Camping is the ultimate outdoor experience for the non-outdoorsy types. It can be complicated with kids, but even for adults, camping can be quite a challenge depending on where you choose to camp and for how long. You can only imagine how much more challenging it would be to plan for a family camping trip. But worry no more because this camping guide will help you prepare for what’s ahead, so you know where to find the best camping sites in Southeast Asia and what to enjoy during your time there.
Southeast Asia has always been a haven for adventure enthusiasts, particularly those who are nature lovers. There are many countries and destinations in Southeast Asia that has managed to retain the virgin nature of the rainforests and lush jungle, which is the perfect reason for camping enthusiasts or families looking for a short-haul adventure to experience together.
Aside from hiking, you can add camping to your Southeast Asian itinerary. These are the best kid-friendly camping sites that will make you feel closer to nature and give your kids the chance to unplug even just for a few days.
Best Kid-Friendly Camping Sites in Southeast Asia
Get ready to embark on an exciting outdoor adventure when you camp out under the stars in Southeast Asia! These are the best kid-friendly camping sites to add to your next adventure in Southeast Asia.
Phnom Kulen National Park
1. Phnom Kulen, Cambodia
This is one of many national parks in Cambodia with a great camping site that you can stay in for a night or two with the family. The name of the park literally translates to “Mountain of lychees”. This camping site is a favorite among locals and tourists alike because it is a unique experience to be able to spend the night among the ancient ruins in the forest. At the same time, the park is home to a beautiful waterfalls and the sound of the rushing water while you sleep is such a comforting and atmospheric experience. Indeed, your kids will enjoy the beauty of this camping site and the things to see during the day.
Doi Chiang Dao, Thailand
2. Doi Chiang Dao, Thailand
This limestone massif in Northern Thailand (located close to the border with Myanmar) is one of the most coveted camping sites in Thailand. This camping site is located within the Pha Daeng National Park and is known as one of the best spots for bird watching in Southeast Asia. It will be a fun experience for your kids to witness a few bird species that can only be found here such as Giant Nuthatch and Humes Pheasant. Aside from seeing these endemic bird species, you will be lullabied to sleep by the sound of the birds chirping or by the bedazzling display of the stars at night.
Mt. Pulag, Philippines
3. Mount Pulag, Philippines
The Philippines is home to a wide range of great hiking and camping spots that are family- and kid-friendly. Mount Pulag is one of the favorites among locals and tourists who are adventure enthusiasts. While many of those who conquer Mt. Pulag visit this site on a day trip, why not stay the night with your family so you can soak in the views at night? As the third highest mountain in the Philippines, this camping destination is notable for its sea of clouds. It would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to wake up to the sea of clouds as the sun breaks through the clouds as it rises early in the morning. As such, the sunset views at Mt. Pulag is also sublime – it a beauty that you have to see to believe.
El Nido, Palawan (Image by elnido.ph)
4. El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
The island of El Nido is known globally for its pristine white sand beaches, limestone cliffs, and secret lagoons. But did you know that this island in Palawan is also emerging as one of the top family-friendly camping spots in Southeast Asia? The archipelago of Palawan earned its notoriety for its rich wildlife and biodiversity, as well as some of the best beaches you will find in the world. You can, therefore, give your family (especially the kids) a chance to experience that and get up-close to the amazing natural beauty and rich wildlife when you take them camping in El Nido. There are more than 50 beaches to choose from, along with five types of forest, so you can plan an enjoyable and memorable camping trip for the whole family.
Mt. Bromo, Indonesia
5. Mount Bromo, Indonesia
There is probably no more iconic camping spot in Southeast Asia than Mount Bromo. Long a favorite among hiking enthusiasts, many of those hikers opt to stay the night at one of many Mount Bromo camp sites. This gives you the opportunity to marvel at the unforgettable sight of the sunrise, which is one of the main reasons why people come here to camp for the night. The outlook point also provides dramatic landscapes and scenery that you won’t find elsewhere. Your kids will truly enjoy this amazing experience!
Practical Tips When Camping with Kids
Camping with kids can be unpredictable and extra challenging. But with these practical tips, you can prepare for the challenges ahead and make the trip enjoyable for everyone in the family:
1. Practice camping at home. Sleeping in a tent in the middle of the wilderness is completely different from sleeping in your own bed, or a bed in the hotel room when you travel. Therefore, it is important to ease your child into this experience, especially if they are camping for the first time. Pitch a tent in your backyard and let them hang in it. This will make them feel comfortable with this sleeping setup so they know what to expect when you go camping.
2. Get them to help you pack. Involving your kids in the planning and preparation for your camping trip in Southeast Asia will heighten their excitement. Make sure that they pack their own gear using a list that you have created. It is also important that you double-check to make sure no essential item is left behind.
3. Bring foods that your kids will like. When you are camping in the jungles of Southeast Asia, your only food options are the ones you managed to pack. Make sure these are food items that your kids like since you have nowhere else to get them. Also, it is important to pack ready-to-eat snacks so they can easily munch on to something if they get hungry in-between meals.
4. Research, research, research. Getting as much information about the camping site as possible can be to your advantage. You will know what to expect when you get to your camping site and what activities you can enjoy there. Spending a day or two at a camp site could get easily boring for your kids when all you do is sit at the tent or by the fireplace. Make them feel the true sense of adventure that this camping trip promises to offer.
5. Inform your kids about safety protocols. Kids can get naturally curious, especially when they are in a new environment – they will want to explore! Let them know beforehand the basic safety rules such as how far away from the camp site they can wander and to not go off on their own. Do not be too strict when it comes to the rules you impose, though, as you do not want them to lose that sense of adventure. Just make sure to keep a close eye on them at all times.