Destination Golf - November 2016 * - Page 39

Thailand. 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. With operators offering more, it is getting easier to work golf into family or couples vacations where not everybody is a golfer. The options are plenty and of bucket list significance. With thirty seven World Heritage sites in SE Asia, any multicountry 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 pillars, 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. Volume 3 • Issue 36 39