Thailand program visits ancient sites

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BOULDER, Colo. -- Asia Transpacific Journeys here launched an itinerary that will take travelers to the great monuments of three ancient civilizations -- Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Pagan in Myanmar and Sukhothai in Thailand.

The 15-night trip, titled Empires of Southeast Asia, is priced from $4,695 per person, double, land only. The trip includes accommodations at luxury hotels such as Bangkok's renowned Oriental Hotel and the Grand Hotel d'Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Available departures are Feb. 24, Nov. 13 and Dec. 8.

The itinerary begins in Sukhothai, Thailand's ancient capital from the 13th to the 15th centuries.

Siem Reap is a starting point for the temples of the Angkor complex, including Angkor Wat, above. Clients will explore the ancient city's central ruins by bicycle or samlor (bicycle rickshaw) and continue to neighboring towns such as Sawankhalok, renowned for its ceramics, and Si Satchanalai, which boasts some of the country's most elegant temples.

In Myanmar, participants will explore the Victorian architecture and lively markets of Yangon and visit the country's spiritual center, the golden Shwedagon Pagoda, at sunset.

Three days will be spent exploring the ruins of Pagan, set on the shores of the Irrawaddy River and known as "the city of 4 million pagodas."

The itinerary includes visits to the town of Sale for a glimpse of Myanmar from days past; Mount Popa, home to Myanmar's most powerful "guardian spirits," and the National Museum and Scotts Market in Mandalay.

Siem Reap is the starting point for exploring the awe-inspiring temples and cities of the Angkor complex, including Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon (the center of the ancient city), the 11th century Baphuon temple and Banteay Srei, regarded as the crown jewel of classical Khmer art.

The trip also includes a visit to Ta Prohm, largely untouched by archaeologists and enshrouded in jungle cover.

The itinerary wraps up in Thailand and includes a side trip to Ayuthaya, Thailand's capital from the 15th through 18th centuries.

The trip ends with a luxury river cruise to Bangkok followed by a farewell dinner and classical Thai dance performance at the Oriental Hotel.

For information or reservations, call Asia Transpacific Journeys at (800) 642-2742 or (303) 443-6789; fax (303) 443-7078, or visit the company's Web site at www.southeastasia.com.

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