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Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

Trip.com
13 Apr 20205430

Many countries in Southeast Asia are known for their beautiful beaches, amazing shopping hideouts and unforgettably good food. This makes for an ultimate weekend getaway idea for Singaporeans. However, for those who are keen to get off the beaten track for your next trip, you can plan a camping escapade with a fellow thrill-seeker and head out for an adventure near Singapore!

Table of Contents

1. Mount Rinjani - Lombok, Indonesia
2. Doi Chiang Dao - Chiang Mai, Thailand
3. Phnom Kulen - Siem Reap, Cambodia
4. Bidoup Nui Ba National Park - Dalat, Vietnam
5. El Nido - Palawan, Philippines
Tips for camping

Perfect for backpackers who are planning a low-cost trip, camping is not only among the cheapest accommodation options but also one that offers a whole different experience of living in a new country. You can listen to the musical chirping of the crickets, stargaze under the dark skies and simply feel at peace.

While we do have a good number of camping (and glamping) sites in Singapore, such as East Coast Park and the Dairy Farm, it is always exciting to plan an adventure outside of the country and explore the nation amid its flora and fauna you may never get to see locally.

There is no need to ponder too much on where to head to - here are five camping sites near Singapore you can explore for a start!

1. Mount Rinjani - Lombok, Indonesia

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

Source: nasrul hisham/Shutterstock.com

Standing at 3,726 metres above sea level, Mount Rinjani is massive. It is the second highest volcano in Indonesia (the tallest being Mount Kerinci) and by far regarded as the most famous summit in the country. We thought introducing this beauty at the northern part of the Lombok island would be apt, especially for those who want a camping adventure that offers an unforgettable experience with Mother Nature not too far away from Singapore.

Mount Rinjani, which dominates the peripheral landscape of Lombok, is popular among trekkers, comprising both locals and tourists. You can get in touch with experienced camp organisers such as the Mount Rinjani Base Camp to explore the types of treks you can embark on. These packages typically come with all the necessary equipment needed, such as waterproof camping tents, portable toilets and cooking equipment, leaving the trekker to carry with them only their personal essentials, including the sleeping bags. This means you can be ready for a complete camping experience without having to bring over too much from Singapore.

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

As you trek up the mountain, set your eyes on the rocky cliffs and cloud-smudged picturesque views of sloping dense forests set against the vastness of the sky. You will also get to see the Sendang Gile waterfall as part of the trek. Once you get to the summit at the rim of the crater, take a deep breath and worship the priceless beauty of what you had set to achieve when you began your hike. Your dedicated guide alongside the camaraderie of your camping mates will make the trek easier than it would seem at first.

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

Settle down, pitch your tents, admire the beautiful sunset and fall asleep under the stars.

Climbing down the mountain would be easier for some. Be sure to stop by some hot springs and relax your strained bodies!

Before you get ready for this trip, do pack in enough jackets and gloves to keep yourself warm as the temperature can drop quite low nearing the summit. Nevertheless, ensure your backpack does not go beyond 10 to 11 kilogrammes - you need to be able to complete the hike with your belongings so remember to pack smart!

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

You will definitely leave a piece of your heart at Mount Rinjani.

Best time to visit: April to December

2. Doi Chiang Dao - Chiang Mai, Thailand

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

Add some thrill to your trip to Thailand with a trek up the limestone beauty of the Chiang Dao Mountain, locally referred to as Doi Chiang Dao. While it is the third tallest mountain in Thailand perched at 2,225 metres above sea level, it is rather often patronised by the adventurous for the whimsical beauty it offers. This makes it one of the famous mountains in Chiang Mai.

The limestone cliffs of Doi Chiang Dao tower over the rice and banana plantations of Northern Thailand - this spectacular view is worth the climb up this rugged mountain.

As part of a protected wildlife sanctuary, Doi Chiang Dao takes you closer to a host of flora and fauna not found anywhere else in the country. In particular, the diverse variety of birdlife on this mountain also makes birdwatching a popular activity here.

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

The 8.5-kilometre steep climb from the base to the campsite may not be for the weak. There is an undulating terrain that brings you through tall grass, flower meadows and moss-covered forests. Fret not as there will be a couple of viewpoints where you can stop to catch your breath and capture the photogenic panoramas of the Pyramid Mountain and Three Sisters Mountain, referred to in Thai as Doi Nua and Doi Sam Pi Nong respectively.

From the campsite, it takes you about 20 to 30 minutes to reach the summit but it is a rocky climb through chilly winds - make sure you are well-clothed for this one. Once you are at the top, take in the 360-degree view of the mountain vastness and the valleys below.

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

Source: WeiShen/Shutterstock.com

While the hike up the summit is shorter than Mount Rinjani, we recommend camping overnight to enjoy the sunset and admire the starry skies you may never get to experience in Singapore - you get to admire the milky way at Doi Chiang Dao, a name given to a mountain that literally translates to “at the level of the stars”! You can also catch magnificent sunrise the following morning before making your way back to the base.

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

Your trek up Doi Chiang Dao cannot be done without a guide (it is illegal to head up without one), so do look out for tour packages that are suitable to your preferences.

