For some people traditional camping conjures up memories of confined spaces, leaking tents, wet sleeping bags and tinned food for every meal. However, it needn’t be like this!
Glamping is a new style of glamorous camping (hence glamping) that involves pre-pitched or permanent tents with real beds, bathrooms, gourmet dining, fine wines and occasionally… even butler service. Moreover, glamping will mean spending time in some beautiful and iconic locations.
We look at some of Audley’s most popular glamping options in Southeast Asia.
A few Audley glamping options in Southeast Asia
4 Rivers (Cambodia)
Situated on a bend of the Tatai River on the outer reaches of the Cardamom Mountains and within easy reach of the main town of Koh Kong, the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge is a comfortable base from which to experience some of Cambodia’s stunning ecology, including its untamed mangrove forests. This unique lodge only accessible by boat, has a total of 12 African safari-style tents, all erected on floating platforms. This is an unusual property and a first for Cambodia.
Amanwana, ‘peaceful forest’, is a luxury nature camp and wilderness hideaway. Set in a secluded cove on the west coast of Moyo Island, it is surrounded by tropical forest and looks out over the crystal-clear coral-strewn waters of Amanwana Bay. The camp’s 20 luxury tents are set under a canopy of shady palm trees. The Amanwana also features as one of the luxury properties in our online Audley Magazine article, Island Resorts with a Difference
Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp (Thailand)
The best place to stay in Khao Sok National Park is undoubtedly the Elephant Hills Camp, where 30 well-appointed tents have been erected in a small clearing in the park complete with a dining venue, bar and small swimming pool. Further into the park is their Rainforest Camp, a collection of 10 floating tents situated on the stunning Cheow Larn Lake. Whether you choose to stay in the park clearing or on the lake, each tent has en suite facilities with hot shower. Exploring can take many forms, from canoeing on the Sok River to jungle trekking. There is also an educational ‘Elephant Experience’ that involves preparing their food and feeding and washing them as well as learning about their handlers.
Four Seasons Tented Camp (Thailand)
Reached by riverboat through exotic bamboo jungles where three countries meet, a one-of-a-kind experience awaits you at the Four Seasons Tented Camp. The 15 freestanding tents spaced at a comfortable distance from each other allow total privacy and are designed as an open space with a large outdoor deck. Built on elevated ground along a half-mile hillside trail overlooking the Ruak River in Burma, the mountains of Laos or the jungle and Golden Triangle. The furnishings are handcrafted and custom-made, in styles reminiscent of 19th-century adventure expeditions.
Hintok Tented Camp (Thailand)
Hintok River Camp offers a unique experience, close to nature but with many home comforts. The camp is located three kilometres from the Hellfire Pass Memorial, a poignant reminder of the lives that were lost during the construction of the infamous Death Railway. The camp consists of 32 safari-style tents, each built on a wooden platform and furnished with comfortable twin or king-size beds, minibar, air-conditioner as well as standing fan and mosquito nets. Each tent has en suite facilities with hot water.
More basic camping options
Although glamping will give you all of the aforementioned luxury comforts, because of their static nature they do not offer the flexibility that more basic camping offers. Here, Audley specialist Matt (pictured right), describes his experience of a temple safari in more rudimentary surroundings at the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia:
Waking up to a breakfast of fresh fruit under the magnificent pyramid temple of Koh Ker is one of my most lasting and favourite memories from years of travel around Indochina. The ancient temple located over two hours from the Angkor complex in Cambodia is rarely visited by westerners and few are afforded the experience of having this awe-inspiring sacred site to their selves.
The temple safari experience really allows you to take yourself away from the madding crowd which has been a recently increasing fixture of the more popular temples of Cambodia. Although the tents themselves are basic they offer a good level of comfort considering your location.
Driving through the rural countryside waving at inquisitive locals, many of whom have never come across foreigners, really puts the whole concept of travel into perspective. Added to this the smugness of knowing that you’ve ventured beyond the bubble of Angkor Wat, and have the photos to prove it. However, the highlight for myself after watching the sunset over these immense structures was returning to camp where my own personal chef prepared the best Fish Amok I’ve ever tasted.
Book a tailor-made trip with Audley which includes glamping
Our specialists can create a tailor-made trip for you which can include time spent glamping. Call one of our Southeast Asia specialists on 01993 838 100 or contact us online. Alternatively browse our Southeast Asia section for a little more inspiration.