Family camping holidays are a great way to experience the tranquillity and wonders of nature. As earth’s largest continent, it’s not much of a surprise to find that Asia offers camping and glamping adventures of every sort. But don’t worry about working out where’s best for your kids, we’ve got seven pitches right here that they’ll love.
Rishikesh, India: family camping in the world’s yoga capital
Touted as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World,’ Rishikesh is set on the banks of the River Ganges. The city is flanked by the majestic Himalayan ranges, making it an ideal setting for family camping holidays. And you’ve the choice of more than 30 campsites, each offering different vantage points and levels of luxury from basic to glamping.
A good destination with kids, most campsites here have everything you need, including comfortable tents, sleeping bags and clean washrooms. Plus there’s plenty to do from ziplining for all ages to river-rafting for teenagers and adventurous adults. In fact, both the stretch of river between Rishikesh and Bramhpuri, and the stretch from Rishikesh to Shivpuri are known for fantastic rapids, ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced.
Where: Uttarakhand, northern India
When to go: during the dry season from October to March.
Khao Yai National Park: safe camping with spectacular wildlife in Thailand
If your family loves the outdoors, Khao Yai National Park in Thailand is a no-brainer. It features seven gorgeous nature trails, which take between 45 minutes to six hours to cover. Frequent signs along the way make it impossible for even beginners to go off-track. And Khao Yai is also listed as an ‘Important Bird Area’ (IBA), so there’s always plenty to see. Although you might not spot all 282 species, ones to look out for include the Great Hornbill, Blue-Winged Pitta, Siamese Fire Back, and Coral-Billed Cuckoo.
A wide variety of wildlife also call the park home, so kids can get excited at the prospect of elephants, sambar deer, Malayan porcupines, owls and Asian palm civets. Plus the visitor centre arranges guided night safaris which cover a 10km area and the Lam Ta Khong Campground is also a renowned stargazing site.
Where: Nakhon Ratchasima, central Thailand
When to go: during the dry season from November to April.
Bali, Indonesia: find family campsites both north and south
Bali is an island of great beauty, spirituality and culture: ideal for a family camping holiday.
Buyan Lake in the north offers a gorgeous waterside camping ground. Although you might prefer Bedugul Botanical Garden, which surrounds you with tropical forests and cascading waterfalls: just remember to pack warm clothes as it can get quite cool at night.
For a more remote and particularly tranquil destination, try hilly Bulkit Cemara, with its views of Mount Agung and fascinating wildlife this family camping spot never fails to captivate.
Of course, the beaches of Bali have a lot to keep kids entertained too, and anything from banana boat rides at Tanjung Benoa to surfing on Nusa Dua, fits easily with a family camping trip.
Where: north and south Bali, Indonesia
When to go: during the dry season from April to October.
Taman Negara, Malaysia: sleepover in a 130 million year old rainforest
Not only is the virgin rainforest of Taman Negara believed to be over 130 million years old, its national park contains the world’s longest canopy walk: an impressive 530m.
You’ll find enigmatic cave structures here too, like Gua Telinga and Gua Kepayang Kecil. So kids can shuffle through underground tunnels to encounter amphibians and bats. Alternatively, for a more colourful experience, some 675 species of birds also live in the forests, including the legendary Rhinoceros Hornbill and the prettily named, Asian Fairy Bluebird.
Lake Berkoh is also a great stop for families to feed fish or have a swim and a picnic. This is another park offering night safaris, and promises to gets you up close to the likes of tapir, wild boar and deer.
Where: Pahang, Malaysia
When to go: during the dry season from March to September.
Jeju Island, South Korea: where mighty waterfalls flow into the sea
UNESCO World Heritage Jeju island is covered with pristine beaches and dramatic volcanic landscapes, as well as lush forests.
It’s here that the famous Jeongbang Waterfalls meet the sea – just remember, if you want to see this phenomenon on your family camping trip, wear sturdy shoes and don’t forget snacks.
Even more outdoorsy adventure awaits at the Gyorae Natural Recreational Forest Campsite where you’re surrounded by traditional thatched houses and walkways leading into the forest itself. Or, by contrast, Dolharubang Campsite, on the island’s west side, features both a sprawling meadow and a swimming pool.
For manmade excitement, visit Aqua Planet. One Asia’s largest aquariums and the largest in South Korea it house over 48,000 creatures, including penguins, sharks and dolphins.
Where: Jeju-do, South Korea
When to go: dry season from March to May and September to November.
Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal: bold camping for adventurous families
A once in a lifetime experience of the Himalayas, this family camping trip is definitely best for active teenagers. The Annapurna Base Camp trek curves through rice paddy fields, vibrant rhododendron and rugged landscapes, so it can be challenging at times, but the rewards are more than worth the effort.
Several traditional teahouses dot the area and give kids a glimpse into a different way of life and also the chance to try regional food and meet local people.
A great way to start the day is by watching the sun rise at Poon Hill, then the natural warm springs of Jhinu Danda make a perfect end to a day’s trekking – the waters are known for skin-healing properties. Most kids will also enjoy a boat ride on Phewa Lake – the biggest in the Valley. And don’t miss a visit to Tal Barahi Temple, which sits on the lake’s island.
Where: Ghandruk Village, Nepal
When to go: September to November
Yakushima, Japan: family camping with nesting turtles in the mix
Blanketed by a sprawling cedar forest, World Heritage Yakushima Island is home to ancient trees and mythical jungles. Just add the subtropical climate and it’s easy to see why it’s perfect for family camping trips.
Several trails criss-crossing the Shiratani Unsuikyo Valley make for great hiking adventures with kids. At a height of 88m, Oko Falls is the largest of the many in Yakushima and an especially relaxing spot on balmy summer days.
Head to Nagata Inakahama beach in the north west at the right time of year and it’s even possible to watch green and loggerhead turtles nesting. The island also offers a range of water sports from snorkelling and diving at Isso beach to kayaking on the Ambo river. And if you simply want to catch a breath, Yudomari Onsen is a popular seaside hot spring with sunset views over the ocean.
Where: Kagoshima, Japan
When to go: April to November