The recent terrorist bombing of a nightclub in Bali, a beautiful destination, has removed that island -- temporarily, let's hope -- from the world of international tourism.
Elsewhere in the South Pacific and along the Asian rim, tourism continues at a decent pace. It's been aided by the growth of appealing air-and-land packages created by tour operators that negotiate with airlines and hotels for radically reduced rates and then offer overall prices that are irresistible. Among the leading opportunities for the coming months:
Tahiti for $699 per person: Locked in a price war with its competitors, Discover Wholesale Travel, (866) 215-4625, www.discoverwholesaletravel.com, has lowered the price of its classic package to otherworldly Moorea. It flies you from Los Angeles on French-owned Corsair to Tahiti's capital of Papeete, then ferries you to neighboring Moorea for seven nights at the beachfront Hotel Kaveka on Cook's Bay. The $699 price is through Dec. 9; it then jumps to $728 from Jan. 7 to March 31 -- $70 or so less than what has been charged for many years.
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, for $880, comes next: The bargain package from Pacific Delight tours, (800) 221-7179, www.pacificdelighttours.com, will fly you from Los Angeles on Thai Airways and then puts you up for six nights with daily breakfast in the first-class, high-rise Century Park Hotel. You also receive transfers and two escorted city tours: one to the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the other to the floating market. Departures are approximately every week and are available at the $880 price from Jan. 12 though Feb. 27.