Viet Nam News
By Robert Bicknell
Christmas is now behind us and New Year is beckoning for us to continue the celebration we started a week of so earlier. For many of us, the changing of the Western calendar cannot happen fast enough, especially when you consider how many important people we lost in 2016.
Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali , Prince, David Bowie, George Michael, Leonard Cohen, an entire football team, Carrie Fisher (aka Princess Leia of Star Wars) and her droid R2D2 (or more truthfully, Kenny Baker - the man inside the can) and the list seems almost endless. Unfortunately, I am writing this column on 28 December and who knows what the hell will happen in the next few days. It could get even worse.
For the record, Keith Richards (legendary Rolling Stones guitarist) is still among us, but I have a long held suspicion that he’s either already embalmed or is a Zombie. Nah, he can’t be a Zombie because his fingers would fall off when playing his guitar. So let’s just assume he’s embalmed.
Yes, we can officially say that 2016 sucked and further proof is that Justin Beiber and Kanye West are also still amongst us. There truly is no justice.
But, as they say, “Out with the old and in with the new” and for us in Viet Nam, we get two chances at this. First the Western New Year on January 1, and if that isn’t enough, we also have the more important Tet Lunar New Year following quite closely behind.
If one change of year doesn’t do it, the next one might.
For many of us, this time of year means buying presents, catching up with family and old friends, drinking until blind and playing golf until we cannot stand up any longer.
The good news is that the Western New Year is considered a holiday in Viet Nam and as it falls on a Sunday this year, it means Monday is a day off except for golf courses who will be open for business as usual. The bad news is that most clubs will have holiday rates (meaning weekend rates on a Monday).
Still, that’s not a bad deal when you consider that an old truism is that “A bad day on the golf course is better than a good day in the office.”
An even better truism is that a bad day on the golf course located in a great resort is better than a good day at a golf course near home, and a thousand time better than a good day in the office. Why stay where you always do when there are so many great golf courses in Vietnam located near the ocean?
Pack up the kids, grab the wife and get the hell out of Dodge.
We kill ourselves day in and day out at work. We need to find time for ourselves and just let it all go. This time of year with three big holidays (four if you’re Jewish) is ideal for saying “To hell with it. I am important too. I cannot work if I am all stressed out. I need a vacation!”
Now, the question is where to go?
The obvious choices for golf destinations are Da Nang, Nha Trang, Ho Tram, Vung Tau, Phu Quoc. Warm weather, beaches, great seafood and even better golf courses.
Those looking to stay closer to home in the north can get away to FLC Sam Son which has ocean (forget it, too cold), but good golf, lots of shopping and many things to do.
Quite a few golf courses also have hotels on site, or close-by, so you can even go that route if the idea of traveling stresses you out. Quite a few golf courses would be willing to give you a package rate if you book golf and room together.
Why sit around when you can go and enjoy yourself?
As we get older, we begin to understand that life is truly one big game that we take far too seriously. We kill ourselves for money, fame or just to keep food on the table and a rood overhead for our families.
Look, 2016 sucked big time. We have a choice to sit and suffer, or get out and celebrate life. Celebrate the New Year. Or, as Greg Norman reminds us…