Songtsam, an award winning collection of boutique luxury Hotels, Resorts & Destination Management Company in the Tibet & Yunnan Provinces of China, announced the official opening of Songtsam Glamping Palpa, its first glamping property in Tibet.
Located in Baiba Village, approximately 13,989 ft above sea level, situated on the Niyang River in Nyingchi, the glamping property provides guests with a luxury outdoor camping experience, where they are surrounded by snow-capped mountains, forests and pastures.
Glamping has evolved and is still trending to the point where guests can stay in these luxury tents in some of the world’s most remote locations, such as Tibet, without having to give up comfort, safety, or even good amenities.
Baiba Village has only 37 households in the entire village. Now, the conical tents of Songtsam Glamping Palpa, extending from the earth like mushrooms, blend into the surrounding village like a “38th household.”
Songtsam Glamping Palpa Accommodations
Songtsam Glamping Palpa has 30 accommodation tents, 4 dining tents and 1 public leisure tent. All tents in the camp are made of Tentipi, the top outdoor brand in Nordic. Tentipi tents have a unique patented ventilation design which features an opening and closing of the top ventilation cap that can also be adjusted according to the weather conditions, the wind resistant level can reach to level 9.
Aurum33, a Swedish made tent, stands for “a room like gold”; 33 means that the internal area of the tent can reach 33m² (approx. 355ft²), which ensures that guests never feel constrained inside.
Each tent is equipped with an outdoor table and two outdoor chairs on the balcony outside the tent, a private bathroom, 24 hours of continuous hot water, an exquisite copper wash basin, and the toilet not only automatically flushes, but also has heating and other functions.
Luxury is about attention to the details as reflected in Songtsam’s Glamping experience. Each tent is also equipped with a camping night light on the bedside table, a B&O portable Bluetooth speaker, multiple charging sockets, textured brass switches, matcha-colored soft leather sofas, Lhasa handmade wool carpets, and cozy bedding.
The four dining tents in Songtsam Glamping Palpa are the first four S72 (Stratus 72) tents in all of China. The S72 can accommodate up to 72 people dining at the same time. When the S72 is stretched open, it looks like a witch hat, earning the nickname “witch hat”. The “witch hat” is known for its flexibility, allowing several tents to be set up together. The dishes served by the restaurant are all freshly prepared locally Tibetan ingredients including: fresh yak meat, tender and delicious, served with wild bamboo shoots and spices and local wild agera leaves; the steaming yak meat hot pot warms the heart and stomach; the yak meat sashimi is smooth and melts in the mouth.
The camp also provides free afternoon tea, and welcomes guests to sit under a hawthorn tree, while tasting well-paired snacks and refreshments.
Songtsam Glamping Palpa – Adventure and Outdoor Activities
Songtsam Glamping Palpa has unique natural conditions and provides rich soil for adventurous outdoor activities.
Most of the villagers living in Baiba Village are Gongbu Tibetans. Guests are able to learn how to shoot a Gongbu sound arrow, and experience the daily life of “Gongbu people”, which has lasted for thousands of years.
In Tibet, horses are the locals’ inseparable companions. Under the guidance of professional coaches, guests can learn how to saddle and mount a horse, step by step. After proficiency in these steps, guests can also try the “Forest Ride” and explore the secrets depths of the Tibetan forest. About a 10 minute walk from Songtsam Glamping Palpa, guests will reach a flat river valley pasture where cattle graze leisurely. At dusk, guests may even encounter herdsmen milking cows.
In the coming months, more outdoor activities will be available at Songtsam Glamping Palpa, including the construction of a via ferrata (a protected climbing route), which will be the first via ferrata experience in Tibet. Other outdoor adventures soon to be added will include: rock climbing, ziplines, rafting, mountain biking, and off-road motorcycles.
The “Wangguo Festival” – Celebrating the Local Harvest
The opening of the Songtsam Glamping Palpa coincided with the annual Wangguo Festival, the local village harvest festival.
In Tibetan, “Wangguo Festival” means “the day of turning circles on the edge of the field”. During this celebration, villagers dress in the most solemn Gongbu Tibetan attire, hold high flags, highland barley, wheat ears and other crops, while carrying scriptures on their backs, praying for a good harvest to come to the earth repeatedly.
Sustainability: Songtsam’s Economic Contribution to Baiba Village
The Palpa Glamping site adheres to Songtsam’s principles of sustainability and eco-friendly tourism. Songtsam currently employs 16 of the 178 local villagers. Songtsam’s local employees often greet guests wearing the unique national costume “Guoxiu” of the Gongbu area and perform traditional Gongbu dances. As Songtsam’s Palpa Glamping expands its outdoor projects and activities, more villagers will be hired to join the Songtsam family.
Tuo Qing, the local village store manager, said “The income of local employees used to be mostly seasonal, from farming and grazing, to digging caterpillar fungus. The presence of Songtsam not only provides local villagers with a stable income, but also professional training skills.”
Songtsam has also pledged to distribute 200 yuan (approximately $28 USD) from the income of each tent per night to Baiba village for the further development and construction of the village.