Long gone are the days when staying in a tent was considered ‘roughing it.’ Today’s luxury tented camps provide as much comfort and style as a traditional five-star hotel, but with a much lighter environmental footprint. Flexible and easy to set up, tents can sit amid forests, float over lakes and rivers, or even perch in trees. They let you feel close to nature, falling asleep to the sounds of the forest and waking up to birdsong.
Glamping in Southeast Asia has taken off in recent years, giving you a chance to enjoy an immersive experience in some of the region’s most spectacular natural settings without giving up any luxury comforts. Get inspired by glamping in Asia with our list of top tented camps.
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai
Nestled in the lush jungles of the Golden Triangle (the border of Laos, Thailand and Myanmar), this colonial safari-style tented camp is about as opulent as they come. Perched on raised platforms amid dense native greenery, each ‘tent’ brings to life a 19th-century explorer ambience, with dark timbers, antique-style brass fittings and faux elephant-tusk decor aplenty. Enjoy an open-air soak in your private hot tub, explore the Ruak River or head to the nearby elephant rescue to meet some gentle giants. Or embark on wider Chiang Rai explorations and see what’s farther afield.
Hintok River Camp at Hellfire Pass, Kanchanaburi
You don’t have to spend a lot for pampered glamping in Thailand. Located on the banks of the legendary Kwai River, this cosy glamping site provides a serene getaway close to the historic Death Railway of Kanchanaburi. Tents are clustered around a clearing dotted with bird of paradise, palms and frangipani, and offer spacious canvas abodes with private bathrooms and air conditioning. Activities here center on the river and the history of Hellfire Pass, with Hintok River POW Museum just opposite the camp. Swimming, bathing in the natural springs and mountain biking are also popular pastimes here.
Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp, Khao Sok
Wake up to breathtaking lake views, emerald forest and towering limestone mountains rising up behind them. The floating tents here are on the more rustic end of the spectrum, but all the better to enjoy Khao Sok National Park’s pristine natural elements. Much of this tented camp’s appeal is its attached elephant camp, where guests can interact with rescued and retired elephants in ethical ways with elephant walks, bathing and mahout demonstrations. Guided safaris also take place throughout this spectacular park, with ‘soft adventures’ for all fitness levels that include forest walks, canoeing and wildlife spotting.
Shinta Mani Wild, Southern Cardamom National Park
Architect Bill Bensley was adamant that his ultra-luxury camp keep the surrounding environment pristine, implementing fines for any damage done to trees. To accomplish this the 15-tent camp, positioned in a wildlife corridor between Bokor National Park and Kirirom National Park, features stilted tents positioned along a river, sometimes connected via zipline to avoid having to lay down destructive pathways. Activities include foraging for wild ingredients with the chef, anti-poaching patrols, estuary boat tours, cocktail parties and Khmer-inspired wellness treatments. As far as glamping in Asia goes, there are few camps as exclusive — or as eco-minded — as this.
4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Cardamom Mountains
These plush floating tented camp also adheres to strict environmental policies. Spacious African-inspired lodges float on pontoons, rocking gently on the waters of the Tatai River. Guests can take in the forest and river panoramas from their deck, trek the surrounding jungles, cruise along the river or visit nearby Koh Andet island for to engage with the local community and get a glimpse of village life. The Cardamom Mountains are home to a rich diversity of animals, one of the country’s (if not the region’s) last remaining habitats for gibbons, tigers, Asian elephants, sun bears and more. A tour of Cambodia’s lesser-seen south is not complete without a visit to this natural wonderland.
Cardamom Tented Camp, Cardamom Mountains
Support Cambodian wildlife next time you go glamping in Southeast Asia at this plush eco-camp. Located in Botum Sakor National Park, nine spacious canvas tents are linked by raised wooden walkways to minimise damage to the environment. Go on patrol with forest rangers looking for signs of poaching and logging, hike along rainforest trails,kayak down the Preak Tachan River and opt for some ‘real’ camping with a stay in the middle of the jungle in a tensile tree tent, suspended between two trees.
Capella, Ubud, Bali
Another Bensley creation, Capella features his trademark lavish style in richly adorned ‘tents’. Inspired by the European settlers of the 1800s, this luxury tented camp comprises 22 raised structures peeping out from the natural landscape, each with a private saltwater pool. Experiences range from summit climbs of Mount Batur, cycling tours, traditional arts classes and holistic, Balinese-inspired wellness. Enjoy a jungle brunch, end the day with tales by the campfire and delve into local culture and lore — even within the camp, where you’ll find everything is bestowed with its own fascinating backstory. Representing a new level of luxury in Bali, it’s the perfect accommodation for a private Bali tour.
Amanwana, Moyo Island
If you’re looking to really get away from it all, this luxury tented camp on Moyo Island, off the coast of Sumbawa Island, delivers an authentic castaway vibe. As with all things Aman, design is sleek and understated, with 20 tented suites along the beachfront and dotted in the jungle. Situated in forest and marine reserves, the resort offers spectacular diving and snorkelling just offshore, with hiking uncovering waterfalls, limestone pools and bat caves hidden in tangled rainforest. Aman also offers a fleet of luxury boats for exploring more of the archipelago.
La Cocoteraie Ecolodge, Gili Trawangan
For more beach glamping in Southeast Asia, try the idyllic island of Gili Trawangan, where this charming boutique tented resort offers eco-friendly accommodation and activities. Rustic Indonesian furnishing and canopy beds create a warm and cosy ambience, enhanced by well-manicured gardens and towering coconut palms. Enjoy a fresh fruit cocktail by the pool, go snorkelling, circumnavigate around the island, go on a cruise or just laze on Trawangan’s picturesque shores.
Tia Rasa Escapes, Janda Baik
You’d never guess this picturesque forest camp is only 30 minutes’ drive from Kuala Lumpur. Stylish and spacious safari-style luxury tents and treetop villas get you close to nature, and come with a sprinkling of local ethnic fabrics and artworks to lend an indigenous touch. Go on forest walks, picnic in the forest, stargaze, do art classes, learn archery, bird-watch and otherwise relax in this calming natural setting. Linger in the forest for awhile on a weekend staycation, or relax here for a few days after a longer Malaysian tour.
Rosewood, Luang Prabang
Studding the mountainous terrain surrounding UNESCO-listed Luang Prabang, this exclusive resort features six hilltop tents among its accommodation offerings. Commanding spectacular valley views, each luxury tent comes with a wide terrace for soaking up the serenity — or guests can roll up the canvas window coverings and enjoy the panoramas from their king-sized bed. Experiences include river cruises along the Mekong, cooking classes, heritage tours and traditional sightseeing, not to mention luxurious spa journeys immersed at Sense, the property’s tented spa — perfect for a luxury experience in Laos.
Lak Tented Camp
A lush, lakeside setting outside Dalat provides an authentic glamping experience that interweaves cultural encounters with natural discovery. This tented camp in Vietnam’s northern highlands is one of the country’s few glamping options, with eco-friendly activities that are also not as prevalent here as in other Southeast Asian nations. Fifteen luxury tents line the lake’s shorefront, with ‘luxury’ here a matter of an ensuite bathroom and electricity (the resort’s wooden bungalows offer more traditional luxury). Organic local cuisine (from homegrown ingredients) and curated cocktails keep the palate satisfied, while stargazing, farm visits, kayaking, handicraft workshops and fishing are just some ways you can get to know this picturesque highland destination.