Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand, Le Ngoc Khanh Tam has played golf all around the world.
But ask La Vallee de Dalat's developer where she most enjoys playing and she doesn't have to look far.
The full interview with the avid golfer — she plays almost every day! — will appear in the August 2013 issue. In the meantime, here's a glimpse of what else Tam had to say …
Q: You were born in Dalat. Why do you still love it so much?
A: Growing up in Dalat, I’ve always loved the cool, fresh air, the pine trees, the flowers everywhere, the lakes, the views, and the fresh food. I’ve especially loved the changes in climate, with it often being sunny in the morning and then rainy later in the day, leaving a delightfully fresh smell in the air. And I’ve always liked that Dalat is so much less hectic than many other cities in Vietnam. I’ve been fortunate to travel a lot. I think I’ve now been to 25 countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania. I’ve enjoyed visiting so many different places. But as I’ve done that, I’ve learned there is no place I would rather live than Dalat.
Q: Having spent so much time in Dalat, you've no doubt seen the city change to some degree. How does it differ now from when you were a kid?
A: When I was a child, Vietnam hadn’t even developed yet, let alone Dalat. Even so, Dalat was unique. It was small, safe and beautiful — like some of the small towns I’ve seen in Europe. The big changes in Dalat started when the golf course — which had been a public park — and the Palace Hotel and Du Parc Hotel were renovated in the early 1990s. That shook things up in Dalat. Later, I was able to be involved with the developer of those projects — Danao International Holdings — and that was exciting. Dalat has since become a major tourist destination with probably hundreds of hotels, lots of supporting development and a worldwide reputation for its unique climate and beauty. It’s no wonder Dalat is called the city of love and everlasting spring.
Q: When did you begin playing golf? What do you like most about it? What is your handicap? What are the best and worst parts of your game?
A: My husband introduced me to the game about eight years ago. I first played Ocean Dunes in Phan Thiet. I knew I liked the game right away, but I didn’t take it seriously until about three years later. We were very busy when I took up the game and we were traveling a lot. But then as I played more, I wanted to be better, so I started taking lessons in 2010 from a good teaching pro in Ho Chi Minh City and then in Los Angeles. It was then that I realized that with hard work I could play well enough to enter some tournaments. My handicap is now down to 14, but my goal is to get into single digits in the next year. Now that we live in Dalat, we will have much more time to practice and play. I love the game because it is something my husband and I can do together. It also gets me out into the fresh air and it’s a great way to get some exercise. I also enjoy the focus the game requires. My long game is my strength; my short game needs improvement!