Airlines that fly direct to Bangkok from London Heathrow are Thai Airlines (www.thaiair.com), Eva Airlines (www.evaair.com) and British Airways (www.ba.com).
WHERE TO PLAY
Located two hours from Bangkok in Chonburi province, Laem Chabang International Country Club offers three loops of nine holes ? Mountain, Lakes and Valley. The 8th on the Lakes course is a spectacular downhill par 4 towards water. On the approach shot you need to decide between crossing the water or bailing out to the right, where the green is protected by a wall. Voted Asia?s best resort golf course, the Jack Nicklaus design is beautifully manicured and offers a great test of golf and a grand clubhouse. The caddies are well trained, extremely friendly and look resplendent in their yellow uniforms.
In Muang District lies the Mountain Shadow Golf Club, designed by Ronald Fream. This is a challenging course with trees everywhere and fast, tricky, undulating greens. The layout can destroy big hitters who do not manage their game, but water hazards offer excellent opportunities to hit exciting shots.
Phoenix Golf and Country Club, just outside the city of Pattaya, south-east of Bangkok, is beautifully landscaped with eucalyptus, bamboo and bushes. The course encompasses wooded, rolling terrain on its three nines ? Ocean, Lake and Mountain. Although fairways are narrow, the greens are spacious. The Lake nine, as its name suggests, has a large number of water hazards. The excellent clubhouse facilities and a sports complex make this one of the best courses on the east coast, being only 20 minutes from the hotels in Pattaya.
West of Bangkok on the way to Hua Hin, Dragon Hills Golf and Country Club in Ratchburi is a links-style course. A highlight is the par-3 12th, which has a very sloping island green that demands accuracy.
The Majestic Creek Golf Course in Hua Hin town has a very natural feel, with a number of streams meandering through it. The 10th demands a tee shot over water and the Par-5 18th is a super finishing hole, with a green protected by water.
One of the most memorable courses in Hua Hin is at the Springfield Resort ? a Jack Nicklaus-designed course with plenty of water and sand. The challenging 18th hole with an island green in a beautiful setting will remain with you for years to come.
WHERE TO STAY
Bangkok offers accommodation to suit all budgets.
The Royal President Hotel offers fully serviced apartments and is very central ? the shops are a pitching wedge away and there are lots of great places to eat.
Bangkok has plenty of luxury hotels including the legendary Mandarin Oriental on the Chao Phaya River.
In Pattaya, try the four-star Montien Hotel, overlooking the bay. Other recommended hotels in the area include the Woodlands Resort and Sabai Resort.
In Hua Hin try the boutique-style Rock Hotel or the Sofitel Central for five-star luxury.
In Bangkok, visit the Royal Palace and take a trip on the river.
Pattaya offers fine dining ? try the Moon River pub on North Pattaya Road.
Hua Hin is home to the King of Thailand?s Winter Palace and has a great beach that stretches for miles.
Or you could visit one of the many Indian tailors, and return just a few hours later to collect your great value made-to-measure suit.
Laem Chabang International CC
T: 0066 38 372273
Mountain Shadow GC
T: 0066 38 393001
Phoenix G & CC
T: 0066 38 239391
Dragon Hills G & CC
T: 0066 32 229111
T: 0066 32 520162
T: 0066 32 593223
Royal President Hotel, Bangkok
T: 0066 2 253 9451
Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
T: 0066 2 659 9000
Montien Hotel Pattaya
T: 0066 38 428 1556
The Rock Hua Hin
T: 00 66 32 537100
Sofitel Central Hua Hin
T: 0066 32 512021
T: 01481 823417