SAIGON, Vietnam – The Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail, just a year old but already Asia’s most talked about golfing itinerary, has retained Indochina’s largest golf tour operator, GolfAsian, as the Trail’s official tour operator partner.
Starting Sept. 1, visitors to www.hochiminhgolftrail.com can book their entire itineraries through GolfAsian (www.golfasian.com), which last year enabled and more than 3,000 golf visits to Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.
“Our alliance with GolfAsian is a move toward greater efficiency and expertise,” said Jim Sullivan, director of Mandarin Media/Asia-Pacific, which created the trail in 2007 and continues its administration. “By directing all booking inquires to GolfAsian, we are putting golfers in the hands of people who know this part of the world intimately, who understand the logistics involved, and who have created thousands of these itineraries not just last year, but over the course of 15 years in this business.
“With each passing year, we’re committed to improving the attraction and practicality of playing the Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail. We’re improving the product – The Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake and the new Montgomerie Links Vietnam in Danang are both scheduled to join the Trail in early 2009 – and our partnership with GolfAsian enables golfers to better access that product.”
The Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail doesn’t merely assemble Vietnam’s best golfing venues in a North-South fashion, like its namesake trail. It pairs these first-class clubs and resorts with some of the most remarkable, luxury accommodations in world golf, while connecting golfers themselves to all the Trail’s cultural offerings and transport options through its partnership with GolfAsian.
The golfing world has taken notice. Hundreds of stories have been written about the Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail, including feature coverage in publications like the New York Times (March 9, 2008), Outside’s Go (May 2008) and Travel+Leisure Golf (November 2008). In December 2007, the International Golf Travel Writers Association pegged Vietnam as its “Undiscovered Destination of the Year”, based on the country’s attractiveness, course quality, and standard of accommodation. The award was a crowning moment in a pivotal year for Vietnam golf – the Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail launched on July 1, 2007, and two months later came formation of the Vietnam Golf Association.
“Vietnam has really come of age as a tourist destination during the last two years,” said GolfAsian Managing Director Mark Siegel, noting another larger milestone: Vietnam’s admission to the World Trade Organization in late 2006. “We’ve seen a huge spike in interest regarding golf in Vietnam, thanks in large part to the Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail. But there’s a difference between reading a story about how wonderful a golf destination is and actually having that experience. That’s what we deliver: the first-class experience and dependability traveling golfers expect.”
Golfing stops on the Trail include:
- Chi Linh Star Golf Club, a dazzling 18 outside Hanoi and recent host to the Asian PGA Tour’s Carlsberg Masters, with another 18 on the way
- Dalat Palace Golf Club, a mile-high gem, the only wall-to-wall bentgrass course in Southeast Asia, laid out in the 1920s for Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam
- Ocean Dunes Golf Club, a wind-swept Nick Faldo design, a “tropical links” lapped by the warm waters of the South China Sea
- Dong Nai Golf Resort, a breathtaking, 27-hole track laid out by American Ward Northrup, whose design skirts a scenic chain of natural lakes
- Vietnam Golf & Country Club, home to 36 pristine, otherwise private holes just 20 minutes from downtown Ho Chi Minh City
- King’s Island Country Club, Hanoi’s oldest club and home to two 18s that play over some of the finest, most diverse golfing ground in Southeast Asia.
For more information on the Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail, or to make travel plans for a tour of the Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail, visit www.hochiminhgolftrail.com.