An audience with Asian elephants from inside Chiang Rai’s Jungle Bubbles

Checking in at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp’s bubble tent

Glamping takes a grand turn inside the elephants’ lair.

From afar, they look like large glass vases tilted sideward, reflecting the lights from the lamps hanging from the adjacent trees. Up close, there’s a king-sized bed tucked right in the middle of the crystal-like sphere. Two doors lead to a private living space -plush robes by the entrance to the en-suite showers. A bonafide nature watcher may nod approvingly upon these luxuries.

There’s imaginativeness into the two-tent campsite. For one, there’s the thought of living inside artisan bubbles–those nostalgic decorations grandmas keep at the top of their shelves, each containing a handcrafted sailboat or a tiny diorama.

The 22-metre indoor space boasts of everything a wildlife watcher needs inside the Golden Triangle Elephant Camp–an air-conditioned isolation that allows unobstructed gazes at the gigantic, tusked creatures; not being a distraction, just allowing nature to proceed as it should, bare and exposed to the eyes wide open with wonder.

There’s nothing tiny here: the setting gets more indulgent as the entire night sky takes centre stage for a bounty of stars sprinkled in the vast black. With lamps lit, the safari setting becomes wistfully romantic.

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort Jungle Bubbles at Dawn
Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort Jungle Bubbles at Dawn

Inside the elephants’ sphere: Jungle Bubbles, that’s what these two transparent tents are called. Perched on wooden decks, both facilities are custom designed by Eye In The Sky with high-tech polyester fabric. Other than the striking views of the lush woodland that is now a habitat to the elephants, the camp also affords glimpses of the legendary Mekong River and Ruak River.

Staying in the Jungle Bubble also means sleeping over at one of the suites of Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort. This optional outdoor activity is available in evenings until early morning, where one is brought back to the hotel for a festive breakfast.

The two Jungle Bubbles are available all year round and meant as an overnight experience. Rates start from 17,700 Thai Baht per night–this package is for two people and includes a scrumptious dinner-in-a-basket and a 24-hour in-room service.

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort Jungle Bubbles at Dusk
Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort Jungle Bubbles at Dusk

Nature is gratifyingly breath-taking, but it is rarely man’s best bed. Perhaps these Jungle Bubbles may be the next best thing to sleeping under the stars without throwing away creature comforts. ◼

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© This article was first published online in Jan 2020 – World Travel Magazine.

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