I've been travelling Thailand for a while now and one option that's becoming more and more interesting is camping.
Would anyone know of any good places Were to find quality camping gear suitable for tropical climate in Thailand or Malaysia?
Also, if any of you with experience of camping in SAE has any tips, gear-, or otherwise, i would really appreciate it.
#1 Sampan has been a member since 3/9/2009. Posts: 110
I was thinking mainly camping occasionally in national parks and maybe "road-side" if and when that would be possible. Not sure about time of year.
#3 Sampan has been a member since 3/9/2009. Posts: 110
At leasrt speaking for where I live, this is a safe place, but I think you're asking to get robbed just camping by a roadside. Eventually that's going to go south as you obviously have money and are setting yourself up where there is no security at all. It only takes one band of punks... a fair number of kids here carry guns. Thailand is safe, but there are limits. Drunk, armed kids are on the roads at night getting home. That's how they end up shooting each other (happens in my city with some frequency). There have also been some rapes and murders in the national parks. I don't want to exagerate the risks, as Thailand is pretty safe, but I wouldn't even do this back in the US (Thailand has a higher rate of gun violence than the US does - and that's saying something) unless I were armed myself. And I am assuming that you are not going to be armed.
Ok, camping along the road sounds like a really bad idea (and no, i wasn't planning to arm myself..)
And i realise that it wouldn't be entirely safe in a NP either, but murders and robberies happen on camp-sites and the like every year even where i'm from, and that's supposed to be one of the safest places on earth (I wouldn't agree though..but that's another story), but i wouldn't hesitate a second to put up a tent there.
But for occasional camping, would anybody know where to look for quality gear?
#5 Sampan has been a member since 3/9/2009. Posts: 110
You can fit yourself out at Chatuchak. I wouldn't say that the gear is top quality, but it should do for the time you're there. You probably won't feel obligated to take it back because you probably won't spend much on it.
I do NOT recommend camping in the national parks on weekends or during national holidays. The camp grounds are usually not subdivided into individual sites, but rather large wide open fields that resemble refugee camps. During these times the tents are absolutely wall-to-wall with loads of Thai men wandering around in full camouflage and aviator glasses, ready to deal with whatever comes their way ... like a plate of fried noodles or a bowl of tom yam from the nearby food stalls. You will not be allowed to camp in the parks except in designated areas. It's probably not a good idea to go off the beaten path in these places (like Khao Yai) anyway considering the rather large and potentially dangerous nocturnal animals that are out there (elephants, tigers, and intoxicated Thai men with guns.)
It will probably be possible to camp where you like in some parks, though, like Khao Sam Roi Yot. I saw people camping on the beach in this place and it looked excellent.
I have camped on the beaches here and there, mostly on the east coast south of Hua Hin and further down, though that was some time ago. It was often possible to pitch a tent on the fishermens' platforms where they nap and mend their nets. These get you up off of the ground. I saw some cyclists camping with just the mosquito-netted hammocks slung up between coconut trees.
Most of the time you will need your own transport to get to these kinds of places because most of them will be fairly remote. Take your own water and stock up on food. Also, as Mac said, there is always the potential that you could end up playing host to unwanted guests at unwanted times. Trying to brush off a group of drunk or stoned Thai guys (or even just one of them) can be incredibly exhausting and unnerving.
Most of the time it will be terrific, though.
Terrific info, thanks a bunch Tilapia!
If anyone has other tips, please add.
#7 Sampan has been a member since 3/9/2009. Posts: 110
My favorite place to camp in Malaysia is Taman Negara -- the parks office rents everything you need from sleeping bags to anti-leech socks. Makes the process very, very easy.