Looking for adventure without sacrificing comfort? Here are our top luxury tent experiences in Thailand…
It’s that time of the year again, the time many ex-pats rejoice in – the cool, crisp mornings are back, the temperature is slightly lower and the humid stench is no more.
It’s also holiday season. So, what to do? Why not go camping?
Okay, I know what you’re thinking…Why?
If you’re anything like me, your camping experiences are ones generally to forget, ones the should remain in the past. However, camping in 2018 is not as we used to know it.
The roughing it in the wild, hard, harsh floors, wet and cold and sharing a tin of beans experience are long gone.
Welcome to the world of ‘Glamping’.
What is glamping?
“Glamping, also known as luxury camping or glamorous camping, is that escape you’ve been meaning to take. Glamping is where stunning nature meets modern luxury. It’s a way to experience the untamed and completely unique parts of the world—without having to sacrifice creature comforts.”
This is what we are being told. Not convinced? Well, here are a few places in Thailand that might help you to change your mind.
HINTOK RIVER CAMP
Nestled by the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, Hintok River Camp is a perfect escape for those interested in water sports and river activities. There’s kayaking, bamboo rafting, caving and elephant riding — something for everyone. After a day of adventure, you can also enjoy a relaxing soak in their natural spring pool, which is also a lovely spot to watch the sun sink. Canvas tents at Hintok River Camp combine rustic charm with laid-back luxury, featuring private verandas and in-room private bathroom and showers. At night, we suggest you try their barbecue buffet dinner around the campfire.
Te Mata Glamping was created by travellers for travellers, a place for chatting, laughing, playing, exploring, dreaming and, essentially, enjoying each other’s company.
Te Mata Glamping offers you a luxurious stay with prices starting at Bt6,500 for two. The biggest tent, the Te Mata Royale, can house seven or more people for Bt22,000.
The tents at Te Mata really are kitted out to the max with furniture that wouldn’t be out of place a a trendy hotel, fully-functioning rain showers, TVs, Wi-Fi, whatever you could possibly want, Te Mata has it, there’s even a fire pit, nice.
Elephant Hills was Thailand’s first luxury tented jungle camp, combining the camp idea of African national parks with the Thai tropical forest environment.
The two camps, The Elephant Camp and the floating Rainforest Camp, are both in Khao Sok, part of Southern Thailand’s largest stretch of primary rainforest.
Elephant Hills brings the tropical jungle right to your doorstep.
Visitors can admire the elephants in their natural habitat, as well as bathe and feed them at select times during the day. Elephant Hills not only gives you that glamping experience but also offers two-four day luxury adventure tours in and around stunningly beautiful Khao Sok National Park with the highlight being its unique Elephant Experience, during which you will get to wash, feed and interact with these magnificent creatures.
Besides that, you do have the option to marvel at breathtaking landscapes while lazily being paddled down a river in a canoe, explore mysterious mangrove swamps and legendary jungle lakes full of limestone formations, relax at deserted beaches, visit local markets, discover primary rainforest on foot and much more.
The day doesn’t end there and after a long day you can kick back and enjoy drinks at the Jungle Explorer’s Bar.
With glamping, less is more. Whereas energy and materials used in the construction and management of a small hotel are quite high, glamping accommodations, in many cases, take advantage of the surrounding elements of nature. Composting toilets, solar power, and working gardens are just a few examples. If you’re lucky, you may even find yourself sleeping in a repurposed carousel or caravan—things that might have once been discarded or forgotten are transformed into beautiful and very unique glamping sites.
By Paul Johnson