The pandemic has changed most of our lives to varying extents. Over the past three years, many of us have taken up new hobbies, learned new skills, and perhaps experienced a paradigm shift in several areas of life. One particular hobby people took on in China is camping (露营, lù yíng), though many trending photos on social media exhibit a far more luxurious version of camping, referred to as “glamping” (glamorous camping). The term was coined by the UK in 2006.
Camping in China saw its peak in 2021 and 2022. Though white tents can still be seen in some rural areas of China, numbers have been slowly declining in 2023. That’s why if you want to take a camping school trip in China, there is no better time than now! Camp sites will not be as crowded, especially if you select one of our programs that brings you to a private camp ground such as the one in our Dunhuang school trip to China. Keep reading to learn more about our other school trips to China that include camping!
How did camping/glamping become so popular in China?
During the pandemic, Chinese citizens chose to take staycations as travel options were limited. In 2021 alone, China’s camping market grew by 62.5% to 74.7 billion yuan, which is equivalent to $10.3 billion. During the first day of the May Day holiday last year, camping-related searches increased by 117% from the previous month. If you didn’t already know, May 1 is the Chinese Labor Day, and the May Day holiday is a five-day national holiday at the beginning of May.
Popular destinations Chinese campers go to include rural suburbs, mountains, and rivers. Pandemic lockdowns inspired a slower way of life. Those who could access it indulged in making banana bread, playing Animal Crossing, or going camping. Those who could not access it simply indulged in escapism. During that time, people craved simplicity and idealized a bucolic life far away from the city.
Items brought to a campsite by glampers include BBQ grills, coffee machines, wine glasses, movie projectors, nice dishes, and decorative lights—much more elaborate than traditional Camping in China. Glamp site images first appeared in China on Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book, 小红书, xiâo hóng shū). The platform is known as the Instagram of China, and plays a large part in the rise of camping in China. In 2020, Camping in China-related searches increased by 230%, in 2021 it increased by 360%, and in 2022 by 623%. Now, there are even resort-like glamping services that prepare everything for glampers.
Why should I take my students on a camping school trip to China?
Not only does camping allow students to appreciate nature, but it also helps with stress reduction. Gallivanting outdoors on a school trip helps students develop new skills and learn through hands-on experiences. Experiential learning follows a cycle of concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation. Below are some of our school trips to China that include camping.
Tianmu Mountain Adventure
Situated in Hangzhou (杭州, háng zhōu), Tianmu Mountains (天目山, tiān mù shān) is a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 3-day school trip to China covers the seven primary areas: shelter, water, fire, food, tracking, awareness, and movement, designed to help students gain a broader environmental understanding through real, hands-on experiences. During this school trip to China, students get to participate in team building challenges and numerous outdoor activities.
Your WildChina program leader will lead you through various ice-breaking and team building activities with a theme of tying knots and building structures. Students will then build their own rafts and have dinner. Your WildChina program leader will then take you on a night forest exploration walk.
After browsing a local market and purchasing some groceries, you will hike to your campsite and learn how to build and maintain a fire. Using the groceries you purchased, you’ll cook your own meals. That night, students will get to star gaze and take a Morse code lesson.
On the last day of your school trip to China, you’ll navigate local caves as part of a cave exploration activity.
Yunnan (云南, yún nán) is home to a diverse ethnic culture and stunning biodiversity. This 6-day school trip to China was specifically designed for the Duke of Edinburgh Award. For this school trip, you will be arriving at Shangri-la to meet your WildChina program leader before transferring to the hotel. The rest of the day will be for getting settled and taking a much-needed rest, although activities can be arranged upon request.
You’ll find yourself at the Abujee Mountain (阿布吉山, ā bù jí shān) trailhead on day 1 of your school trip to China. It is about 1.5 hours from the hotel. While hiking the mountain range to the first campsite, you’ll see Tibetan and Yi herder camps and get to enjoy the beautiful views of the mountain valleys. Once there, students will learn about the history and culture of Tibetan muleteers, learn how to properly back a mule, and learn to tie some simple knots.
After a night of Camping in China in the mountain meadow, you’ll ascend into Abujee during day 2, where you’ll then camp beneath the sacred lake Tsonak, also known as Black Lake.
The next day of your school trip to China is once again filled with a full day of hiking. You’ll be hiking along the kora path and descend to the valley below to camp at the third camp site.
After many days of trekking the Abujee Mountain, it’s time to make your way back to Zhongdian (1 hour). Once you arrive in Zhongdian, you will have some free time to relax and freshen up.
Take flight back home!
Jilong Mountain is located in southeast Asia. Designed with outdoor education and sustainable development in mind, this school trip to China helps students develop skills outside of the classroom and learn through experience.
On your first full day at Jilong Mountain, students will hike, explore, and take part in an Outdoor Master Chef Cook-off Challenge and camp out overnight.
Students will take part in a community service activity in the morning and try wall rappelling and zip lining. After having dinner at a local restaurant, you will check into a local 4-star hotel.
On the last day of this school trip to China, you’ll wake up early to see some stunning streams and nature in an upstream hiking activity.
Shandong: Adventure in Mengshan & Yishui
This 4-day school trip to China brings you to Meng Mountain National Park (蒙山国家公园, mèng shān guó jiā gōng yuán) and Shandong’s (山东, shān dōng) Karst Caves (喀斯特洞穴, kā sī tè dòng xuè). Students will gain perspective on the world around them as they hike, participate in leadership activities, and garden with the local community.
On your first full day, you’ll be setting up camp and doing a self-cooking challenge with a selection of ingredients and cooking equipment. Students will work in teams to decide what to eat and will be responsible for cooking and washing up.
After breaking down the camp site the next morning and making sure you leave behind no trace, students will hike up the mountain and ride the toboggan and waterslide raft downhill through the forest! After lunch, students will take turns leading exciting games and reflect on respect and communication. In the late afternoon, you’ll transfer to Yishui County (沂水县, yí shuî xiàn) and check in to a hotel.
It’s time to explore the incredible Karst Caves and go rafting in them! You will also go zip lining before lunch. Afterward, you’ll transfer to butterfly valley to do an obstacle course and a community service project that involves working with a local environmental group. After sorting students into small groups, they will do some gardening work while interacting Yishui’s local community.
Book an outdoor adventure school trip to China with us!
No matter what your learning objectives are, we can help you tailor your students’ school trip to China to provide a well-rounded learning experience. China has so many locations for educational Camping in China, so all you have to do is tell us where you’d like to go! Our Academic Managers would be delighted to assist you. Be sure to check our Travel Advisory page for updates regarding traveling during the pandemic, or simply ask us. We are reachable by phone or email. You may also fill out an inquiry form directly on our website. We cannot wait to hear from you!
Sources: The Rise of Camping in China