TBI packages four Heritage sites

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KEENE, N.H. -- General Tours' TBI Tours division unveiled the 10-night World Heritage Tour of Southeast Asia, which enables clients to visit the region's four Unesco World Heritage Sites on one trip.

"The reason we did it this year is that it's the first time the air routes existed that enable you to combine all four World Heritage Sites in a single itinerary," said General Tours president Bob Drumm.

The World Heritage Sites are:

• Sukhothai, Thailand -- the first capital of the Thai civilization. This entire city is a World Heritage Site.

Well-known for its monuments and ancient art, Hue, Vietnam, is one of the four Unesco sites included on TBI Tours' World Heritage Tour of Southeast Asia program. Highlights of the destination include a tour of Sukhothai Historical Park, the remains of the royal palace and a number of Buddhist temples.

• Luang Prabang, Laos -- the ancient capital of the Lan Xang Kingdom. Located at the confluence of the Mekong and Khan rivers, it is surrounded by mountains.

The city features more than 20 Buddhist pagodas, including the Phou Si, which is said to enshrine the footprint of Buddha. After touring the city and the Unesco office, guests will visit with a local family.

• Hue, Vietnam -- the country's intellectual center with more than a dozen educational institutions. A complex of monuments in the city has been named a World Heritage Site.

Included on the itinerary are the Imperial City, the Thai Hoa Palace, the Dong Ba Market and a ride on the Perfume River aboard a sampan past pagodas such as the Tien Mu Pagoda and the Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang. The program also includes an exploration of Bach Ma National Park.

• Angkor, Cambodia -- the royal seat of the Khmer Empire from the ninth to the 13th centuries.

The tour visits the Angkor Wat temple complex, which was dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu by King Suryavarman II, who reigned from 1131 to 1150. Two other temples in the city are included, Angkor Thom and Southern Gate of Bayon.

The program is hosted, which means clients are met at every stop by a local host but are not accompanied on flights as they would be on an escorted itinerary.

Drumm said the company's business to Southeast Asia is up 10% over last year but is lagging behind Asia overall, which is up 25%.

The program, available year-round, is priced starting at $2,599 per person, double, including roundtrip air and domestic flights, hotel accommodations and daily breakfast. The price for land arrangements and domestic air is $1,999. Commission is 10%.

For more information or reservations, call (800) 223-0266 or visit General Tours' Web site at www.generaltours.com.

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