The camp that redefined luxuryUpdated: 2016-10-28
By Alywin Chew ( China Daily )
The beauty of this so-called luxury resort lies not in the fact that it is an astonishingly picturesque getaway location. [Alywin Chew/China Daily]
The best thing about camping in style, or glamping, at the Tibetan grasslands of Gansu province isn't just the scenery - it's the infectious passion and inspirational tales of those who reside there
Tucked away in the remote recesses of the Tibetan Plateau in Gansu province, Norden Camp exists in its own vacuum of serenity.
Apart from the occasional cooing of birds and the fluttering of their wings, the only constant sound that permeates this place is that of water sloshing in the small stream that runs through the compound.
From rolling hills to lush grasslands to the surreal canvas of resplendent stars above your head come nightfall, the scenes of what Mother Nature affords at this destination are, without question, spellbinding.
But the beauty of this so-called luxury resort lies not in the fact that it is an astonishingly picturesque getaway location.
Rather, the most poignant aspect of this sanctuary lies in something less visible and more visceral - the stories of the people within, which inherently help spawn new perspectives to life.
Opened in May 2014, Norden is the brainchild of Yidam Kyap, a former Tibetan nomad, and his wife Dechen Yeshi, a Tibetan-American, both of whom were eager to preserve the fast-fading nomadic culture and generate employment opportunities for local nomads via a travel destination that provides an authentic yet relatively luxurious travel experience.
The couple have certainly managed to achieve this, having conjured an immaculate blend where tradition meets modernity. Just like Tibetan nomads, guests can stay in yak hair tents, with the difference being that those in Norden are far more lavish - they come with coal heaters, wooden flooring, soft beds and yak wool blankets by Norlha, a textile brand helmed by Yeshi that has made its way to the shelves of luxury boutiques such as Hermes, Lanvin and Yves Saint Laurent.
Alternatively, travelers can stay in cozy cabins that come with their own en suite dry toilets. Shower areas, on the other hand, are located in two locations within the camp. Other amenities include a sauna, a beautifully constructed area for yoga and meditation, as well as a small boutique selling Norlha products.