The Travelling Golfers at Ha Long BayThe Travelling Golfers at Ha Long Bay 


At The Travelling Golfer, we started putting together the Jewels of Vietnam tour in early 2018, with a March/April 2020 tour date.

The tour was put to the market in 2019 and sold out- but COVID struck and the tour was deferred a number of times until we finally set off in April 2023 with a party of 26.


Why Vietnam?


Vietnam is one of our very favourite destinations.

Vietnam has a fascinating history and has been occupied by China, France & Japan.

Visitors to Hanoi, Hue, Danang & Dalat can experience reminders of that history.

The people are gentle and caring- and there are so many of them!

Vietnam currently has a population of approximately 100 million- most of them ride motorbikes and scooters..

The roads are vibrant with scooters heading every which way.

It is chaotic, and something once seen, never forgotten!


Vietnam is a relatively small country with a long sandy coastline north to south.

The dunes along that foreshore go on forever and are perfect for golf!

It is no surprise to see a succession of top designers being employed to design new courses in this sandy terrain.

And the weather is excellent.


Take Nha Trang for instance on the central coast.

They have 300 days of sunshine per annum with warm sunny days in the 30's.

This leaves them with a short rainy season where it mainly rains at night!

Is this the best weather in the world?


The current golf boom in Vietnam started with Montgomerie Links, BRG Danang, Laguna Lang Co (Hue), and then Ba Na Hills- all near Danang.

There are now 6 world class courses in this region designed by name architects- Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, Robert Trent Jones Jnr, Luke Donald , Nicklaus Design- with another 7 on the way!

No wonder Vietnam is regarded as one of the emerging golf destinations in the world.


The Jewels of Vietnam 2023 Hanoi Pre Tour


Heather and I arrived a day early and spent our day exploring Hanoi's marvellous chaos.

The two day pre tour we had organised visited two courses an hour or more out of the city.

We played Thanh Lanh first.

The course was designed by Nick Faldo and is set in mountainous terrain.

It is a big complex, and despite the grey day we enjoyed the golf.

Most memorable were the par 3's at holes 4 & 14.


Thanh Lanh Valley Golf Resort- hole 4Thanh Lanh Valley Golf Resort- hole 4


The next day we visited Kings Island Golf Resort and played the Kings Course, designed by Jack Nicklaus.

As you would expect with Nicklaus Design, the course was strategic, and offered a nice variety of holes.

The par 3 19th hole was the highlight- a Sawgrass like island par 3!



The tour proper started next day and with everyone now arrived we headed off to Ha Long Bay for an overnight cruise.



The Jewels of Vietnam Tour 2023.


Halong Bay 2023Halong Bay 2023


With full crew on board we boarded the bus and headed to Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

We boarded our cruise ship in the middle of the day and headed out to explore.

Ha Long Bay has more than 2,000 pinnacle shaped karst limestone and dolomite outcrops scattered as far as the eye could see.

During the afternoon we paddled around exploring caves and inlets..


Halong Bay caveHalong Bay cave


Back in the mother ship- and the pre dinner drinks and first class dinner left everyone feeling pretty good about themselves..

The next morning we had a pretty cruisey brekkie and then absorbed the amazing panoramic views as we headed back to dry land.

We then headed to the hills to play FLC Halong Bay Golf Club.



FLC Ha Long Bay Golf Course is quite an experience- one of the most up and down rounds ever.

While the uphill holes were a bit of a slog at times, the down hillers were exhilirating, and with the dramatic background views of Ha Long Bay as a backdrop, there are a number of memorable holes..


FLC Golf Club Ha Long-  hole 8FLC Golf Club Ha Long- hole 8 

We stayed that night at the grand FLC Ha Long Bay hotel.


On Friday after breakfast we made the short journey to Taun Chau Golf Resort where the golfing competition got serious.

Taun Chau is a largely flat course on land that has been reclaimed from the sea.

It is well designed and a solid test of golf, but is aesthetically challenged..


