Travel

How Glamping Became China’s Top Tourism Trend

(CNN) – “There are tents in every meadow on the weekends,” says 26-year-old glamping enthusiast Yoga Song.

Glamping, an amalgamation of the words “glamour” and “camping”, is the latest travel craze among young Chinese.

Over the past year, Sun has made more than 10 glamping trips in China, both in rural areas and in the suburbs of cities, Sun said.

She embarked on her first glamping trip in April 2021, heading to Zhongwei, a city referred to as “Eastern Morocco”.

Located in the predominantly desert Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northern China, Zhongwei is home to the Yellow River, sections of the Great Wall of China, deserts, swamps, and ancient villages.

By the time she left, the city was already dotted with boutique hotels and guest houses. But Song decided to try something else: a tent.

When Son arrived, she says there were five tents just 10 meters from the seething Yellow River, overlooking the Gobi Desert – the sixth largest in the world – on the other side.

But not everything went smoothly. The weather in Zhongwei was very windy, with sand and gravel flying. As a result, all tourist places were closed.

“That night, the glamping people called us to look at the stars,” she recalls. “When I got out of the tent, all the clouds that covered the sky finally dissipated. The sky was huge, filled with starlight – all the stars I could ever imagine, and the silence was complete.

With the hustle and bustle of city life behind them, travelers discover an authentic modern northwest China. Song says glamping here, surrounded by farms and pastures, gives travelers the opportunity to sow, harvest and taste local dates and wine grapes. Goats, yaks and sheep approach the tents from time to time.

This popular glamping resort is located atop Mount Yunnan in Hangzhou.

This popular glamping resort is located atop Mount Yunnan in Hangzhou.

Xu Yu/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

Comfort over nature

In the world’s most populous country, time in nature can mean intense mountain and desert hikes, light picnics on a grassy lawn in a park, and relaxing trips to the outskirts of town.

However, while young city dwellers yearn for fresh air and nature, many are unwilling to give up comforts like soft mattresses.

Xiaohongshu, the country’s leading lifestyle website, is the main hidden hand driving the vacation craze as posh camping-inspired posts flood mobile channels.

For many young Chinese, glamping is just what they need. dhaka lists is a buzzword that describes Internet users who “follow” the places available for Instagram.

Thousands of detailed lists of glamping items, recipes for easy-to-cook meals, and recommendations for glamping sites across the country dominate the Chinese Internet.

Song recalls seeing a Marshall speaker and huge handmade rugs in her tent in Zhongwei.

Natural Camp, the operator of the site, proudly announces on its Xiaohongshu (Chinese social media) official account, “We have a fine selection of outdoor brands, both domestic and foreign.”

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