If you’ve dreamed of seeing the most magnificent of the world’s ancient wonders, here’s your chance. For the price of a new mattress, bicycle or refrigerator, you can visit the magical temple of Angkor Wat and other remains of Cambodia’s great Khmer Empire, plus all the attractions of Vietnam, whose people are delighted to welcome American visitors.
World Spree’s unbeatable15-day Best of Vietnam and Cambodia tour covers all the above for only $3,299 from San Francisco. That price includes transpacific flights on Korean Air, all other flights and transportation, deluxe hotels, daily American buffet breakfast, 16 other meals, comprehensive sightseeing, entrance fees, professional English-speaking guides, taxes and fuel surcharges. Prices rise in December, but go down again in February. Direct flights are also available from Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and New York for an additional price.
The tour begins in lively Ho Chi Minh City, better known as Saigon, which boasts glass skyscrapers in addition to ancient temples, French-colonial architecture and the infamous Cu Chi tunnels. Then there’s Hue, the old imperial capital that is home to a wealth of royal palaces, temples and gardens, and Hoi An, a relaxing port town full of traditional Vietnamese architecture (here you’ll have a river cruise and a free afternoon to enjoy the beach at an ocean-front resort).
On to the capital, Hanoi, known for its 600-year-old Old Quarter, exquisite French architecture, leafy boulevards and the prison called the “Hanoi Hilton.” Next, a tour highlight: the spectacularly-beautiful Halong Bay, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, where you’ll have an overnight cruise on a deluxe traditional-style “junk” (well, yes, traditional, but it has private baths and air-conditioning).
Finally, a flight to Siem Reap, gateway to the famous Angkor, built when it was capital of a Khmer Empire (802 to 1432 A.D.) that stretched across much of Southeast Asia. Here you’ll visit the magnificent Angkor Wat, the world’s single largest religious complex, as well as local villages and several of the other restored and ruined temples located in the dense Cambodian jungle.
Both Vietnam and Cambodia have a fascinating history and rich culture but also, thanks to French-colonial influence, sophisticated cuisine and charming hotels. . In addition to the deluxe junk, hotels include the 5-star Renaissance Riverside in Saigon, the Sheraton in Hanoi, the Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort and Spa and the Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa.
Note that almost all departures offer a complimentary tour of Seoul during a layover in Korea on the way home to the U.S.
Prices are cash-only, are per person double occupancy, and are subject to availability. For more information about the Best of Vietnam and Cambodia tour, log onto www.worldspree.com, click “Tour Packages” and then “Cambodia.”