Over the summer I became an “expert” on glamping in Korea. Below is my article originally published in Busan Haps Magazine‘s September issue.
What’s better than camping? Glamorous camping. All you do is show up, settle in and everything else is taken care of. Enjoy the great outdoors like a truly civilized human.
If you haven’t already experienced Korean glamping, you are missing out. Big time. Glamping – aka glamorous camping – is a growing international trend that combines camping with the luxury and convenience of a hotel. In South Korea, more and more ‘glampsites’ are popping up all over the country.
Honestly, when I first heard the word glamping, I thought it was kind of ridiculous. But experiencing the Korean countryside without the hassle of finding camp space, carrying all my own gear, feeding myself, and erecting and taking down my own tent sounded too awesome to pass up. I asked my boyfriend and another couple to check out Tentaus, a glampsite just outside of Gyeongju.
After a 50-minute bus ride to Gyeongju, followed by a 30-minute (25,000 won) taxi ride, we arrived.
The place houses 37 teepee-shaped tent structures that are occupied mainly by couples. There is a family campsite nearby, so you will frequently see young children during the day. What you won’t see are your usual hiking adjummas and adjussis with their brightly colored and beautifully matching jackets.
Upon arriving, we checked out our sweet digs and then quickly jumped into the swimming pool. Tentaus immediately fulfilled all my glamping desires by giving me a dose of the great outdoors without me having to give up any creature comforts. I became one with nature while enjoying electricity, Wi-Fi, heating and cooling, opulent bedding, comfortable camping chairs and bean bags, nearby washrooms and showers with hot water, and two meals served daily on a nice wooden deck.
As the sun began to set on our first night, Tentaus employees brought us dinner, aptly named ‘the magic barbecue set.’ It’s approximately 700 grams of pork belly, per couple, cooked to perfection on a Weber charcoal grill. A plethora of edibles accompany the meal, including three homemade sausages, 10 shrimp, a whole sweet potato, kimchi, five kinds of special sauce, sliced onions, mushrooms, pumpkin, microwavable rice and pastel Technicolor ’mallows. There is a free garden nearby to pick as many peppers, lettuce and perilla leaves as you’d like.
After dinner, enjoy playing table tennis, renting a fire pit to burn firewood, or setting up a projector with a laptop or USB to watch a movie in the convenience of your own tent. If you feel cold, there’s even an electric blanket to warm you up. In the morning, breakfast is your typical Korean camping fare of ramen.
Sure, glamping hardly qualifies as roughing it, but as air travel prices increase, the alternative idea of camping without the usual annoyances may appeal to even the fussiest non-camper. It really is like regular camping – but with nicer things, better food and more comfort.
Tents are available to rent, year-round, ranging from 150,000-220,000 won a night. These prices are based on two adults and include breakfast and dinner. Check-in begins at 3 p.m., and check-out time is around 11 a.m.