prabang to Singapore via Bangkok), a boat ride to Pak Ou Caves, guided sightseeing tours, admission fees as per the itinerary, the services of an English-speaking tour guide, and transportation in a private, air-conditioned vehicle with complimentary cold towels and drinking water. Airport taxes of $65 and hefty fuel surcharges of $494 (a total of $559 per person) are not included. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $435. Entry visas can be obtained upon arrival for a $20 fee in Cambodia and for a $35 fee and two passport photos in Laos. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Singapore. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: No deadline; based on availability.
Contact: Sayang Holidays, 415/986-1293, sayangholidays.com.
Why it's a deal: According to a recent Kayak search, the lowest multi-city airfare—from L.A. to Siem Reap and from Singapore to L.A.—starts at $1,291, with taxes, for travel in early to mid-January (Korean Airlines). For an additional $1,117, the Sayang package covers international and local airfare, nine nights' accommodations, all ground transportation, sightseeing, admission fees, a boat tour, the services of an English-speaking tour guide, and all airport taxes, fuel surcharges, and hotel taxes. You also get the convenience and reassurance of one-stop shopping.
Trip details: The Cambodia, Laos, and Singapore package includes international airfare on a Singapore Airlines carrier to Siem Reap, Cambodia, and local flights between Siem Reap and Vientiane (Lao Airlines), Vientiane and Luang Prabang (Lao Airlines), and Luang Prabang and Singapore via Bangkok (Bangkok Airways/Singapore Airlines). The package also includes accommodations: three nights in Cambodia, five nights in Laos, and one night in Singapore.
The journey begins in Siem Reap, a province in northwestern Cambodia and your home for the next three nights. You'll check in to the 130-room Khmer-style Khemara Angkor Hotel, a few minutes' drive from the airport and a five-minute walk to the city center.
Your time in Siem Reap includes two 7-hour guided tours of Angkor Wat, a temple complex near Siem Reap. Built for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city, it's a symbol of Cambodia and is even depicted on the national flag. The site is especially beautiful at sunrise or sunset.
While here, you'll also visit the Preah Khan temple built by King Jayavarman VII; the pink sandstone Banteay Srei, thought to be the jewel of classical Khmer art; the fortified city of Angkor Thom; the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper Kings; the Bayon temple; Prasat Kravan; and much more.
Leaving Siem Reap, you'll take a 2.5-hour flight to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. You'll spend two nights at City Inn Vientiane. A seven-hour guided sightseeing tour covers That Luang, an important national monument, Ho Phra Keo, the former royal temple converted into a museum; and Patuxai, an Arc de Triomphe-inspired monumental arch with Lao motifs. The tour ends at Talat Sao, a market where you can purchase traditional Lao fabrics.
Then you'll take a short flight (about 40 minutes) to Luang Prabang, a beautiful town with colonial architecture and numerous temples. You'll stay for the next three nights at the 35-room Manoluck Hotel. While here, you'll take a boat ride down the Mekong River to Pak Ou Caves, which are filled with numerous Buddhist images.
From Luang Prabang, catch a flight to Singapore via Bangkok (travel time is about four hours). You'll stay overnight at the Peninsula Excelsior Hotel. Since no activities are planned for Singapore, you'll be free to explore the botanic gardens, museums, shiny malls, and remaining colonial architecture on your own.
You'll catch your homebound flight from the airport in Singapore. Want more time in Singapore? Additional nights at Peninsula Excelsior start from $70 per person.
Those wishing to upgrade accommodations can do so starting from an additional $250 per person for three nights at Tara Angkor Hotel in Siem Reap, two nights at the Novotel Vientiane, three nights at Villa Santi Hotel in Luang Prabang, and one night at Traders Hotel in Singapore. (The total package rate with hotel upgrades is $2,099 per person; single supplement is $600.)