Tuan Chau Golf Resort- hole 2Tuan Chau Golf Resort- hole 2

Tuan Chau Golf Resort- hole 18 & clubhouseTuan Chau Golf Resort- hole 18 & clubhouse



After golf we headed back to the bus and journeyed back to Hanoi.

On Saturday we transferred to the airport and caught the short flight to the ancient city of Hue.

Our bus to see ancient Hue's treasures was somewhat reminscent of one from many years back- The Travelling Sardines were back on the road!


Vietnam- The Travelling Sardines make a comeback!Vietnam- The Travelling Sardines make a comeback!


Hue- Tomb of Khai DinhHue- Tomb of Khai Dinh


The Tomb of Khai DinhThe Tomb of Khai Dinh


Back in the bus we travelled an hour to Laguna Lang Co and settled in at the swish Angsana Lang Co Resort for a two night stay.

After a day on the road we all enjoyed a quiet drink and swim at the beachside pool, followed by dinner.


On Sunday we had the great pleasure to play the Nick Faldo designed Laguna Lang Co course in warm, sunny conditions.


Comp of the day boys v girlsComp of the day boys v girls

Comp of the day boys v girls2Comp of the day boys v girls2



Laguna is a destination in it's own right with a really nice hotel set up and one of the best courses in Vietnam, which is getting better each time we visit..


Laguna Lang Co- hole 8Laguna Lang Co- hole 8

Laguna Lang Co- hole 9Laguna Lang Co- hole 9 



LAGUNA LANG CO HOLE 11Laguna Lang Co- Hole 11


Laguna Lang Co- hole 18Laguna Lang Co- hole 18 


Ok, so maybe the boys let the girls win?


Victory to the girls!Victory to the girls!


Some of us lashed out that night and dined at the very fine Saffron restaurant.

We ate out on the balcony with views down the beach and were very pleased with ourselves!


Monday morning saw us back in the bus heading south to Ba Na Hills Golf Course- a dramatic course set high in the hills overlooking Danang.

Designed by former world no 1 Luke Donald, Ba Na Hills is a championship course with a point of difference.


Ba Na Hills GC- hole 16Ba Na Hills GC- hole 16


Ba Na Hills- players & caddies Ba Na Hills- players & caddies

Ba Na Hills- on the teeBa Na Hills- on the tee



After golf we piled back on the bus for the short drive to the ancient port town of Hoi An, where we were booked to stay 4 nights 'smack in the middle of town' at Royal Hoi An hotel.

Hoi An is a fascinating community that comes alive at night.

With the lanterns out and endless restaurants and eateries open for business our group enjoyed their nights in Hoi An.


Nights in Hoi An


Hoi An lights up at nightHoi An lights up at night!


Hoi An at nightHoi An at night 

Hoi An at night.Hoi An at night.



On Tuesday morning we headed to The BRG Danang Golf Club to play the relatively new Jack Nicklaus course.

The Greg Norman course at BRG Danang opened in 2010 and has been a major drawcard since.

The Nicklaus Course is distinctly different to it's older sibling.

Whereas the Norman course has a 'Melbourne Sandbelt' feel, The Nicklaus course is routed through low lying swampy terrain.

Water is in play on every hole, and the timber bulkheads give the course it's own personality.

The two courses complement each other nicely!


 BRG Danang Golf Resort- Nicklaus Course, hole 14BRG Danang Golf Resort- Nicklaus Course, hole 14


BRG Danang Golf Resort- Nicklaus Course, hole 7BRG Danang Golf Resort- Nicklaus Course, hole 7 

The nights in Hoi An were great fun.


Red Scooter two bonnie lasses and plenty of balloonsRed Scooter, two bonnie lasses and plenty of balloons!


And whilst in Hoi An we were further entertained by the cooking classes, and The Memory Show..


Seated at The Memory ShowSeated at The Memory Show

The Memory ShowThe Memory Show



The Red Bridge Cooking School was very popular!


The Red Bridge Cooking School


On Wednesday we played Montgomerie Links, which was designed by Colin Montgomerie and opened for play in 2010.

