Tourists can 'golf quarantine' in Thailand

Thailand has a new attraction to tout to tourists: 'golf quarantine.'

International visitors can now chip away at their two weeks in isolation on the putting green, as part of a new program devised by the government to boost its ailing tourism sector.

Heo Kwang-eum is a businessman and one of the dozens of South Korean visitors taking up the offer, at a resort an hour north of Bangkok.

"I'm grateful to the Thai government for starting this program. We are at the starting point. From my four-day experience (of isolating in a hotel room), it would be torture if we stayed in a room and did nothing for two weeks."

Visitors undergo three tests throughout their stay.

The package costs around $2,240 - a reasonable price for these golfers compared with the cost of a regular quarantine, cooped up in a hotel room.

Ku Jung-keun is the general manager of the Artitaya Country Club.

"The golf quarantine offers three safe tests and time to enjoy golfing. Doctors provide daily health check-ups for the guests too while they are staying here, and it's not an expensive program."

With bars and other resort facilities closed, there's no prospect to thrash out the missed birdies, bogeys and shanks of the day. But spirits remain high.

[Visitor Heo Kwang-eum, saying:] "It's huge, the golf course is almost over one square kilometre with 36 holes. Think of 41 Koreans golfing as you roam around the field, served by over 100 employees. It's like emperor's golfing. As you know, it's extremely hard to go golfing in Korea these days because of the crisis. Here it's a golf paradise."