Want to get back to nature, but don't fancy giving up your goose down pillow? Glamping lets you experience the great outdooors, but in luxury! Here we list ten best glamping destinations in Asia.
Glamping is the new travel trend everyone is talking about. Why? It allows you to experience nature and the great ourdoors, without sacrificing an actual bed or shower. Gone are the days of sleeping bags, too-cold or too-hot tents and tinned food. Yes, this is glamourous camping at its best! And here, we dish out the 10 places for glamping in Asia, including Bali of course.
Sandat Glamping Tents, Ubud, Bali
Canggu, Seminyak, private pool villas and beach bumming. Think you’ve experienced all that Bali has to offer? Think again. Over at Sandat Glamping, you’ll see the Island of the Gods in a whole new light. Here, you’ll be knee-deep in nature thanks to the resort’s scenic location amongst Ubud’s rice fields. Stay in any of the five luxury tents complete with a private infinity pool and refined furnishings – think a chic, earthy palette, Balinese art, hand-crafted bamboo beds and a luxe, indoor bathroom.
Getting here: Fly to Bali’s Denpasar Nghrah Rai International Airport and arrive at Sandat Glamping via airport transfer or cab.
4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Tatai, Cambodia
No exaggeration: 4 Rivers Floating Lodge is the ultimate outdoor hideaway. Made up of 12 double and twin-bedded tented villas, the lodge is decked out in top-quality furnishings and modern features, including a flat-screen TV and a DVD player. Creature comforts aside, the private balcony is perfect for sunset cocktails or afternoon sun-soaking with killer views of the lush Cardamom forest. There’s also an array of activities to keep you busy, with trekking tours, kayaking on the gorgeous Tatai River (Southeast Asia’s largest coastal mangrove) and exquisite Khmer meals at the resort’s restaurant to cross off your to-do list.
Getting here: Fly to Trat Airport from Bangkok. Arrange for an airport transfer to the resort.
The Canopi Bintan Crystal Lagoon, Bintan
The best glamps are no longer only accessible through plane rides – Canopi Bintan is only a ferry ride away. Tents here are no standard fare; guests retreat to heavenly four-poster beds, outdoor jacuzzis, and even private gardens with hammocks for star-gazing. The resort is also an adventure playground, with myriad water (jetovators, standup paddling and wakeboarding) and land sports (ATV and motorcross) activities easily available.
Getting here: Take the ferry to Bandar Bintan Telani (Lagoi) from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and arrange for pickups to the resort.
Pardus Seek Luxury Camping, Palatupana, Sri Lanka
This resort’s location in Sri Lanka’s Paradise Isle speaks volumes. While its tents are sanctuaries equipped with patios, shower facilities and modern amenities (free Wi-Fi at all areas!), they’re hardly the biggest selling point. Pardus Seek is a mere five minutes away from Yala National Park, home to free-roaming elephants and wildlife like crocodiles, leopards and buffalos. Once you’ve had your fill of excitement, relax on a pristine beach as you tuck into traditional Sri Lankan cuisine. Bliss.
Getting here: Airport transfers are available from Tissamaharama Airport.
Pardus Seek Luxury Tents, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka, e. [email protected], p. +94 779 097 117.
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Located in the natural surrounds of Northern Thailand’s border between Laos and Burma, Four Seasons Tented Camp is the perfect escape from everyday reality. Tents are a treat; each Deluxe tent features a custom-made wooden hot tub, while the Superior tent has an outdoor shower and a hand-hammered copper bathtub. If you can bear to leave your luxurious tent, you’ll interact with elephants in their natural habitat, explore mountain trails and bamboo jungles. Tip: For an experience of a lifetime, catch the sun rising over the Laos mountains and Burmese plains, before heading back down to the elephant bathing pool.
Getting here: Fly to Chiang Rai Airport, where a Four Seasons guide will greet you with chilled water, cold towels and a private car. The 75-minute drive will take you to West Post. Here, a Four Seasons Camp Host will take you on either a 10-minute ride down a longtail boat, or a drive after a short trek through the jungle to Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle.
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, P.O. Box 18, Chiang Saen Post Office, Chiang Rai 57150 Thailand.
Heritage Suites Hotel Luxury Camp, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Exploring temple trails can’t get more exciting than this. At Siem Reap’s Heritage Suites Hotel Luxury Camp, glamping overnight in a luxury tent is part of an off-the-road tour where you’ll visit the lesser known 9th century Prei Monti temple (no usual tourist hordes here!), secluded Banteay Ampeul temple, as well as Khmer villages and the countryside. Your stay for the night is a haven of intimacy; each tent is kitted out with all the right amenities for maximum relaxation. When dusk falls, soak in the serenity of the jungle canopy on your private verandah, softly lit by the thousand oil lamps and candle lights surrounding your tent. Romance guaranteed.
