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.

Traveling to Asia

Immensely popular as a tourist destination, Asia provides a peek into a rich history and an even richer culture. In fact, some of the great wonders of the world can be found within the boundaries of this continent.

Travelers to Asia will probably have the Great Wall of China as their first stop. Extending to about 2,414 kilometers or 1,500 miles with a height of about 25 feet, the wall has been said to be visible even in outer space. Erected by the Qin dynasty’s first emperor Shihuangdi to defend the city from the nomadic people, the wall is made out of earth and stone.

Another worthy travel spot in Asia, particularly in China is the Terra-cotta Warriors and Soldiers Museum in Xi’an China, which is considered to be one of the world’s greatest archaeological find. Another tourist destination that should be in the list of any traveler to Asia is the Forbidden City, now known as the Palace Museum in Beijing. The enclosed location holds the former palaces of Chinese emperors. Tiananmen Square, which is also located in Beijing, set adjacent to the Forbidden City. A witness to a series of student-led demonstrations and rallies in 1989 calling for the removal of Deng Xiaoping, the square is now a memorial of those whose lives were sacrificed. Asian travelers will probably want to also go to Dunhang, where ancient Buddhist frescoes in caves can be found.

One of the wonders of the ancient world, the Angkor is a major archaeological site located in the northwest parts of Cambodia. A historical travel spot in Asia, the ruins have two Hindi temple complexes, the Angkor Wat and the Angkor Thom, which is less popular having been built later. And though the site has been damaged much by warfare, a traveler in Asia can still feel the ancient spirit of the place living on.

Taj Mahal is another ancient site that continues to lure travelers in Asia into its midst. Located in Agra, India, the temple was made by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal (Jewel of the Palace) who died in childbirth after bearing him 14 children.

Bangkok, Thailand is another travel spot in Asia. One of its most popular tourist destination is the Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Other destinations that would surely fascinate any traveler in Asia are the Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), which is known as a example of 19th-century architecture; Buddhist temples; the Sanam Luang, where royal ceremonies such as cremation and the annual Ploughing Ceremony are often held; the Dusit Park, Zoo and the Chitladda Palace where the royal family reside. Bangkok is also home to numerous art houses such as the National Museum, National Theater, National Gallery, Rajadamnoen Stadium (the preeminent venue of Thai kick-boxing), National Library, and National Archives.

The Philippines have also a lot to offer travelers in Asia. Its beaches and resorts can rival the world. Boracay, for instance, is known for its white sandy beaches and crystal clear water. Another island destination that any traveler to Asia should not dare miss is Palawan and Bohol, where the world famous Tarsier and Chocolate Hills can be found. Of course, one must also visit the Ifugao Rice Terraces, which is one of he Ten Wonders of the World as well as the Mines View Park and Strawberry fields in Baguio.

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.