September 26, 2023


For splendid leisure

How glamping became China’s biggest travel trend

6 min read

(CNN) — “Just about every grassland is included with tents throughout weekends,” states 26-year-outdated glamping enthusiast Yoga Track.

Glamping, a fusion of the words and phrases “glamor” and “camping,” is the latest travel fad amid youthful Chinese.

More than the previous 12 months, Music suggests she has taken additional than 10 glamping trips in China, to both of those rural areas and city suburbs.

She embarked on her very first glamping vacation in April of 2021, heading for Zhongwei, a city referred to as the “jap Morocco.”

Situated in the mainly deserted Ningxia Hui Autonomous Area of northern China, Zhongwei is home to the Yellow River, portions of the Excellent Wall, deserts, wetlands and ancient villages.

When she went, the city was previously dotted with boutique inns and homestays. But Music opted to test one thing diverse: a tent.

When Track arrived, she suggests there were 5 tents positioned just 10 meters away from the roaring Yellow River, with sights of the Gobi Desert — the world’s sixth-greatest — on the other aspect.

But it failed to go efficiently. The temperature was incredibly windy in Zhongwei, sending sand and gravel traveling. As a end result, all the tourist places were being closed.

“That night time, people today working the glamping internet site called us out to search at the stars,” she remembers. “When I stepped out of the tent, all the clouds that included the sky ultimately dispersed. The sky was extensive, loaded with starlight — all the stars I can at any time picture, and the silence was consummate.”

With the hustle and bustle of metropolis lifestyle remaining driving, travelers are uncovered to an authentic, modern northwest China. Tune states glamping in this article, surrounded by farms and pastures, provides travelers a likelihood to sow, harvest and taste domestically-grown dates and wine grapes. Goats, yaks and sheep appear by the tents from time to time.

This popular glamping resort is  perched on top of Hangzhou's Yongan Mountain.

This well known glamping vacation resort is perched on prime of Hangzhou’s Yongan Mountain.

Xu Yu/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Visuals

Convenience in excess of character

In the world’s most populous country, time in character can mean powerful mountain hikes and desert treks or gentle picnics on the grassy lawn of a park and enjoyable drives to the outskirts of a city.

But although youthful urbanites crave fresh new air and nature, numerous are unwilling to give up creature comforts like tender mattresses.

Xiaohongshu, the country’s foremost life-style internet site, is a main hidden hand driving the holiday vacation fad as chic camping-inspired posts flood into cellular feeds.

For a lot of young Chinese, glamping is just the ideal activity for their daka lists — a buzzword that describes net people “clocking in” at Instagrammable areas.

Thousands of thorough lists of glamping merchandise, recipes for easy-to-put together foods and tips for glamping places throughout the region dominate the Chinese web.

Track recollects seeing a Marshall speaker and huge, handmade carpets within her tent in Zhongwei.

Pure Camp, the site’s operator, proudly announces on its official Xiaohongshu (a Chinese social media web site) account: “We continue to keep a high-quality selection of out of doors brands, both domestic and worldwide types.”

These include things like mattresses by King Koil — just as very likely to be the exact types identified in 5-star resort rooms — and outside furnishings from the upscale Nordic brand Tentipi.

A 1-night time remain expenses about 1,000 yuan ($148) for each individual man or woman, Track claims.

The development just isn’t just occurring in mainland China.

Wade Cheung, marketing supervisor at Saiyuen, a glamping and adventure park on an island in Hong Kong, has also noticed bookings “enhance significantly” around the past two yrs, with a lot more than 10% of visitors returning immediately after their 1st keep.

“The lingering pandemic has inspired Hong Kong men and women to discover the wonderful residence-grown encounters in the town,” states Cheung.

The site, on the island of Cheung Chau, presents various lodging possibilities, from tepees to Mongolian gers, but the most exceptional is the Sunset Vista, a 300-sq.-foot domed tent set in its have 2,000 square feet place with personal grassland.

