Golf in the Kingdom of Thailand with a royal treatment
Thailand delivers royal treatment on and off the fairways. People are humble, humorous and forever welcoming. Happy uniformed caddies, with large brimmed hats, greet golfers at every course, a mandatory program that distinguishes Thailand.
Arriving in Bangkok is like stepping over the rainbow. We never felt so tall or blond, but by sharing their greeting, we blended in - “savadeekah” for females or “savadeekup” for males, accompanied by a slight bow, hands formed in the prayer sign – an act of peace, respect and harmony coming and going.
A midnight stroll set the cultural stage with authentic cooking and vendors. Massage parlors are abundant, and broad in offers. The traditional Thai massage is like yoga stretches performed on your body on floor mattresses in silk pajamas, relieving long flight aches and producing giggles.
The Siam Kempinski Hotel was dramatically regal as Miss Thailand contestants paraded by. By day, the Chao Phraya River is filled with colorful boats delivering passengers and products. By night, a Marriott dinner cruise was the most impressive in the world, a Disney electric light parade of vessels and gilded palaces.
Beauty belies all the golf in Thailand, starting with Burapha Golf Club in Pattaya. En route, The Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens is a marvel of horticultural artistry; the filming site of many Asian themed movies. Tropical vegetation proliferate courses, such as Laem Chabang with night golf after a beautiful sunset. Siam Country Club was a great play day with caddy Porn, a common female name.
Chiang Mai, “The Rose of the North”, is culturally rich with temples and shrines. Elephant farms demonstrate talent in sports, painting and rides through the jungle and streams. The Long Neck Hill Tribe Village is a step back in time, where women’s beauty is defined by gold bands elongating their neck.
Chiang Mai’s Alpine and Highlands courses are located at the base of the mountains bordering Burma. Thick, colorful topography outlines fairways and greens.
Thai Country Club, famed with Tiger’s win in '97 counts among the panoramic plays in Bangkok. A swimming caddy retrieves water balls at Bangkok Sports Club.
The biggest names in golf design developed a variety of courses throughout Thailand. Kingdoms come and kingdoms go but with all that glitters in the Grand Palace and beyond, this one will prevail. If you want to golf in a kingdom, go to www.golfasian.com to plan a customized package.Written by Alice and Danny Scott
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