Malaysia's AccessAsia Pass (30 days; up to 25 cities) starts at $899 for 2003. By comparison, restricted round-trip fares from LAX to Kuala Lumpur begin at $1,030.
The prices assume travel within specified "windows"; travel outside these periods will cost $100 to $700 more per person, depending on the carrier and season. Prices do not include U.S. and foreign taxes. Malaysia's plan is limited to North American residents, Cathay Pacific's to U.S. and Canadian residents. Passes must be purchased from a travel agent.
The plans have some cities in common (Bangkok, Thailand; Taipei, Taiwan; Singapore), but Cathay Pacific's offers more Japanese destinations, and Malaysia's focuses more on Southeast Asian countries.
Most intercity trips will involve a change of planes at the airline's hub (Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong). Each city other than the hub can be visited only once. In both cases, the itinerary must be set at the time of purchase. Fees for subsequent modifications are substantial; no-show penalties are steep. You do not earn frequent-flier miles with your package trip.
To call numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (international access code).
WHERE TO STAY:
Kuala Lumpur: Swiss Garden Hotel, 117 Jalan Pudu; 603-2141-3333, fax 603-2141-5555,
Heritage Station Hotel, at Kuala Lumpur train station (note: this is the old, Moorish-style station, not the new central station); 603-2273-5588, fax 603-2273-2842. Being remodeled during our stay. Might be classy when done, but pretty basic now. Doubles from $29.
Concorde Hotel, 8 Bag Berkunci, Kuala Lumpur; 65-6235-2498 (reservations number), fax 65-6235-1416,
Malacca: Hotel Equatorial, 75000 Bandar Hilir; 60-6282-8333, fax 60-6282-9333,
George Town (Penang): Cathay Hotel, 15 Lebuh Leith; 604-2626-2712, fax 604-263-9300,
Bangkok: Thai Hotel, 78 Prachatipatai Road; 662-6292-1005, fax 662-280-1299,
Chiang Mai, Thailand: Rydges Tapae Chiangmai Hotel, 22 Chaiyapoom Road; 66-5325-1531, fax 66-5325-1465,
Chiangmai Gate Hotel, 11/10 Suriwong Road; 66-5320-3895, fax 66-5327-9085,
Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Renakse Hotel, 49 Boulevard Samdach; 855-2321-5701, fax 855-2372-2457, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Historic hotel, across street from Royal Palace and a short walk from restaurants. Facilities are inconsistent; ask for room in "new wing." Doubles from $35.
Siem Reap, Cambodia: Pavillon Indochine, Wat Thmei, Jean Cammaille Road; 855-012-804-303,