It was immediately regarded as one of the premier courses in Vietnam and was a vital part of the rise of Danang as an international golfing destination. 

The course displays a nice variation between holes, with water defining some holes and trees and bunkers dominating others.


Montgomerie Links- hole 9Montgomerie Links- hole 9


On Thursday we rose to our last brekkie together, and then headed out to the new wonder of Vietnam golf- the brand new Hoiana Shores GC, designed by legendary architect Robert Trent Jones Jnr.

Trent Jones has transformed a flat sandy site into a world class links course.

I regard it as clearly the best course in Vietnam!

And the girls were excited!


The girls were excited!The girls were excited! 


The Travelling Golfers at Hoiana ShoresThe Travelling Golfers at Hoiana Shores


Hoiana Shores- hole 15Hoiana Shores- hole 15 




Tour Winners


The golfing winners of the '2023 Jewels of Vietnam tour' were Tina Kim and Craig Stott.




Vietnam winnersVietnam winners



 Nha Trang - A Post Tour Exploratory


On Friday Heather & I said our goodbyes to the group and flew south to Nha Trang/ Cam Ranh for some reconnaisance.

It is an area I had been considering adding to our tours in Vietnam pre COVID.

Nha Trang/Cam Ranh has one of the best climates in the world with warm sunny days all year round.

Combined with good golf, world class hotels and beautiful beaches it makes a destination worth exploring..


Our first stop was Vinpearl Golf Club, which is located on an island and is famous for it's large theme park..

We caught a ferry across to the island.


Vinpearl ferryVinpearl ferry


The resort style golf was nicely maintained and a joy to play.

It is not really a championship course, but perfect for travelling golfers!


Vinpearl GC- hole 2Vinpearl GC- hole 2


Vinpearl GC Nha Trang- hole 8Vinpearl GC Nha Trang- hole 8


Our next stop was KN Links, Cam Ranh- a Greg Norman design which opened in 2018 and is already regarded as one of the top two or three courses in Vietnam.

KN Links is part of a huge development, and it's outlook will change markedly in the years ahead as homes and infrastructure are added.

It is a great site for a golf course- sand based and with enough movement to make it interesting..

The course has sea views but does not really get close to the coastline.

KN Links has already hosted tournaments and is a quality course.


KN Links Cam Ranh- hole 6KN Links Cam Ranh- hole 6


KN Links- Heather & the caddiesKN Links- Heather & the caddies 


 KN Golf Links, Cam Ranh- hole 5 approachKN Golf Links, Cam Ranh- hole 5 approach


Next up was Diamond Bay GC which qualifies as a 'hidden gem'.

It is a fascinating course on a tiny site- it only occupies 76 hectares, but off the back tee the course can stretch to 7244 yards!

It is fair to say that quite a number of the holes are very tight with fairways framed by trees both sides.

It is a rollicking ride with elevation changes and water hazards at every turn.

Some of the par 3's are quite memorable..


Diamond Bay GC hole 4Diamond Bay GC- hole 4

Diamond Bay GC- hole 6Diamond Bay GC- hole 6



Diamond Bay GC- hole 12Diamond Bay GC- hole 12 

 Our final stop was a brand new course called Nara Binh Tien which was designed by Golfplan and opened for play in 2021.

With COVID interfering, it is a course largely undiscovered by the travelling golfers of the world.

Like KN Links, the property surrounding the golf course will be developed over time, changing the outlook.

The course is located right by the sea, but only one hole is adjacent to the beach.

But what a hole!


Nara Binh Tier- hole 13 greenNara Binh Tier- hole 13 green


The par 3 thirteenth hole is an 'all world hole'..

Nara Bien Tien is a well designed, risk and reward type course, and a good day's golf.


So that was the Cam Ranh/ Nha Trang reconnaisance!

We now hope to include the area as a golfing destination for Travelling Golfers going forward.

With Dalat and Quy Nhon also both offering excellent golf, sightseeing and accommodation- the combination of the three areas makes for a compelling golfing getaway.


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