Southeast Asia is known for many things- the countries, the richness of the mingled cultures, the vastness of experience, the scenic beauty, and so endlessly much more. But did you know that it’s also an amazing place to camp out in?
It’s true! As an avid camping buff, I often hear surprised responses from friends when I tell them that yes, Thailand is a great tourist destination, or Cambodia, and no, I don’t mean for the beaches. Here are five of the best places worth camping in in southeast asia for you to take a look at:
Mount Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia
A big and eye-catching site to start with, Mount Rinjani in Indonesia is the site of an active volcano- and an active camping site. It’s the second highest volcano, but, when you see its 12224 ft/ 3726 m size, you’re definitely not going to be wishing it was larger.
I actually ended up camping out here twice. Tour groups are very popular, and depending on how much you want to walk, you can trek to the summit to see the calderas, or the lakes of crystal blue hot water, like the Segara Anak, and visit the Hot Springs for a relaxing evening.
Or, if you want to feel a little burn (like me), there are longer routes from Sembalun Lawang to Senaru village, that goes through some of the most picturesque rock formations I’ve had the opportunity to lay eyes on.
And the sunrise and the sunset over the crater… Trust me, regardless of how long or short your trek is, every step will be more than worth it for that breathtaking view that will stay with you forever.
Mount Bromo, Indonesia
Two on the list in Indonesia, and not even for the same reason! Camping at Mount Bromo in Indonesia is internationally popular for one very irreplaceable reason: an unfiltered view of the Milky Way in the skies above.
In the latter half of the year, the constellations above the peak of Mount Bromo, set in the 800km wide, sprawling Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in East Java, become clear enough for the naked eye to see and the lens to immortalize.
But this isn’t a site only within the reach of professionals, no. Mount Bromo is comfortably supplied with camping sites with facilities, scattered all over between Pananjakan and Kingkong Peak, the two highest points. There are small camping sites all the way down to Seruni Point, with shops for everything from food, supplies including some camping essentials to even some photography gear.
Seruni Point is also an amazing and accessible place to view the night skies from, with an unobstructed view of the heavens. I can tell you from experience- you won’t want to go into your tent!
Nacpan Beach, El Nido Palawan, Philippines
Another unexpected camping site- a world famous beach destination!
El Nido Palawan in the Philippines is a one of the finest closed ecosystems one could have the good fortune to explore and camp out in. Oceans bluer than the sky, sands whiter than glass, and pristine, untouched nature, just waiting for you to walk through. And at night, canopies of trees and shade, with the clearest skies to gaze into.
And, civilization a stone’s throw away. The entire archipelago is a popular tourist spot. It’s not necessarily crowded, but areas like Nacpan Beach and Big Lagoon El Nido have a lot of stores and equipped camping spots nearby, with everything from WiFi to jacuzzis, airports, and even nightlife clusters. So you can go camping, go dancing, and see five kinds of forest, and wake up to the sounds of the ocean – all in one place!
Sea of Clouds, Mount Pulag, Philippines
From an actual ocean to one in the sky, the Philippines is home to one of the most unique sites I’ve ever seen- the sea of clouds above Mount Pulag. The summit lies at 9600ft above sea level, and below that, clouds as far as the eye can see.
You can choose any of the four major trails, between Ambageng, Tawangang, and Akiki from Benguet, or like me, take a group tour along Ambaguoio from Neuva Vizcaya. But you see even more, when you’ve trekked up the mountain and camped there overnight in the grass flatlands.
Come dawn, the entire Milky Way dances across the sky, in a journey that will definitely take your breath away.
Phnom Kulen National Park, Cambodia
There’s no list of camping spots that does not include the beauty that is camping in Phnom Kulen, Cambodia.
On a tour through the Valley of a Thousand Lingas, we traveled through lush greenery, tropical mists hanging in the air, waterfalls at every turn, and camped out at the feet of ancient ruins. It was another world, and remains there, waiting just so.
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