Camping cosmos

With the onset of winter comes holidaying in the great outdoors

T  hailand has officially entered the cold season -- well, at least it's cold for those of us who live in the Kingdom. According to the Thai Meteorological Department, the "winter" (quotations as Thai "winter" isn't really winter at all) began on Nov 2 with the coldest days occurring in the latter half of December all the way until the end of January. For city-dwellers, it's predicted that we'll be enjoying the "extreme" minimum temperatures of around 15C to 16C, though we'll believe it when we feel it. However, the cold season signals the perfect time to take a camping trip especially up North where temperatures are expected to go as low as 6C or 7C. Brrrh. So unearth those fur coats and start buying camping gear for a cool road trip. Pun intended. It's time to go camping and Guru's got spots picked out for you.


Rimtara Camping

Suan Phung District, Ratchaburi

There's nothing like the soothing sounds of gushing water and feeling the fresh breeze on your face as you chill in your tent by the riverside. That's exactly what Rimtara Camping is offering. The campsite in Ratchaburi offers tranquil forest camping with the sun peeking through the trees and a glimpse of the mountains beyond, all while you're serenaded by the sound of the river. It's a great spot if you're looking to disconnect from the world, leaving the concrete jungle behind. It only costs B150 per night, per person and offers the basic amenities like toilets, showers and even electricity so you can still have the full camping experience without necessarily roughing it out to the max. Tents are also rented for B200 if you don't have your own.

Call 080-206-2232, visit fb.com/rimtara.camping.

(Photos: Rimtara Camping)

Samui Caravans

Na Mueung, Koh Samui

Koh Samui is famous for its beautiful beaches and luxurious hotels, which pretty much equals paradise. Though often paradise comes at a hefty cost, it doesn't always have to. Samui Caravans, which opened in 2017, is offering a wallet-friendly blissful experience. Situated off the coast of Laem Sor beach, Samui Caravans has a number of different quaint and cozy mobile homes. They've got a caravan that can fit up to four people so you can bring the kids or a group of friends along. Alternatively, they also have a campsite where you can park your motor home or you can also choose to go the simple route and choose a tent. Their caravans start at B1,690 per night while their campsite grounds are priced at B150 a night, both of which are ridiculously cheaper than staying at a fancy resort. And, you still get a magnificent view of the rising and setting sun over the Gulf of Thailand, so it's definitely a steal. They also have a special 20%-40% FB discount promotion when booking a caravan until December-end.

Call 082-483-0947, visit fb.com/SamuiCaravans.

(Photos: Samui Caravans)

Rabbit Campsite

Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi is a popular destination when the temperature falls and there's nothing like a riverside campsite to experience the natural scenery and beauty of the province. The Rabbit Campsite is located along the Khwae Noi River otherwise known as the River Kwai, which some might recognise as the name of a famous novel and subsequent 1950s film. We're pretty sure staying here won't be as explosive or traumatic as the events of the novel or film, though. After all, that's pretty difficult when you have such a beautiful view of the river and you're camping on grassy fields with trees. Staying on the campsite costs B200 per night for adults, B100 for kids between the ages of 12-15 and children below the age of 12 are free. They don't rent out tents so you've got to bring your own, but they do rent out other things you may need like extension wires, fans and barbecue grills. Plus, there's also a supermarket less than 10km from the campsite for all your grilling, barbecuing and other needs.

Call 062-615-5954, visit fb.com/RabbitCampsite.

(Photos: Rabbit Campsite)

Wangkaew Resort

Rayong

Wangkaew Resort in Rayong is a large and spacious spot that offers guests a number of choices from quaint bungalows to large houses with jacuzzis that accommodate four. It also has a private beach, which means you don't have to worry about crowding. Though Wangkeaw is a full-fledged resort and you can choose to live the comfy life with a bedroom, balcony and a fridge (at a price, of course), you can also opt to choose the "wilder" side of life and set up a tent at their campsite by the beach. The campsite is on a "first come, first served" basis so if you want a good spot, you better come early. The site opens at 8am so make sure you're the first one there. Aside from the sandy private beach where you can relax or take a dip, Wangkeaw also has a 3km trail, which you can hike or cycle on. There are bathrooms and shower rooms but you'll have to bring your own extension wires if you're planning to use electricity.

Call 081-634-1886, visit bit.ly/3mwxsj9.

(Photos: Wangkaew Resort)

Pang Ung

Mae Hong Son

If you want to enjoy seclusion and tranquillity, camping at Pang Ung is your best bet. Located in the mountainous province of Mae Hong Son that borders Myanmar, Pang Ung's official name is actually "The Royal Forest Project at Pang Tong 2". It's a royal initiative project by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, the Queen Mother, who turned the opium-growing land to vegetable farms. The campsite is by the lake where if lucky, you may be able to spot a few black swans. You can maximise the time you have surrounded by trees and nature instead of buildings and traffic by renting a bamboo raft to paddle around the reservoir, trek up a path towards Nam Yot Cliff or even go horse riding. You can rent tents but you're welcome to bring your own and all you'll have to pay is a B100 fee. According to TAT, reservations in advance are a must if you're planning to stay overnight. It's also advised that you travel to Pang Ung in the afternoon as the winds can get strong and there may be fog.

Visit bit.ly/2Y4cVsX.

(Photos: TAT, Karnjana Ayuwatanachai & Post Today)

Bangkok Backyard

Khlong Sam Wa, Bangkok

Don't have the budget, time or perhaps, the patience for an all-out road trip but still want to camp? Bangkok Backyard, at the outskirts of the city, is an hour away from downtown. The notion of camping while still being somewhat near the busy city of Bangkok may turn you off, but Bangkok Backyard is far enough from the city's centre that you won't have to fret about noise and pollution but still close enough to not spend hours driving. Once there, you're treated to a tantalising view of a body of water that gleams in the sunlight and a line of trees underneath a clear sky. You can rent out different-sized decks all of which have hooks ready for your tents. They usually rent out tents for B1,000 per day though at the time of writing they said that they had a few problems with their tents so make sure you contact them before you go there. Otherwise, it's only B500 per person for a camping experience not too far away from the comfort of home.

Call 099-393-9747, visit fb.com/BangkokBackyard.

(Photos: Bangkok Backyard)

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