Best time to visit: November to February

Start planning your camping trip to Doi Chiang Dao by finding cheap flights from Singapore to Chiang Mai!

3. Phnom Kulen - Siem Reap, Cambodia

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

Known to be the birthplace of the ancient Khmer empire, Mount Kulen - referred to as Phnom Kulen by the locals - is a historical site where King Jayavarman II had officially announced Cambodia’s independence from Java. In other accounts, the river that flows through the mountain is revered as sacred holy water because the king had chosen to bathe in the river. Regardless, this mountainous range in the Phnom Kulen National Park is, up till today, a cultural significance in the Siem Reap province of Cambodia. You can find many carvings etched into the sandstone of the riverbed at the River of the 1000 Lingas - or Kbal Spean - that leads you to splendid waterfalls.

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

Exploring the beauty of Phnom Kulen would take you about three days and two nights for there are hidden temples, shrines, bat caves and other archaeological sites to explore, on top of the hike itself up to the top of the mountain. This adventure will appeal to the explorer of history, and we reckon it will be one cultural escape that will blow your mind. Some key highlights include the Reclining Statue of Buddha, the Elephant Pond and Beng Mealea jungle temple.

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

Owing to the cultural importance of this place to Cambodians, it is best advised to maintain decent etiquette when visiting this place. When swimming, ladies should wear a pair of T-shirt and shorts. Men must have shorts worn at the very least. Before entering temples, you must remove hats and shoes, and dress appropriately to respect the sanctity of the compound.

Having been a key stronghold for the Khymer Rouge in the 20th century, you might be a little uneasy of the landmines around the area, some of which are still believed to be active. This need not be a big worry as the route you will take with your guide has been patronised by many every day - simply keep to the route and you shall be safe.

Camping at Phnom Kulen will be a good idea to bring the kids out for an adventure near Singapore or with friends who are physically less fit to tackle treks and environments of Mount Rinjani and Doi Chiang Dao.

Best time to visit: May to November, especially for full waterfalls (it is also still worth a visit during the dry season)

Confirming your air travel is essential before planning your camping trip - search for flights from Singapore to Siem Reap on Trip.com.

4. Bidoup Nui Ba National Park - Dalat, Vietnam

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

Source: Joel Whalton/Shutterstock.com

About 35 kilometres from Dalat city, the Bidoup Nui Ba National Park has not gotten much limelight in the tourist scene, which makes this place less commercial and the reason why you should plan your camping trip right here away from the hustle of Singapore. One of the largest national parks in Vietnam, it is home to a range of endangered and rare species of animals, including the deer, black bear, peacock, yellow-cheeked gibbon and the vampire flying frog.

Trekking through pine forests, bamboo groves, grasslands and coffee plantations at different altitudes are just some of the natural sites to adore, alongside its massive collection of 300 species of orchids and 96 primordial plants.

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

To admire some of the park’s iconic natural beauty, head up to the legendary Thien Thai Waterfall - the home of the God of Water - and the two highest peaks of the Liangbiang plateau - Bidoup at 2,287 metres and Nui Ba at 2,167 metres (the park is situated between these two mountain ranges.)

There is also the Da Nhim River which you can cross to reach a nearby village.

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

An overnight camping trip to the Bidoup Nui Ba National Park is just nice for a weekend getaway to Vietnam from Singapore and fits well within a four-day vacation to the country with the family.

Best time to visit: November to February

5. El Nido - Palawan, Philippines

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

A popular municipality on the northern end of Palawan Island, El Nido is a paradise not only for the beach lovers but also for those who love everything about the traditional island life.

El Nido is the gateway to Bacuit Bay which is home to 45 stunning islands offering a range of activities, from kayaking to snorkelling and deepwater diving. An escape to this archipelago will be memorable, but even better when you camp on the white-sand beaches overnight.

There are different types of island-hopping tours available for the visitor for a full exploration of lagoons, caves, shrines and beaches.

Camping near Singapore: 5 best spots for avid backpackers

Do note however that camping at El Nido is indeed the real escape from modern life - power interruption is normal in this busy town. There are also no hospitals so do purchase your medicines from Singapore. Bring your cash in advance as there are no ATMs as well.

Typically you will be well-advised by your tour guide before you head over - make sure you take note of the essentials you need, especially for a comfortable yet exciting experience.

Best time to visit: November to May

Tips for camping

Before you head out for your camping escapade near Singapore, here are some tips:

Book your package in advance especially for locations that are difficult to access, only open a few months in a year and those that are very popular among tourists from all over the world.

You should also watch the news to see if any developments in your destination country may affect your trip.

Research on the location you are heading to so that you are aware of what is expected in the event of uncertainty.

Take note of the packing list and keep the weight of your backpack low so that you can easily carry it around while trekking or moving from one campsite to another.

Some locations may not have strong, if not, any Internet connection. If staying connected is important while on vacation, do make your arrangements wherever possible.

Disclaimer: This article has been used directly from the Qingqi Qiu Platform, the copyright belongs to the original author. If there is any discrepancy with the copyright please contact us directly and we will immediately delete the content.Index for Network Information Infringement Protection
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