9 Asian glamping destinations for those who love the great outdoors

Glamorous camping, or glamping for short, is a classed-up abode, situated in wonders of nature that conventional campsites don’t offer. The biggest draw in these retreats is to become one with nature without sacrificing all the modern comforts that we are used to.

Glamping getaways let you feel close to nature, waking up with birdsong and the balmy breeze, but all while doing so on your four-poster bed. From Cambodia and Thailand to Laos and Indonesia, here are the best glamping spots in Asia for you to get away from it all.

This story first appeared in Lifestyle Asia Singapore.

Image drifting along the Cambodian Tatai river as the sounds of birdsong and crickets fills the air. Spot 12 floating white tents at the southern end of the river and prepare for a peaceful retreat at 4 Rivers Floating Lodge. The eco-luxe lodge is circled by thriving greens, serene waters and blue skies dotted with billowing clouds. Service staff can help guests arrange for excursions to Tatai Waterfall, a trek to the Cardamom Mountains or even a sunset cruise. Most travellers here spend their stay just taking in the balmy breeze and the sun rays on their private terrace, enjoying the best of nature’s offerings on a kayak.

Try the idyllic island Gili Trawangan if you’re looking for a romantic beach getaway. La Cocoteraie is a charming boutique resort fitted with eight safari tents set on an old coconut plantation. Each tent is designed with local materials to complete with rustic Indonesian furnishings and a cosy canopy bed. The property is situated just 5 minutes away from the beach, where guests can go snorkelling and enjoy a cruise. For those who come here just to laze, there is a private pool with bean bags within the establishment as well. The in-house restaurant is open all-day-long, serving fresh made-to-order Indonesian and Western cuisine for hungry guests.

Check into Natra Bintan, Marriott’s first tented concept resort. Previously knowns as the Canopi Bintan, the glamorous camping grounds are home to 100 safari-themed tents, all fitted with a four-poster bed and air-conditioning. Each room also includes a beautiful with an outdoor patio enveloped by a lush garden. The property faces Southeast Asia’s largest man-made Crystal lagoon, where guests can spend their time being entertained by a plethora of enthralling water activities. Holiday-makers can either opt for freshly caught grilled seafood at The Patio Restaurant, or relish in a private barbeque dinner by their tents.

Elephant Hills, “Thailand’s first luxury tented camps”, is located smack in the middle of a picture-perfect tropical forest, surrounded by rolling green hills and friendly elephants. Guests can choose between Elephant Hills, with 30 tents at the resort, or the floating Rainforest Camp, featuring 10 tents on Cheow Larn Lake. For ethical reasons, elephant riding is disallowed, but guests are feed, bathe and play with the gentle creatures. Trekking expeditions and canoe trips can also be arranged for travellers here.

The jungle sanctuary of Rosewood Luang Prabang is a serene establishment housing 23 accommodation types riverside villas, pool villas, and hilltop canopies. Each individual accommodation is designed in mix French colonial and traditional Laotian styles, all bordered by a river and waterfall. For a truly unique experience, opt for a stay in one of the six luxury hilltop tents, each dedicated to a different Laotian hill tribe in its colours and patterns. A truly relaxing getaway is never complete without a spa experience, and the Rosewood Luang Prabang offers guests with a variety of luxury treatments and signature holistic offerings inspired by time-honouring practices.

Lining the rice fields of Ubud, Sandat Glamping Tents is an establishment made for guests to get away from it all. Eight eco-friendly lodgings are found here, including five safari-themed tents with private pools overlooking the tropical forest. Expect only rustic four-poster beds oozing with Balinese charm and modern furnishings that cater to discerning travellers. Go out water rafting or take a cooking class or two to really immerse yourself in the culture of Bali. For a wellness retreat, take part in one of their regular yoga classes or relax in their on-site spa.

Step into 9 Hornbills, an adults-only haven located just 30 minutes from Phuket. The establishment plays host to seven African styled tents, with each villa offers spectacular views of the Phang Nga Bay. Each villa is furnished with locally made furniture, from sustainable teak forests, complete with a private swimming pool for ‘floating’ breakfasts in the morning. Dine at the property’s own Pumpui restaurant, serving authentic Thai dishes with locally caught seafood. Looking for a bit of fun? Let you personal butler design a day out for you: be it navigating the stunning limestone karst islands or exploring secret beaches, the 9 Hornbills team is here to make your experience the best one yet.

Designed by luxury hotel designer and landscape architect Bill Bensley, Shita Mani Wild is a game-changer in the glamping experience. Each of the 15 custom-made tents are perched on the edges of rivers and waterfalls, providing stunning views that bring guests right to the heart of nature. The area is also home to the Cambodian wildlife, including elephants, bears, gibbons and tigers, allowing guests to enjoy activities such as tracking these animals with dedicated rangers and conservation experts. Day trips around the property’s extensive waterways can also be scheduled, complete with one of the private Bensley designed luxury boats.

As with everything Aman, expect only sleek and understated designs with laced with luxury. This island getaway is fitted with 20 tented suites along the beachfront and in the flourishing jungle. Each of the rooms features generous picture windows to frame the natural views, complete with king-sized beds and large corner sofas for a restful day. This beautiful site also offers unique experiences for all their guests, including venturing off the island shores to snorkel along the pristine reefs of the Flores Sea and or trekking to the cascading limestone pools of Barry’s Falls.

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