Hai Au

Camping is growing in popularity in Vietnam, attracting backpackers, families and even luxury travelers to the great outdoors.

Camping has been enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts for a long time, but a rise of green tourism in Vietnam is drawing more and more people to this unique form of travel. The camping trend started around 30 years ago in Vietnam, as students in Ho Chi Minh City would camp on the beach at Mui Ne, untouched at the time, sleeping under the stars and exploring the plains and dunes of Ninh Thuan Province.

Camping’s popularity has continued to grow among both backpackers and more upscale travelers, who are visiting locations ranging from high mountains to coastal areas.

Camping can take on many forms, from simple trips in the park with tents made from blankets and poles to survival trips into the wild. In some Western countries, families use vans to travel around and camp near beaches, riverbanks, and mountainsides.

These fully equipped vehicles include bathrooms and a power supply for electronic devices. In present-day Vietnam, camping has yet to reach this level of convenience. Going camping means driving to coastal and mountainous areas, unloading equipment, pitching tents and exploring nearby landscapes. While the majority of tourists flock towards AC-equipped rooms, restaurants and swimming pools, nature devotees can freely pick travel locations and follow clean, green and eco-friendly criteria. Campers are easy to spot around the white-sand coastlines of central and south-central Vietnam at locations not too far from inhabited areas but remote enough to enjoy an escape into nature.

A camping trip in a beautiful landscape

Leaving a minimal footprint is a top priority, so travelers remind one another to pick up trash after their camping trips, especially plastic waste. Fire prevention is also a prerequisite. Some campers like to collect wood for BBQ parties at sunset but this can be difficult to pull off. Bringing a specialized camping stove is more feasible – apart from being handy, it can produce light as well as heat for cooking.

In Vietnam’s tropical environment, insects are a major annoyance in the wild. Experienced campers know how to fumigate their tents with lemongrass and lime essential oils and use light traps for mosquitoes. Other practical tips include avoiding camping on slopes, which can be overrun by water during the night, and using tent liners to prevent water seeping in from the ground.

Preparing food for an overnight camping trip with family

From cloudless nights, when countless stars sparkle above the grasslands of Ninh Thuan, to dawn, when the sun rises over fields of flowers, to days of fishing at the shore, magical moments of travel can only be found through camping. Families may also discover precious time together spent away from screens and phones, instead learning the constellations and barbecuing together in the great outdoors.

Whether picking up pine cones from a soft layer of leaves, looking at a school of tiny fish swimming in the crystal-clear water or sipping coffee as the sunrise brightens up the forest, every camping trip brings unique moments that will linger in the memory.