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Thailand, air/11 nights, from $1,199

A guided tour featuring Buddhist temples, a boat ride on the Mekong River and a visit to an elephant camp.
/ Source: ARTHUR FROMMER'S BUDGET TRAVEL

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare on Korean Air to Bangkok; a flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok on Thai Airways; three nights at the Century Park Hotel in Bangkok; one night each at the Topland Hotel in Phitsanulok and the Wienglakor Hotel in Lampang; two nights at the Phowadol Resort & Spa in Chiang Rai; four nights at the Chiang Mai Plaza Hotel; breakfast daily and a welcome dinner; visits to the giant statue of Wat Mongkol Borpith, the pagodas at Wat Phra Sri Sanphet in Ayutthaya, and a textile museum in Sukhothai; a boat trip on the Mekong River; all local transportation and transfers; hotel taxes; fuel surcharges; and the services of a tour director, from $1,199 per person — plus estimated taxes and fees of $80.

When: April 13, 2010; add $100 for Jan. 12, 26, Feb. 2, 9, 23, March 9, 23.

Gateways: L.A.; add $100 for New York City.

The fine print: Taxes and fees are an estimated additional $80 per person. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $199. For up-to-date travel and safety information, check the State Department's Thailand consular sheet. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: Oct. 30, 2009; add $500 per person for bookings made after that date.

Contact: SmarTours, 800/337-7773, smartours.com.

Why it's a deal: A recent search on Kayak yielded a multicity fare of $877 with taxes for travel from L.A. to Bangkok, Chiang Mai to Bangkok, and Bangkok to L.A. in mid-April (Asiana/Thai Airways). For about an extra $402, SmarTours provides the international and local airfare as well as 11 nights' accommodations, local transportation, guided sightseeing, some meals, and all taxes.

More Optional activities in Bangkok include a canal boat ride ($30 per person) and a full-day excursion to the colorful Damnoen Saduak floating market ($60 per person). In Chiang Mai, you can enjoy dinner along with performances by a local hill tribe ($25 per person). Add four nights on Phuket for $500 per person, based on double occupancy (single supplement is $399) or four nights in Angkor Wat for $600 per person, based on double occupancy (single supplement is $299). Both extensions include airfare.