The dome can accommodate 4 persons in full, and includes a private shower room and bathroom, barbecue stove, hammock and much more,

With a bay window overlooking the ocean and a web page great for stargazing, Sunset Vista has come to be a hit with Hong Kong bloggers and influencers.

A person night time in the tent prices about $3,500 HKD ($446) to $4,800 HKD ($611), on par with a night in a luxury hotel on Hong Kong island.

Visitors prioritizing ease and comfort more than nature have dominated the glamping site these days.

Cheung claims the variety of site visitors they get has developed due to the fact the commence of the pandemic. Ahead of, website visitors cherished camping, climbing and mother nature, and would be impressed by the air conditioners in the tents. Now, guests take into consideration AC a ought to.

“For example, if there is a frog sitting in front of the tent, the former readers will in all probability squat down and consider a picture with it, but for people currently, it may well turn into anything that they want to adapt to,” he adds.

A view from inside Saiyuen's dome tent.

A perspective from inside of Saiyuen’s dome tent.


A Covid-fueled fad

Glamping has been buying up steam due to the fact Covid-19 first strike. A report published by Chinese journey operator CTrip demonstrates lookups for camping actions jumped eightfold in 2021.

Through the Labor Working day holiday in May perhaps of 2022, figures from an additional system, Qunar, reveals that ticket gross sales of parks that allow tenting in China soared over 50% in comparison with the very same period of time very last yr.

Bookings for homestays that supply tenting-connected providers these kinds of as RVs and tents also quadrupled in the region through the holiday about the same time period very last year, according to the trip rental web-site Tujia.

An adventure walk at Saiyuen glamping site in Hong Kong.

An journey wander at Saiyuen glamping website in Hong Kong.


Covid-19 has unquestionably performed a part in this newfound enthusiasm for outdoor luxurious ordeals.

The original outbreak in 2020 sealed China’s borders, holding Chinese visitors at property. Modern Covid-19 outbreaks are believed to have slice domestic travel by more than 50 %, and individuals are investing holidays even closer to dwelling, as the probable consequences of travel have progressed from having locked out of China to having locked out of one’s household city.

Doubling down on its controversial “zero-Covid” plan, China has been imposing severe measures which include lockdowns and recurring rounds of mass testing to stamp out the newest clusters.

The mega town Shanghai just emerged from a 9-7 days hard citywide lockdown which barred all inhabitants from leaving their flats. In the cash Beijing, a 3-7 days-plus “smooth lockdown” has still left hundreds of thousands of citizens getting asked to perform from residence.

And there are echoes of previous epidemics in Hong Kong.

It was pretty much two a long time in the past, when the SARS outbreak struck the city, that Cheung went on his very first nearby climbing and tenting journeys. It was then that he found “Hong Kong is such a enjoyment area to explore.”

The phone of the wild

Whilst Song agrees that glamping’s increase can be attributed to Covid-19 restrictions, which led men and women to value options to get in touch with mother nature, she thinks there is a thing a lot more to it. Specifically, the principle of “dwelling wildly.”

“A lot of life that we see on social media are far too glamorous. The espresso lifestyle in Shanghai, for case in point, is a little bit glamorized. They established a precedent on how we must idealistically look, chat and stay.”

But men and women are acknowledging these life are missing anything, Song notes. Picnicking, which was popular prior to glamping grew to become the new trend, can no for a longer period satisfy urges to link with character.

Still she cautiously draws a line amongst “residing wildly” and “dwelling in the wilderness.”

“Some of my pals can just go camping on any mountain with only a backpack. That is far too hardcore for me to manage. At the very least, fundamental sanitary specifications and residing situations should not be sacrificed,” she claims.

The constant attractiveness of paying out time in the wilderness suggests the glamping fad is probable right here to keep, but is predicted to fall “to a secure amount” immediately after travel constraints loosen,” notes Cheung.

Among the people checking out Saiyuen, about 60% of them are households, who will “nevertheless appreciate to take their young ones to a minor island of adventure locally” throughout weekends, he provides.

Top rated picture: Hong Kong’s Saiyuen glamping resort is situated on the island of Cheung Chau. Credit score: Saiyuen | Newsphere by AF themes.