Golfing in Asia

Whether you’re an old pro, an amateur, or a rank newbie, you’ll find a place to play the game of golf almost anywhere in Asia. From Singapore to South Korea, golf has gained tremendous popularity both as a relaxing pastime, and as a way of forging tight business connections.

Some of the best golf courses in the world are in places like Thailand and Singapore, with incredibly beautiful and challenging courses adjacent to luxurious resorts. Besides the golf itself, the surroundings are incomparable. Even in major congested cities, golf courses are set in gorgeous surroundings, often just out of town in a relaxing countryside setting. Many have been created by world-famous designers with consultation by some of the game’s most prestigious players, creating courses that stand out among all others. You’ll find all the amenities of the American course and then some, with excellent clubhouses, restaurants, and spa facilities. If you’re golfing your way through Southeast Asia, the heat may be stifling, but you’re never too far away from a relaxing glass of cold tea, and a comfortable place to sit in the shade for a while and enjoy the tropical scenery. You’ll find the service to be second to none, and in some of the courses, you’ll enjoy seeing some things you’d never expect at a Western golf course. If you’re playing near the jungle, you may just hear a high-pitched, two-tone cry off in the distance, and if you get a little closer, you’ll see a gecko crawling around the green. In Thailand, some golfers have been known to see a monitor lizard on the course from time to time-but if you do, don’t look at it, it’s considered bad luck!

Seal the Deal at the Course

Golf has always been considered a “businessperson’s sport,” but it is even more so in Asia simply because of the business culture. In most Asian countries, business is transacted on a much more personal level than in America. In Japan for example, it is very important to make a personal connection with someone before conducting business or making a deal. It’s never “just business” when you make a business trip to an Asian country, and if you go with a hard-edged attitude of getting right down to business, you won’t get far. More deals get made on the golf course there than in the conference room, and your Japanese counterpart will want to know you on a personal level before signing any contracts. This may take place over a few nights at restaurants and bars, a geisha house, and more often than not, a round of golf.

Many of the best courses are private, with open golfing limited only to a couple days a month. But chances are, if you are on a business trip, your Asian counterpart will have a membership, so you’re in luck. If business isn’t part of your agenda, don’t worry, there are still plenty of options-and if you sign up with the right tour guide, you may even still be able to get inside some of those exclusive private clubs. And the public courses are often equally stunning and beautifully designed, with greens fees that compare quite favorably to those in America.

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, you won’t have to look too hard to find a good course, wherever you may be. In legendary golfer Tiger Woods’ ancestral home, Thailand is rich with very well-developed and well-played golf courses, offering a very high quality environment at low cost. In many of the Thai golf resorts, the pleasures don’t stop at golf alone, with extensive opportunities for elegant meals, traditional massage, and the ultimate in relaxation.

Finding Golf Everywhere

Even in less-developed areas like Cambodia, you can find some place to play, so don’t forget to bring your clubs when you go to Siem Riep to see the magnificent Angkor Wat. India too, with is rapidly emerging economy, has a newfound respect for the game of golf, and courses are starting to spring up to accommodate the country’s rapidly emerging middle class.

And regardless of politics, golf still persists-and Communist countries are no exception. Vietnam has opened itself up to trade and tourism, and yes, you can find a good game there too. Despite the country’s war-torn past, Vietnam is a beautiful country with incredible scenery and wonderful hospitality. It has become a popular tourist destination, and the Vietnamese are very accommodating. The surroundings are varied but always exotic. And three hours or so outside of Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll find one of the top ten courses in Asia, right along the coast of the South China Sea.

When you visit India, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the vast array of golf courses, and in fact, India has had a long-held fascination with the game ever since the early part of the 19th century. New golf courses spring up on a regular basis, and the game is enjoyed by a surprisingly large diversity of people from all walks of life in India.

Golf Holiday Tours

If you’re a golf fanatic, you don’t have to miss your favorite game while on holiday. Several tour operators offer fantastic golf vacations that are all-inclusive. No need to worry about finding out where to go or how to get there, your tour operator will take care of all the details for you. And if you’re lucky, you may just find a tour package that gets you into some of the more exclusive clubs.

