Into the outdoors
It's the time for upscale camping
Getting back to nature is always a great idea, yet sometimes it seems to be a trade off for modern conveniences. Thanks to the rise of camping sites across the nation that come well-equipped with amenities, we can have the best of both worlds. Bring out the adventurer in you while delighting in modern comforts. This may be the perfect time to explore Thailand's abundant nature. Here's where to head.
Kachong Hills Tented Resort
For the camping adventurer in you, while being wallet-friendly, Kachong Hills Tented Resort is the place. A secluded campground enveloped by verdant forest, it's a 20-minute drive from Trang city.
(Photos courtesy of Kachong Hills Tented Resort)
Transformed from what was once a coffee plantation, the resort features 25 tents scattered across a hill. The theme is inspired by African safaris. The roomy Exclusive Explorer Tent is fitted with modern conveniences and an outdoor bathtub, with a private balcony. The safari-style tent villa is designed in earthy brown tones and touches that evoke the sense of a safari; old-fashioned trunks and small wooden cases, which contain an adventurer's essentials, like binoculars and magnifying glass. Prices begin at B6,500 per night and includes breakfast.
The resort has its own bistro that doles out classic southern Thai fare, such as khanom jeen, and dim sum during breakfast. Dinner is served in courses, cooked using local ingredients.
Na Yong district, Trang / Call 075-573-513, visit fb.com/KachonghillsTentedResortTrang.
Suncharm Villa Resort
Glamping comes with its own set of tough choices. Prospective glampers might be hard-pressed to pick between tents and comfortable caravans. The newly-opened Suncharm Villa Resort in Phetchaburi is a campsite, complete with two saltwater swimming pools, a stretched-out waterslide, restaurant, 18 glamping tents, eight pool villas and two caravan campers. It is a short drive from Kaeng Krachan National Park, where you'll be able to enjoy rubber boat rafting along the Phetchaburi River.
(Photos courtesy of Suncharm Villa Resort)
Depending on your needs, Suncharm Villa Resort has a range of accommodation to offer, namely Villa Pool Access (B3,000 for two persons, B4,000 for four), Caravan Camper (B2,650 for two persons), Standard Tent (B2,500 for two persons), Superior Tent (B3,000 for two persons) and Deluxe Tent (B3,500 for four persons). Rates are inclusive of breakfast.
The private glamping options are bell tents that are spacious, measuring between 12.6–19.6m², and are well-equipped with the essentials, including air-conditioning, TVs, power sockets and big beds. Each tent also comes with its own private shower and bathroom. Rates start at B2,500, with special promotions on offer every month.
Yothathikan Road, Phetchaburi / Call 062-456-4256, visit www.suncharmresort.com.
Away By A Day
Away By A Day is a camping spot by the sea, with the much sought-after element of isolation. It has a free and easy atmosphere where things go at a slow pace. There isn't much done to the setting, only some fairy lights and colourful flags to add a touch of flair and festive feeling to the place.
(Photos courtesy of Away By A Day)
The campground is divided into two zones: Garden and Beachfront, with a total of 20 caravan camping cars across both sides. The garden zone is pet-friendly and fur friends are welcome with plenty of space for them to run around. However, if your ultimate goal is to snooze to the relaxing sound of waves and wake up to a sea view, pick the beachfront zone. You won't be disappointed.
Each caravan comes with a shower, water heater, air-conditioning, mini-fridge, microwave, closet, a big bed and two smaller ones. Guests can request for a BBQ dinner to be set up by their camping cars. The resort will set up a table and chairs, as well as provide a grill and a good selection of seafood to be enjoyed for B599 per set.
Rates per night for the Beachfront Zone are B2,500 on weekdays and B3,000 on weekends. For the Garden Zone, it's B2,000 on weekdays and B2,500 on weekends. These rates are for two persons and include breakfast.
Note: All camping cars can fit up to four people, at an additional charge of B500 per person. Moreover, children below the age of nine and pets weighing less than 10kg get to stay for free.
Cha-am district, Phetchaburi / Call 095-251-7729, visit fb.com/awaybyaday.
Entering River Tales, one can't help but detect a strong Tarzan vibe, minus the wild animals and gigantic trees. Nestled in the lush greenery near Kaeng Krachan National Park, River Tales sits on the banks of the Phetchaburi River that originates from the Tanaosri Mountain Range.
(Photos courtesy of River Tales)
When it comes to choosing a room, guests may have a tough time because all options are spectacular. They include a glamp-worthy tent with a green space and an open-air wooden hut connected to the river, that comes with its own outdoor onsen.
The Onsen Camp Villa maybe the sweetest option of all, with its spacious tent. There is a private garden, an outdoor onsen tub and an outdoor dining area that is perfect for a barbecue or a picnic. The villa is equipped with two queen-size beds, air-conditioning and a TV. It also grants access to the river and is set facing a vast mountain range of the national park. Rates per night are B3,900 for two persons and B5,000 for four persons (inclusive of breakfast).
This resort is not recommended for night owls and party animals because it enters a zen state at 10pm, at which point, noise is discouraged.
Kaeng Krachan district, Phetchaburi / Call 062-318-6886, visit www.rivertalesth.com.
A breathtaking feature of Monnuea Homestay is the vast, terraced flower fields that are peppered with vivid purple Margaret flowers. Another is that accommodations face the Mae Rim Valley in Chiang Mai.
On the campground, there are Geodesic Dome Tents, Large Bell Tents, Lofts and houses of various types: Wooden, Bottle Seedling and Bamboo. Rates start at B1,490 per night. The most exciting stay is in the Wooden House (rates start at B1,990 a night) with an outdoor bathtub. However, the challenge is booking this room due to high demand and there being only one for now. Guests are recommended to call well ahead of time and book over the phone because the DM via FB can take a bit of time.
The interiors of all accommodations are similar, in that they take a minimalist approach, sticking to a neutral palette and minimum furnishing. Facilities in the room include a private bathroom with shower, large bed, private patio and the option of air-conditioning or fan.
Elsewhere on the property, you will find a cafe and restaurant that opens early in the morning.
Mae Rim district, Chiang Mai / Call 084-363-8014, visit fb.com/monnueahomestay.
Casa de Montana at Khao Yai
Securing a stay in a transparent bubble tent at Casa de Montana at Khao Yai requires a bit of luck. More often than not, you'll face disappointment as it's nearly always fully booked. The resort has added four new geodesic dome tents, with clear triangular PVC windows and neat, polished wooden floors. These bubble tents, called "Camp Bubble Igloo", contain every important function for your comfort. These include air-conditioning, Apple TV, refrigerator, Wi-Fi, wireless speaker, coffee machine, outdoor jacuzzi and private patio. Better yet, it comes with a separate, fairly large bathroom, with an indoor bathtub.
Despite being equipped with the same modern comforts, the four tents are furnished with four different styles: natural, modernist, minimal and James Bond (think a heavy masculine vibe with a grey palette washed over the interiors). Rates for Camp Bubble Igloo start at B4,400, inclusive of breakfast for two persons.
Apart from bubble tents, Casa de Montana at Khao Yai also offers two caravans (each can fit up to three persons, with an outdoor jacuzzi, a king bed and a separate bathroom, starting at B3,700 per night) and five converted shipping containers (all come with outdoor jacuzzis, for B3,700 per night).
Thanarat Road, Nakhon Ratchasima / Call 089-618-1616, visit www.casa-de-montana.com.