Tee and Sand in Vietnam's Golf Coast.
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Monday, 16th August 2010
With its combination of golf courses, five star hotels and beaches, Vietnam's Golf Coast is set to become one of South-east Asia's newest playgrounds.

Beautiful golf courses in Danang

Vietnam, fast becoming a golfing haven in South-east Asia, saw the recent launch of Vietnam Golf Coast, a partnership of the country's top new golf courses and its finest hotels and beaches on the country's central coast.

The founding members of The Vietnam Golf Coast are Montgomerie Links Vietnam, Danang Golf Club, The Nam Hai, Life Resort Danang and Golfasian Vietnam.

What makes Golf Coast attractive is that all the resorts and courses in the consortium are on a comely stretch of sand in Danang, just 20 minutes from an international airport that sits within a two-hour flight from Singapore and Hong Kong.

"The golf offerings in Danang are new, but a variety of factors have conspired to peg Danang as the top golf destination in the country, and one of the best in all of Southeast Asia," said CEO Mark Siegel, Golfasian's CEO.

Jon Tomlinson, general director of Montgomerie Links, added that additional golf courses and hotels may join the cooperative shortly. "There are half a dozen more golf courses in various stages of construction and planning here in the Central Coast region. We don't see them as competition. We see them as additional reasons why golfers should consider Danang for their next golf holiday."

Golf is not the only attraction in the region. South of Danang, 20 minutes from The Nam Hai and Life Resort Danang, is the UNESCO World Heritage city of Hoi An. To the north lies Hue, the last imperial capital of Vietnam. Bathing the entire region with its warm tropical waters is the East Sea, home to some of the country's freshest seafood and top scuba locales in South-east Asia.

The Nam Hai

"What you have here is a year-round beach culture that has, in the last five years, added the sort of sophistication and amenities that have made the world take notice - 5-star hotels, casinos, golf, and transportation infrastructure," said Howie Roberts, general manager of Danang Golf Club, which will add a second 18 in 2012.

In Danang, the golf and airline offerings appear to have come of age simultaneously. While a new international airport will open in 2011, the city is now served by international flights from Singapore and Guangzhou, in addition to regular connecting service from both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam Air is helping to promote Vietnam Golf Coast with 30 scheduled regular charter flights to Danang out of Hong Kong, with the twice-weekly service beginning on 17 September and after that they will be on every Tuesday and Friday.

Shanghai Airlines will soon launch a twice-weekly charter service from its hub, Shanghai, to complement those Vietnam Airlines has scheduled from Hong Kong.

"The latter two flights are expected to undertake regular schedules when the tour operators currently selling these routes can achieve a high passenger load," explained Herbert Laubichler-Pichler, general manager of The Nam Hai.

"This confluence of new international routes obviously makes access to Danang far more convenient. With all this in place, we see the Central Coast as the first Vietnamese destination fully equipped to compete with the best of Asia's beach destinations."

Photos courtesty of Vietnam Golf Coast

Yeoh Siew Hoon, one of Asia's most respected travel editors and commentators, writes a regular column on news, trends and issues in the hospitality industry for 4Hoteliers.com.

Siew Hoon, who has covered the tourism industry in Asia/Pacific for the past 20 years, runs SHY Ventures Pte Ltd. Her other writings can be found at www.thetransitcafe.com .Get your weekly cuppa of news, gossip, humour and opinion at the cafe for travel insiders.

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