Part of the Package

Wherever you go in Asia, incorporating golf into your vacation is a wonderful way to see the country. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to incorporate golf into your family vacation or your business trip, because of the incredible popularity of the game and the wide selection of available courses. Also, many of the courses offer extensive amenities, and are close by to cultural centers, special events, and other prime tourist destinations. Golfing on holiday in Asia doesn’t mean you have to spend time away from the family-many of the courses are part of very large resorts that include a little bit of everything for everyone.

Cambodia Buses – A New Asia Scenic Attraction?

When the first of the bohemians first started rediscovering the Cambodian kingdom after the Vietnam war, using the term roads was merely an easy way for saying improved tracks of endless quagmire; axel snapping, oil pan crushing quagmire, at that

A soon to be announced major scenic attraction millions of years in the making, is the road between Sre Amble and the Thai border at Had Lek as you will cruise through one of the largest, only slightly plundered, primal jungle forests left in the world. This vast tract covers million of acres, with several very distinct water sheds. You will be mesmerized by ripples of dense foliage that fade from black and silver green into grays that ultimately merge with the clouds with few if any signs of mans presence.

Today 3 of the 4 major bridges that were memorable river crossings in the past are open with the 4th promised to be online by Khmer New Year. The adventure of these river crossings will be missed, while at the same time it will be possible to make it from Phnom Penh to Bangkok in a little over 12 hours; today the best you can do is around 16 hours.

Considering the distance traveled, bus travel is still easily the cheapest way to go to Bangkok , expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $30 for instance from Phnom Penh to Bangkok compared to $75+ with fuel surcharges tax’s airport fees to Bangkok cheap flights on Air Asia or Bangkok Air.

Enjoying the scenery has always been one of the real treasures of travel in Cambodia, as you skim along side the shimmering ponds of rice with sugar palm sentinels allowing you to take mental pictures for lasting memories of this exotic land.

Miss Universe Facts!

California’55
 
Like Brazil and the States, Sweden was one of the world’s beauty pageant superpowers in the 50s and 60s. In 1955, this Nordic nation won the global title.
 
Long Beach ’58
 
Surprisingly, Dutch Guiana – present-day Suriname (South America) — was one of the 15 semi-finalists, but did not make the list of the five finalists.
 
Miami ’61
 
Miss Universe 1961 Marlene Schmidt was born in the former East Germany, but she moved to West Germany in search of political tranquility and new opportunities. She was the first and only German to win the international award.
 
America ’65
 
After winning the event, Aspara Hangsakula (Thailand) embarked on a world tour, making stops in the United States, Asia and Latin America. The dark-eyed girl is Thailand’s most famous beauty queen.
 
Florida ’66
 
Inspired by Hangsakula’s victory, Thailand’s representative Jeeranum Savettanum was second runner-up.

Miami ’71

Lebanon’s Miss Universe Georgina Rizk, a native of Beirut, was the one of the first Miss Universes to appear on a national postage stamp. She, who participated in Miss World, is about five feet seven inches tall (she is taller than Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco ), weights 121 pounds and measures 35-25-35. In addition to this, Miss Lebanon Universe speaks four foreign languages.

El Salvador ’75
 
One of the most famous archaeological treasures in Central America, the Tazumal pyramid, was selected by the Miss Universe Organization as the symbol of the 23rd Miss Universe 1975 in San Salvador (El Salvador).

Acapulco ’78
 
Dewi Sukarno, former first Lady of Indonesia, was one of the international judges, along with Mario Moreno Cantinflas (Mexico’s actor), Ursula Andress (Sweden’s actress) and other famous celebrities. Dewi was the wife of former dictator Achmed Sukarno, one of the most brutal rulers in the 20th century.

Perth ’79

In the face of international sanctions, Bophuthatswana, it was not recognized by the United Nations and Washington, sent a representative to Australia, site of the beauty contest. Unfortunately, Bophuthatswana’s delegate, Alina Moeketse,a black girl, did not make the list of the 12 semi-finalists. Like Transkei, Venda, and Ciskei, Bophuthatswana was founded by the former South African apartheid regime.

