1. TheReferralGuidefor HONGKONG June–July 2014
Camping in Asia
Ah, Mother Nature. In air-conditioned, sanitised,
concreted cities it can sometimes be hard to feel in
touch with the natural environment. Camping is one
way to reconnect with the smells, sounds and sights
of the great outdoors, and it doesn’t always have to
mean roughing it. We’ve rounded up some interesting
options across Asia and Australia.
By Katie Roberts
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FOUR SEASONS TENTED CAMP
WHERE: Named after the Golden Triangle
where the borders of Thailand, Burma
and Laos meet, the camp is 65km from
Chiang Rai International Airport or a
four-hour drive from Chiang Mai.
WHAT: This is a high-end glamping
experience complete with elephants.
The luxury tents have everything you’d
expect from a hotel room and more, even
a hand-hammered copper bathtub, an
outdoor rain-shower, air conditioning,
Wi-Fi and a complimentary minibar.
ACTIVITIES: Spend a day with the
elephants, enjoy a spa in the bamboo
jungle, or just lie by the pool overlooking
the Ruak River. There’s also elephant
polo for the adventurous.
WHAT’S NEARBY: Nose around Chiang
Rai, head over to Myanmar, float down
the mighty Mekong River or visit the
local hill tribes.
COST: Expect to pay about HK$18,500
per night for two people. Guests must
be 12 years of age or older.
HINTOK RIVER CAMP
WHERE: Northwest of Bangkok in Kanchanaburi, an area well known for the
notorious WWII Thai-Burma railway. It’s a three-hour drive from Bangkok Airport
(or go by train).
WHAT: The air-conditioned tents have local teakwood furniture, en-suite
bathrooms and hot water. There is Wi-Fi, a pool, campfires and mountain bikes,
all in a gorgeous riverside location,
ACTIVITIES: Most people stay here for its close proximity to the Hellfire Pass
Memorial Museum and for the historical trail along the Death Railway. You can
also do mountain-biking trips and elephant-riding into the bamboo forest and
to Mon Village.
WHAT’S NEARBY: Visit Lawa Cave to see natural stalactite and stalagmite
formations; it’s home to the world’s smallest bat. There are waterfalls, bamboo
rafting, boat rides and canoeing on the River Kwai Noi.
COST: Three-day, two-night packages including transfers from Bangkok start
from HK$1,970 per person. Check the website for advance booking deals.
e e e e e e
ELEPHANT HILLS TENTED CAMP AND RAINFOREST FLOATING CAMP
Khao Sok National Park, Surat Thani
largest rainforest. Two hours’ drive from Phuket Airport.
WHAT: Elephant Hills has 30 tents with running water, electricity and king-size
beds. There’s a pool at the resort, too. Rainforest Floating Camp has 10 tents
situated in the centre of Cheow Larn Lake. Accessible by longboat, the tents
are powered by solar and wind energy and have en-suite bathrooms.
ACTIVITIES: Enjoy nature tours through the rainforest, or canoe trips and trekking
for different skill levels. Try Thai cooking classes or the Elephant Experience
for close interaction with the animals, including daily bathing. At the Rainforest
Camp there are night safaris in inflatable boats, wildlife-spotting and swimming.
WHAT’S NEARBY: Sri Phang Nga National Park, beautiful
waterfalls, Buddhist temples and a fresh market at Takuapa.
Jungle Lake Safari costs around HK$4,200 per adult
(half price for children), including accommodation, all
meals, activities, and transfers from Phuket Airport.
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BIG RED TENT KOLAD
WHAT: The campsite is set on an acre of land
beside the Kundalika River in the village of
Kolad in Maharashtra state, a three- to four-
hour drive from Mumbai and Pune.
WHAT: Tents and sleeping kit are provided.
There are common toilets and showers,
picnic tables, lanterns and games and
puzzles in the common area. Barbecues
are available for self-catering, and food is
ACTIVITIES: Four-hour white-water rafting
(children must be over 14), boat rides and
WHAT’SNEARBY: Mumbai, Pune and Goa are
within a few hours’ reach.
COST: Prices start from around HK$160 for
adults and $100 for children under eight,
depending on time of year. There are more
Big Red Tent facilities at Vashind and Karnal.
WHERE: Located on the Mekong River in an isolated
mountainous area, it’s three hours north of Luang Prabang
by boat. Get there quickly, because the road that’s under
construction will no doubt bring big changes. It’s also
accessible by boat (down river) from Thailand.
WHAT: This decade-old venture was established by
a French hospitality company in partnership with the
adjacent village of 450 people, providing employment and
a unique experience for visitors. Rustic accommodation
in canvas tents with en-suite bathrooms and hot water is
located amongst the trees along the Mekong. There’s no
TV and no phone coverage; electricity is generated by
solar power and the village is largely self-sufficient. Simple
buffet meals are served in the communal restaurant.
ACTIVITIES: Discover traditional village life: plant rice
seedlings in the paddies, check out the village school, try
your hand at archery or fishing; explore the surrounding
hills and the riverbank or experience a vigorous massage.
WHAT’S NEARBY: Call in at the Pak Ou caves on the banks
of the Mekong on the way back to Luang Prabang.
COST: A two-night package is US$190 per person, including
all meals, activities, boat transfers and accommodation.
e e e e e e
Read an accountof a personal stay online.Head to our website andclick on Travel.
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