Many a golfer on a Thailand golf tour asks about other nearby destinations to visit in combination with Thailand or as an addition to a Thailand golf holiday. Here are my 3 hot picks for nearby Asia golf destinations.
1. Siem Reap, Cambodia: This traditional town is most famous of course for the 1000 year old Angkor Wat complex. However, now armed with 3 modern 18 hole golf complexes (Phokeethra CC, Angkor Golf Resort, and Siem Reap Lake), the Cambodia golf destination is making headway on the international golf travel scene. Siem reap is only a 40 minute flight from Bangkok, visas are efficiently provided on arrival, and the small airport makes baggage claim and customs formalities a process of only minutes.
HOT TIP: Travel on the morning flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap and you will be able to tee-off by 10:00AM, not much different from golfing in Bangkok in fact.
A three day stay with 2 rounds of golf is par for the course. Those who have not been to Angkor should do so before the rest of the world’s golfers find out.
2. Hanoi, Vietnam: While Saigon is more popular than Hanoi, the better golf available, more developed infrastructure (i.e. shorter travel times), and cooler climate gives Hanoi my vote for the Vietnam golf destination hot pick. Top plays in Hanoi are Tam Dao Golf Resort in the mountains outside Hanoi and Van Tri Golf Club, a private members club that can be booked though a few agents and hotels.
HOT TIP: Play Tam Dao or Van Tri on your way into or out of Hanoi as both are near to the Hanoi International Airport.
3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Actually the service and Malaysian culture does not compare to Thailand, but the golf courses do. With such greats as The Mines, Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, and Saujana Golf Club taking the leading honors, it is no wonder each course has held multiple Asian tour events over the past years. In fact my good friend Tiger Woods won the Malaysia Open at The Mines Robert Trent Jones Jr designed course in 1999.
HOT TIP: Don’t expect the nightlife of Bangkok, but if you stay in downtown Kuala Lumpur you won’t be disappointed either.
A four day stay with 2-3 rounds of golf is enough to say you have played Malaysia, make you appreciate the Thai culture, and plan for your next Thailand golf visit.
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