Destination Golf Asia 2019 * - Page 11

Traditional Betawi dance Hole 14 at Angkor Golf Resort in Thailand the limited entries sell out long before the events every year. With handicapping and Stableford competition by age, nearly anybody who plays a little or a lot can experience the thrill and pampering of these events. First Rate rentals Bring your own shoes Rental clubs are common and reasonably priced but golf balls are expensive. It is highly recommended you bring your own along with your favorite pair of golf shoes. Designers One think about the golf slump around the world, the most famous and best designers have been flocking to SE Asia for years. Many of the courses they have produced are on a par with some of the world’s best. Names like Dye, Faldo, Norman, Jones, and Nicklaus are all here. But don’t discount the many gems by lessor known designers found in every country. Be prepared to be surprised. Do you know there are over 120 golf courses in Myanmar? Admittedly many are super minimal built by the British in the early 1900’s when the country was still called Burma. But some of the layouts are quite interesting from a strategic and historical perspective. Many Burmese love golf and are beginning to see developing the game as one way to entice travelers and reintroduce the world to the magic of their land. Traveling country to country is easier and less expensive that most think. While Visa rules vary depend on your nationality, most countries can be entered by arranging entry documents online. Fees are reasonable. I often tell my friends just get to a major hub like Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur and the rest is easy. Discount airlines abound which makes for very competitive pricing and the advantageous flexibility of last minute bookings. Friendly caddies at Angkor Golf Resort The options are plenty and of bucket list significance. With thirty seven World Heritage sites in SE Asia, any multi-country trip is bound to come within day trip distance of several. Imagine a mist shrouded morning at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, a sunrise Balloon ride over the Temples of Bagan, or a kayak tour amongst the limestone spires, caves and secluded beaches forming the sea scape of Ha long Bay. How about a bit of excitement on a wild multiple zipline exploit for hours through the jungle, a hands on eco-elephant sanctuary experience or a water sports package with all the latest aqua related thrill activities set against some of the world’s most beautiful seaside landscapes. You can do a version of what Koreans and Japanese golfers have been doing for quite some time. Korean golfers, for instance, with a bit of planning, can actually fly to SE Asia, stay at a great resort for a long weekend, play every day, and fly home for what a few rounds might cost at one of the upscale clubs near Seoul. While golf is very affordable in Europe now, the experience/value quotient in SE Asia is off the charts. SE Asia is not for everybody. To uninitiated travelers the cultural experience can sometimes approach overwhelming. Life in third world countries, should you choose to get out amongst the locals, is in your face around the clock. There isn’t much zoning so the trappings of the very rich are right up against the squalor of the very poor. While there is little a tourist can do to relieve inequities they see, they can take some comfort in that many of the people who are now working as tour guides, hotel workers, drivers etc. have been given a chance to improve their lot as a direct result of your tourism spending. Whether it is a trip of a lifetime, a rollicking budget jaunt, or an escape to some peace and quiet, you can find it all in the rapidly evolving SE Asian region. With operators offering more, it is getting easier to work golf into family or couples vacations where not everybody is a golfer. 9