A new wave of elevated outdoor services is starting to gain traction in Singapore. We’ve heard of Picneeds, a bespoke service that oversees all the demanding logistics of a picnic worth immortalising in pictures.
Now, service providers are also capitalising on the idea of glamping, which is breaking new ground as the next weekend activity du jour.
Otherwise known as glamorous camping, glamping is, simply put, a new way to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort and luxury. Just imagine yourself arriving at the camping ground (without breaking a sweat) to be greeted by the sight of this:
Doesn’t it look dreamy?
According to The Straits Times, although the concept of glamping was first pitched to Singaporeans as early as 2012, we did not warm up to the idea. Its popularity only started gaining traction in recent memory, as “Singaporeans are probably feeling more venturesome now with all the new nature trails opening up.”
Most local glamping services are available for booking via Airbnb. A quick search would pull up at least five different results, with prices falling between $150 and $300 depending on the size of the tent.
But camping in Singapore is only permitted in East Coast Park’s Area D and G, Pasir Ris Park’s Area 1 and 3, and West Coast Park’s designated area within Area 3.
You will also have to apply for camping permits first, which are free online or at any AXS machines. NParks told The Straits Times that glamping providers may not apply for the permits on behalf of their customers.
Given the lack of camping space and facilities, it is safe to say that glamping is not fully fledged in Singapore yet, and it will most likely take a while to be. Much as the local glamping services are great, it still pales in comparison to the lavish and holistic glamping experiences that one can find beyond our shores.
If you have a bigger budget, as well as a tendency to harbour greater expectations, here are other designated glamping sites in Asia for your consideration—equipped with electricity, air-conditioning, and sometimes, even a butler service.
1. The Canopi Resort, Bintan, Indonesia
Just a two-hour ferry ride away, you won’t have to sacrifice the precious days of your annual leave to experience glamping in all of its glory. All of The Canopi’s tents boast more than 40 square metres of spacious interior and modern-day spoils such as LCD television and Wi-Fi connection.
Prices per tent start from as low as S$146 per night.
2. Damodra Desert Camp, Rajasthan, India
Experience the Great Indian Desert in Rajasthan, the largest state in India by area, sans aridness at the Damodra Desert Camp. Its deluxe Swiss cottage tents are air-conditioned, equipped with full-sized beds and attached to a modern bathroom. Who would have thought it’d be possible not to break a sweat in the middle of a desert?
When night falls, you’d be rewarded with a stellar view of stunning constellations and the incredible pathway of the Milky Way in the pollution-free desert skies.
Prices per tent start from as low as S$206 per night.
3. Mingle Farm, New Territories, Hong Kong
Take a break from the all-too-familiar hustle and bustle of Hong Kong city and escape to Mingle Farm, where glamping choices are far more unique. From luxurious caravans to romantic giant inflatable bubbles (AEcoSphere) to kid-friendly bouncing castles, you’ll be spoilt for choice—but hey, glamp-hopping could totally be a thing.
Prices per AEcoSphere start from as low as S$180 per night.
4. Caravan Serai, Pahang, Malaysia
Caravan Serai is nestled in the town of Bentong, a mere 45-minute drive away from Kuala Lumpur. There, you will experience both a rustic and rugged glamping experience, surrounded by forest, local orchards, rivers and beautiful hill views. Once you are done with a day of hiking and sumptuous steamboat/barbeque for dinner, it’s back to the comfort of these air-conditioned bell tents.
Prices per tent start from as low as S$66 per night.
5. Norden Camp, Gansu Province of China, China
Wake up to the picturesque view of the Tibetan Plateau and immerse yourself completely in the Tibetan culture at the Norden Camp.
Although both log cabins and yak hair tents (made of handwoven yak hair, the traditional material for nomad tents) are provided, we recommend accommodation in the latter for a bona fide glamping experience. Each tent is tastefully furnished with wooden floors, local antiques and traditional furniture, and is heated with furnaces due to the colder clime.
Numerous activities are available to keep you occupied and can be tailored to your taste. From an evening bonfire and stargazing session to a hike around the camp, the only thing you’ll be bitter about here is the part where you have to say goodbye.
Prices per tent start from as low as S$399 per night.
This post was originally featured on YP SG