Getting here: Settle down at Heritage Suites Hotel for a stay, and the Heritage Adventures crew will bring you on your glamping tour as part of a package.
Damodra Desert Camp, Rajasthan, India
Sunset camel rides across the Thar desert, evening dancing to local folk music and plush, luxury tents – magic words for desert adventurers. Over at Rajasthan’s Damodra Desert Camp, all of its Swiss cottage tents are air-conditioned, and equipped with comfy beds, premium Ayurvedic toiletries and attached bathrooms. While a typical package includes a camel ride, the more adventurous can opt for an overnight tour of the sand dunes, where you’ll witness the Milky Way and wildlife up close, while others can explore stunning landmarks like the Gadi Sagar Lake and Jaisalmer Fort. Bonus: This camp is all about comfort with a conscience; many of its staff come from the nearby Prithvi Village.
Getting here: Pickups from Jaisalmer Airport or hotels in the area.
Norden camp, Gansu Province of China, China
This stargazing paradise located near Labrang (a renowned monastic Tibetan town in the Tibetan Autonomous Kenlho Prefecture) is the perfect locale to soak up Tibetan culture. Situated amongst flowering bushes, grasslands and trees, the camp borders a meandering river and is surrounded by diverse wildlife including foxes and gazelles. Stay in either of the four yuk tents (made out of hand-spun and hand-woven yuk hair) or the eight log cabins. Each is furnished with wooden floors, local antiques and traditional furniture, and is heated with furnaces. As for things to do here, leave it to these guys to customise your stay. Activities include stargazing, long retreats in a Finnish sauna, visits to a local Tibetan village and hiking around the Labrang monastery.
Getting here: The camp is located 30 minutes from Gannan Xiahe Airport (GXH) with flight connections to Lhasa, Xian, and Chengdu; and 4.5 hours from Lanzhou Zhongchuan Airport (LHW) with flight connections to Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Kunming, Tianjin, Chongqing and Xian. Comfortable private transportation is available from both airports.
Hoshinoya Fuji, Fujikawaguchiko, Japan
Perched on the slopes of a hill overlooking Lake Kawaguchi is Hoshinoya Fuji. Hidden from the world by a red forest and mountain mists, cabins are equipped with adjustable air-conditioning, and an outdoor balcony for quiet meals, book-reading or napping. One of the charms of glamping is the food – and we don’t mean ones poured out of cans and cooked over a warm fire. Here, a chef prepares the freshest cuts of meat and produce at a grill station in the dining hall (with accompanying gorgeous forest views to boot). The resort also offers a range of activities, including barista lessons, walks through Aokigahara Forest, early morning canoeing on Lake Kawaguchi and horseback hiking at the foot of Mount Fuji.
Getting here: From Tokyo: Take a limousine bus from Haneda International Airport or the Narita Express from Narita International Airport to Shinjuku Station. Then, take the JR Kaiji train service to Ōtsuki Station, before hopping on the Fujikyu line to Kawaguchiko Station. From here, Hoshinoya Fuji is accessible via a 20-minute cab ride.
From Kyoto/Nagoya: Take the Shinkansen Kodama train service from Kyoto or Nagoya to Mishima Station. Hop into a 110-minute private taxi ride to Hoshinoya Fuji.
Hoshinoya Fuji, 1408 Oishi, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minami Tsuru-gun, Yamanashi, 401-0305.
Amanwana Resort, Moyo Island, Indonesia
This wilderness hideaway on the unspoilt Moyo island is a treat for city dwellers – after all, it’s the only resort on the isle. Flora and fauna take centre-stage here, while the Flores Sea boasts some of Indonesia’s most stunning snorkelling and scuba-diving spots with dazzling varieties of wildlife and coral reef. Land explorers don’t have to miss out on the action either – be sure to make your way through the deep jungle to the bat cave, or the cascading limestone pools of Barry’s Falls. Accommodation-wise, choose from two types of spacious and air-conditioned tented suites; the Jungle sits below a lush forested canopy, while the Ocean overlooks the beach. Whatever you pick, comfort is king here – all tents are furnished with king-sized beds, spacious living areas, hardwood flooring and a large en-suite bathroom.
Getting here: Fly from Bali or Lombok to Sumbawa Besar Airport on LionAir or check out Amanwana for updates on private air transfers.