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How about an exciting twist to your holiday season in 2005-06? Join members of USITT on the next Study Tour sponsored by the International Committee - this time to beautiful Southeast Asia.

Participants will visit Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam in a tour that features visits to some of the finest professional theatres in that part of the world, training academies, and, of course, some of the most marvelous historical sites in the world.

This tour, led by USITT Past President Dick Durst, departs from either San Francisco or Los Angeles on December 26, 2005, and will spend the next 16 days traveling in this custom tour organized solely for USITT members. The visits will focus on theatre, not just tourist venues, in the three countries. Consider the wealth of research materials in Bangkok, including the Reclining Buddha Temple and royal buildings, plus the ancient center of Ayuthaya. The tour will be in Bangkok for New Year's Eve and will participate in the celebrations there.

The journey continues with the breathtaking temples of Angkor Wat, undiscovered for centuries in the jungles of Cambodia. The group will visit two educational training academies in Thailand and Cambodia, responsible for some of the finest education in Asia in theatre, dance, and music. At the National Theatre in Bangkok, participants will visit with designers and technicians who run that superb facility. There also will be a tour of the shops of the exceptional puppet theatre with a performance.

In Vietnam, the tour starts in the historical city of Hue, said to be one of the loveliest in all of Southeast Asia, including the World Heritage site of the Imperial Citadel. There will be a performance at the site. Continuing the Vietnam tour, participants will stay in the Old Quarter of Hanoi with visits to the best museums in the country, including the world-class ethnology museum, a resource for designers beyond comprehension.

The group again visits a National Theatre to see the extent of the art in Vietnam. This will include the closely-guarded secrets of the Water Puppets theatre, considered to be the most unique in the world.

One of the highlights of the tour will be the final day and a half on board a ship on Halong Bay, as the group winds down from the cities, theatres, and museums. Considered by many who visit Vietnam as among the most beautiful sites in the world, Halong Bay will truly take your breath away. Participants will see it in perfect fashion, sailing in and out of the formations. The group will return to the United States on January 11, 2006.

The tour includes airfare from LAX or SFO, all hotels (excellent!), most meals, in-country airfares, coaches, tips, and transfers. This seventeen-day tour costs $3,225 per person, double occupancy, for those who register early (prior to February 15, 2005 ). We can only guarantee this rate through that date, given the vagaries of international airfare. For those who sign up after that date, the tour cost will include whatever the current airfare will be. The tour will be limited to a small group, to maximize the experience. We must have 25 registrants and will take a maximum of 35.

The tour organizer is Russ Oquist, president of Mongol Tours, Inc., who has extensive experience in Southeast Asia, and has done Costume Society tours in the past.

Please visit the USITT website for the full description, photos, and itinerary at

Hope you can join us!

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Plan Now For 2005-6 Southeast Asia Tour

Dick Durst
USITT Past President