Up until recently golf in Saigon was mainly played by local Vietnamese or foreign expatriates. The original 4 Ho Chi Minh City golf courses (Vietnam Golf & Country Club, Song Be Golf Resort, Dong Nai Golf Club, and Long Thanh Golf Club) either were only of average quality or limited tee times for visitors as demand was high and availability was low.
Nowadays, with the opening more courses such as Twin Doves Golf Club, Jeongsan Country Club, and Royal Island Golf Club more choices are available for Saigon golfers. More competition and choice has resulted in improved course maintenance standards and better availability as each of the Saigon golf courses all try to differentiate and stand out from the others. Read more
The main cities of Hanoi and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) both boast no less than 4 golf courses each. However, land prices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City make it impractical to build golf resort style hotels. Therefore, a modern business hotel or renovated colonial style accommodation is the best choice for those traveling to Hanoi or Saigon for golf.
Golfers in Hanoi generally stay in either the Old City area or near Westlake, with multiple international standard hotels in both locations. The Vietnam capital has a unique culture of its own. There are 5 courses open to visitors and driving time ranges from around 45 minutes to Van Tri Golf Club to around 2 hours to Chi Linh Star Golf & Country Club. Scenery ranges from an island setting at Kings Island Golf Club to spectacular limestone cliffs that surround the Phoenix Golf & Country Club.
Most foreigners who book Saigon golf packages stay in District One which is the physical and cultural center of Ho Chi Minh City. Here the visiting golfer will find parks, restaurants, pubs, department stores, the Saigon riverfront and much more. While Vietnam is not really a nightlife destination, the entertainment scene is more vibrant in Saigon than anywhere else in the country and thirsty visitors will have no difficulty finding a place to imbibe. Saigon has 5 golf courses open to visitors of which the best is Long Thanh Golf & Residential Estate.
In between the North and the South, mountaintop Dalat makes for very nice stopover thanks to its near perfect year round temperatures, its scenic beauty and the Dalat Palace Golf Club. The all bent grass golf course located at 1500 meters above sea level is the oldest Vietnam golf course and one of my favorites. Dating back to the 1920s the Dalat golf course has hosted numerous celebrities and dignitaries including Billy Casper and Bo Dai, Vietnam’s last emperor.
Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Dalat are all interconnected via multiple daily flights on the national carrier, Vietnam Airlines.
Saigon is the first stop on most Vietnam golf tours and naturally golfers ask about the nightlife options. While nightlife in Vietnam does not compare to nightlife in Thailand, it is nevertheless still pretty good and there are many options for those who like to party after golf. Here are three popular Saigon night clubs that can satisfy even the most spirited persons golfing in Vietnam.
I usually stop by here when in town, and then leave wondering why I went. It is located on Thi Sach Street about 1 block from the river. Apocalypse Now is an OK place to chill out in the early evening, maybe shoot some pool or watch some sports. However around 11 pm it quickly gets packed. If you like crowded clubs with loud music and lots of entertainment options, this place is for you. A bit hard to find as there is no sign outside – look for a club with about 5 steps up to the doorway, security guards standing around outside and some taxis hanging out nearby .Apocalypse Now claims to be a foreigner club and the music is western pop, though the crowd is mainly young Vietnamese ladies mixed with male foreign tourists and expats. .
Zan Z Bar
This is trendy and upscale and where you will find the ‘dressed in black’ crowd. Wide selection of drinks and the first floor gets very crowded with many locals looking for a fun night out. However, there is also a 2nd and 3rd floor both with bars. This place attracts both young locals and a mix of young and middle aged foreigners. To get there, walk out of the Caravelle Hotel, turn right, then another right at the corner and it is a few steps down on the right.
Long a popular dance club with a mix of tourists and young locals, this club switched from Filipino pop bands to a Cuban salsa band about 3 years ago and is now more popular than ever. The rooftop club in the old wing of the Caravelle and is frequented by locals and visiting businessman. Good service and a wide selection of drinks including various wines by the glass.
So Saigon is not Bangkok, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying the night scene after your first round golfing in Vietnam.