Pitching Your Tent in China- Tips, Tricks, and Hot Destinations

So you’re looking to pitch a tent in China? Excellent! The incredible landscapes and lovely weather that’s known through different parts of the country makes it one of the best places to truly enjoy a camping trip into the wild of nature.

Any questions? We’ll do our best to answer them all below.

Camping at night

Is Camping Legal in China?

This is a tricky question to answer because of the confusing nature of Chinese laws. Technically yes, but also technically no.

[Create Your Own China Tour]

Without a straightforward law to adhere to, police will not normally give you any problems, especially as you are a foreigner and can easily admit that you didn’t know (because no one really knows). Just be friendly, and you’ll be fine. Also, avoid places where you’ll be easily seen or near big cities, as this is just asking for trouble.

Is it Safe to Camp in China?

Although this is a very relative question, the answer has to be yes. It is at the very least as safe to camp in China as it would be in other parts of the world. If you are concerned about the conditions and being on your own in the wild, then you can hire a guide to help you.

When Should I Plan My Camping Trip?

As weather obviously plays a huge factor in camping, it’s important to consider what the weather will be like at certain points during the year. Although this will vary depending on where you are (and especially the altitude), on average spring and fall would be the optimal times to plan a camping trip in China. At these times the weather is not so extreme as in winter and summer, although in spring you may have to deal with rains.

Where Should I Set up Camp?

The variations of landscape and weather in China are somewhat extreme, depending on where you go. In fact, you could be ranging from the desert to the tropics, to grasslands and meadows.  All of this within the same country! In the southern part of China, the temperatures are generally a bit more even throughout the year, although rainfall is significant in the spring and early summer.  Heading further south-west, there is less rain.

Guilin landscape

Guilin landscape

The Guilin province is a very beautiful area, with landscapes that will take your breath away.  The Yunnan province is also home to some lovely natural scenes and mountains. In Xinjiang, you will be able to see gorgeous lakes and peaceful grasslands.

In general, it is good to avoid large cities, as mentioned above. It does not take a lot of effort to get out of sight when setting up your camp. Obviously, there are no designated areas with running water and bathrooms, like in other countries. So set up wherever you feel is right, or ask a nearby local where a good place would be.  

What Do I Need to Bring?

Bringing your own camping equipment is probably a good idea since it is unlikely you’ll be able to rent. Although you can buy equipment in China, to save the expense it’s better to bring your own. Also, make sure that you have enough food and water. As we mentioned before, you will be completely on your own in the wild, so you don’t want to arrive and realize that you’re missing something.


Make a checklist of everything you will need, but try to keep it relatively light. Remember: less is more in this case – the lighter you travel, the better, especially when camping. This will help you when you’re heading to your destination, but will also ensure that you have everything you need.

Camping on the Great Wall

This is an experience that is never to be forgotten. Camping on the Great Wall of China is an incredible way to truly get involved in this amazing structure. Pack your tent, some excellent food, a guitar and go for it! If you are too scared to do it by yourself, ask fellow travellers from hostels or local people to join you. Everyone will love this idea, for sure! The watch towers make a perfect place to set up your tent, and some of them still have a roof over them for extra protection.

Camping on the Great Wall

Source: Nomadasaurus

As you can see, pitching your tent in China can be a real adventure as long as you do it right! If you have been thinking of exploring the Land of Dragons in this way, don’t wait and go for it!

Do you have any other questions?

Ask in the comments below!

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Cez Krol

Travel blogger at eTramping
Cez lives in China like a local for the past 4 years. Apart from speaking the language, he loves to discover more about this unique country of extreme contrasts. He shares his China experiences here at Sublime China and on his blog eTramping, so go and check out what's out there for you in China.
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