Thailand, Great Greens On and Off the Course

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Black Mountain Golf Club - East Course

Gazing through my bourbon as the sun was setting, we reflect on our past few days of world class golf, spectacular and diverse cuisine in Hua Hin, Thailand.   Originally a resort town for Bangkok-based nobility, Kings Rama VI and VII built summer palaces here.  Today, it’s a fashionable mix of where the city meets the sea with lively markets, dining experiences for every pallet, water parks, excellent accommodation and an ambience that just keeps getting hipper and more cosmopolitan everyday.

From a golfer standpoint (and there really is no other – is there?), it might just be my favorite in the country.  Black Mountain Golf Club and Banyan Golf Club are a doubleheader second to none.  Back to these shortly.

Prawns as big as your hand at the Night Market in Hua Hin 

If there is one thing I like about as much as playing golf, good food and good wine, would be it.  Food connoisseurs come to enjoy Thai Cuisine as well as diverse International Cuisine. The fascinating Hua Hin Night Market sets the standard for the most sophisticated form of street dinning in the heart of the city.  Street meat beyond compare, as we affectionately term it.

The street, in the heart of the city, lined with vendors offering up fresh catches of the day. Prawns larger than you hand, lobster pork and steak.  Cooked in front of you or you can venture up to the affiliated restaurant in the background, perhaps add a little wine to your meal.  My T- bone steak and giant prawn was about $16 Canadian dollars. Almost free in US Dollars.  It was a cool experience.

On our first evening here we were introduced to a quaint Italian dining experience at Lost Café, pizza in paradise you might say.  What goes well with Italian? Red wine of course!  I’m not sure why these were priced at $25.00 so we started with a 2010 Bordeaux followed up with a 2011 Syrah from the south of France.

By far the most fun with food we had was making our own meal under the guidance of Anya Yaituam at her Bamboo Thai Cooking Class.  A totally hands on experience where you are walked through the “greens” of her garden. Introducing some of the basics of herbs, spices, chillies, lemongrass and other fresh ingredients including coconut milk which factor into many of the popular dishes.

Watch here as we start by folding our garlic chicken into Pandan Leaf, complimented by Thai Papaya Salad before scaping out coconut for our Green Curry Chicken.  YUM!!  Investigate your own Thai Cooking experience: https://bamboothaicooking.com

Oceanside dining? Romantic it could have been but for being with 4 dudes!  That bourbon I mentioned, yes was on yet another roof top bar, this time at the White Lotus with stunning views across the Gulf of Siam from the Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa.  Dinner was oceanfront, at the Hilton’s, Chay Had Restaurant and Lounge, where we were treated to a decadent chef-curate, specialities included Spicy Tiger Prawn Salad, Duck Spring Role, Chicken Coconut Cream Soup, Grilled Tenderloin to die for with some fresh fruit and Pistachio Biscotti to round it all out!

Let’s Tee It Up!

Black Mountain Golf Club

What more can one say about a course that is, Top 100 in the World by Golf Digest (59). Best New course in Thailand in 2008, #1 Course in Thailand by Golf Digest in 2016 and to top it off IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) 2020 Golf Experience of the Year for Thailand.

Other than just being a great layout and meticulously maintained, it is WOW factor to the nines. Rock walls and waterfalls enhance the elevation changes and lily ponds, captivate your attention throughout the round.  Hop on our cart and enjoy the sites and sounds as much as we did.  For more information: http://www.blackmountainhuahin.com

Banyan Golf Club

Another multi award winning course in Hua Hin, multiple award winner of “Best in Asia” awards for excellence, in addition to the Order of Zenith, which is the highest and most prestigious golf award in Asia Pacific by Asian Golf in 2018

This tropical layout has two distinct nines with the front meandering through the lower and flatter terrain while the back nine takes you up and down the mountainside offering up a view of the Gulf of Siam on the signature 15th with all day panoramic views of the Myanmar Mountains in the distance. More info: https://www.banyanthailand.com/hua-hin-golf

Come on along and see for yourself – right here.

In Hua Hin we stayed at the luxurious Hyatt Regency, a beachfront resort of royal legacy, known for its recreational facilities, including the region’s most-enjoyable array of swimming pools, a giant waterslide and the award-winning Barai Spa.  Just out the doors of the resort, but only on weekends, you will find a more refined style of yet another night market well worth checking out, Cicada Market.

As a popular beach holiday destination, Hua Hin offers many adventures activities, golf, shopping and dinning… Additionally, other nearby attractions both historical and cultural, with a number of events, including an International Kite and Jazz Festivals.

Monkey Around in Thailand

These guys looking for a ride??

About 6 KL or 4 miles south of Hua Hin the small seaside village of Khao Takiab might be your calling.  Monkey Mountain is the place to go if you like panoramic views and monkeys, plenty of them and they will come and say hi.  As an animal lover this was a fun little thing to do.

All good things must come to and end, but this was no ordinary ending, our trip was not over yet!  Just moving on to Pattaya but not in the traditional fashion of planes, trains and automobiles.  We adventured across the Gulf of Siam in a Catamaran, two quick hours on the Royal 3 Passenger Liner.

Another Thai adventure next month…and as a reminder…

Getting to Thailand.  More than likely you will be making a connection from wherever you are traveling from to Bangkok. Easily done though with one connection.  For more information on all the Thailand had to offer www.tourismthailand.org.

Golfasian, a specialist golf tour operator based in Thailand, organized our trip and knows the destination inside and out – see www.golfasian.com

If you are looking at making arrangements through a local golf tour operator, consider reaching out to one of the members of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) that promote and sell golf packages in Thailand such as:

US based……

www.puregolfadventures.com

www.womensgolfandtravel.com

www.manaluxury.com

www.kalosgolf.com

www.mbaglobalexcursions.com

Canada based…..

www.bcgolfguide.com

www.golftheworldvacations.com

www.voyagesgendron.com www.worldwidegolfsafaris.com

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Claudio DeMarchi is a golfer who loves to travel to play golf. Publisher and editor of the Traveling Golfer www.travelinggolfer.net established in 2006. Claudio is also the North American representative for IAGTO the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, considered the global tourism organization for the golf industry with over 2,700 members in 100+ countries. In any given year IAGTO is responsible for conducting up 6 golf tourism conventions around the world.