Perth’79 & Paradise Island’09
 
Venezuela is often seen as a model for Miss Universe Pageant on Earth. In 1979, Venezuela’s representative Maritza Sayalero was elected MU in Oceania. In August 2009, this rich-oil country was the first country to win back-to-back Miss Universe finals. Between 1979 to 2009, the Latin nation has won six global crowns: Australia’79, New York’ 81, Panama ’86, Las Vegas ’96, Vietnam’08 & Paradise Island ’09.

New York City ’81
 
Venezuela’s Irene Saez Conde, 18-year-old, did not learn English until that she won the Miss Universe award in the United States in July 1981.During her reign, under the watchful eye of her professor, Joseph Nassif, she learned to speak English very well.

Panama City ’86
 
Miss Denmark, Helena Christensen, who had received little mention in the Panamanian press,  did not even make the semi-finals of Miss Universe Panama ’86, but seven years later she, who is half Peruvian, became one of the world’s top super-models in the 90s, alongside names like Cindy Crawford, Tyra Banks, and Naomi Campbell.
 
Taipei’88

Four beauty queens from Asia -Thailand (Porntip Nakhirunkanok), South Korea (Yunjung Chang), Japan (Mizuho Sakaguchi), & Hong Kong (Pauline Yeung) — were among the top five finalists. In this edition, Miss Thailand was crowned Miss Universe 1988. Apart from winning the universal trophy, she also won the “Best national Costume”. In Taiwan, Nakhirunkanok ended Latin America’s three year domination of international pageant. The three past events had been won by Deborah Carthy-Deu (Puerto Rico/1985), Barbara Palacios (Venezuela/1986) and Cecilia Bolocco (Chile/1987). Mexico’s Amanda Olivares was the only one to challenge the Asian supremacy: She finished third in the global contest.

Cancun’89

After falling from the Miss World Pageant in Spain/ UK, Angela Visser, Miss Holland, became Miss Universe in Cancun. According to experts on Miss Universe, the blue-eyed woman, an ex fashion model from Rotterdam, was one of the most beautiful beauty queens of the Twentieth century.

Las Vegas ’91
 
Ireland’s representative Siobhan McClaferty, 20-year-old hostess, did not make the list of the 10 semi-finalists, but won the Miss Photogenic award. Miss Ireland Universe, a blue-eyed girl, finished 19th (swimsuit: 8.08 points/ interview: 8.88/ evening gown: 8.44) in the international contest in Nevada. Curiously, she came close to winning the 1990 Miss World — MU’s rival – in the United Kingdom.

Bangkok ’92
 
Suriname – the only Dutch-speaking republic in the Americas – finished in the last place: 78th.

From Thailand’92 to Manila’94
 
By 1994, Miss Colombia placed second for the third consecutive year. Unfortunately, the South American country has not won a MU trophy in 51 years!

Las Vegas ’96

In the preliminaries, Miss India had the highest score in the interviews: 9.48 points, ahead of Venezuela (9.43), USA (9.37), Peru (9.36), Chile (9.28), El Salvador (9.26), Trinidad & Tobago (9.23) and Norway (9.19). India’s contestant Sandhya Chib made the top ten , but was not one of the finalists.

Trinidad Tobago’99

The African republic of Bostwana – an obscure country that had never won a beauty contest- earned the global competition in the Caribbean. It was the first time since Namibia (1992) that an obscure nation had won the prize.

Los Angeles ’06

This year Puerto Rico won its fourth Miss Universe award after finishing second in the 2005 Miss Universe in Bangkok, Thailand. There were a number of celebrations in the island, after Zuleyka Rivera won the universal title in North America.

Paradise Island ’09

According to MU experts, Miss France, Chloe Mortaud, was the pre-pageant favorite to win the MU title in The Bahamas, ahead of Rachael Anne Finch (Australia), Ada Aimèe de la Cruz (Dominican Republic), Iveta Lutokska (Czech Republic) and China (Wang Jungyao). Surprisingly, she, a dual French-American citizen, did not make the top 5, and finished sixth. France’s Mortaud was the first black  to be named favorite since Vanessa Mendoza, Miss Colombia, in 2002.