Great news if you love nature but hate roughing it out in the wild. Glamping lets you camp outdoors with air-conditioning, facilities, food and tours. We list ten best glamping destinations in Asia.
The world’s most fabulous portmanteau is a travel trend we simply can’t enough of. ‘Glamping’ – a term borne out of glamorous camping – is a heavenly combination for those who love the outdoors… yet not so much the actual camping (we feel you). Yup, gone are the days of sleeping bags, paper-thin tents and meals out of tincans. In its place? All the luxuries you deserve in the heart of nature. We dish out top spots for glamping in Asia, from Thailand to China, and other locales that are just a short flight away.
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.
4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Koh Andet Island, Tatai, Cambodia, e. [email protected], p. +855 (0) 97 64 34 032
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.
Sandat Glamping Tents, Jalan Subak Sala, Banjar Sala, Pejeng Kawan, Ubud, Kec. Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia, e. [email protected], p. + 62 821 44081998
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.
The Canopi Resort, Treasure Bay Bintan, Jln Raya Haji, (Right Beside Bintan Resorts Ferry Terminal), Lagoi, Riau, Indonesia 29152, e. [email protected], p. +65 3152 8010
Pardus Seek Luxury Camping, Palatupana, Sri Lanka
This resort’s location in Sri Lanka’s Paradise Isle speaks volumes. Its modest 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.
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.
Heritage Suites Hotel, Near Wat Polanka, Slokram Village, Khum Slok Kram, Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia, e. [email protected], p. +855 (0) 63 969 100
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.
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.
Norden Travel, Xia He County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, P.R China, e. [email protected], p. (+86) 15109418170
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.
Amanwana, Moyo Island, West Sumbawa Regency, Indonesia, e. [email protected], p. (62) 371 22233
Bonus: Seaside glamping, Singapore
Yup, you read that right – glamping does exist in Singapore. Resembling the ivory bell tents of Coachella, this tent (only available on AirBnb) features (almost) all the trimmings of a luxury hotel: a double bed with premium linens, lush towels, a ‘mini bar’ stocked with ice-cold drinks and snacks, and even lanterns for candlelight. If you’re planning on booking this as a surprise for your other half, there are plenty of optional add-ons to up the romance factor – the romantic package includes fairy lights at the entrance and interiors, a rose bouquet, bottle of wine and even a gourmet breakfast delivered to you fresh in the morning. The only catch? Only Singaporeans, PR residents and can apply due to NPark regulations. Oh, and there are no bathroom facilities, so expect to sacrifice long, hot showers.