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Cat Tien National ParkInformation
Cat Tien National Park is one of the top birding spots in Vietnam, but enough has been written about it elsewhere to need mention here, anyone making the trip to Da Lat should visit Cat Tien en route.
Cuc Phuong National ParkWebsite
This National Park was established in 1962, making it the first National Park in Vietnam. Only 120km South-West of Hanoi, it can be reached in less than three hours. The main entrance is accessible with public transport; the best place to stay though is Bong substation, a further 16km into the park. Try and avoid weekends, as it can get very busy and noisy, Cuc Phuong is a popular day trip for school classes out of Hanoi. With 307 species of birds counted so far, you should plan at least a couple of night's stay. Silver Pheasant are easy to see on the road between the main gate and the substation. Other birds of note are Pied Falconet, Red-collared Woodpecker, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Blue-rumped and Bar-bellied Pittas (common on the trails around the substation); and Limestone Wren-Babbler in the valley to the Silver-cloudy Top.
Da Lat PlateauInformation
One of the three Endemic Bird Areas identified by BirdLife International in Vietnam, the plateau is home to such endemics and near-endemics as Collared Laughingthrush, Vietnamese Greenfinch, and Grey-crowned Crocias. The best places to bird are Tuyen Lam Lake, close to the town of Da Lat, and Mount Lang Bien. Once again, accommodation is plentiful, Da Lat is a must with newly-wed Vietnamese, and transportation can easily be arranged locally. About 300km from Saigon the road trip takes about 5-6 hours, and there are daily flights.
Located in the far North-west of Vietnam, near the Chinese border, Sapa is located close to Mount Fan Si Pan (the highest peak in SE Asia at 3,142 meters) and the Hoang Lien Nature Reserve. The location and altitude mean seeing birds that will be hard to see elsewhere in Vietnam. Sapa can easily be reached from Hanoi by night train, there is plenty of accommodation in all price ranges, and excursions can easily be organized locally. Ham Rong Botanical Garden in Sapa is well worth checking out early in the morning for Blue Whistling Thrush, Blue and Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, Flycatchers, Bulbuls and Parrotbills. The road between the Silver Waterfall and the Pass of Clouds a few kilometers out of Sapa makes for some excellent birding, the only place in Vietnam where Little Forktail has regularly been seen.
Tra Su Cajuput ForestInformation
This is a privately owned Mangrove Forest about one hours drive from Chau Doc, near the Cambodian Border. Whilst commercially used, the enormous heronry at the core is protected. It can only be reached by boat, arrangements can be made at the entrance (be ready for herons expelling various body fluids on you). The heronry holds hundreds, if not thousands, of Little Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Black-crowned Night Herons and Javan Pond Herons. Darters are also common, as are Lesser Whistling-ducks and Spot-billed Ducks.
This is the Red River Delta, about 120km South-East of Hanoi. A Ramsar site, it is best visited in winter for specialties like Black-faced Spoonbill, Nordman's Greenshank, Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Saunder's Gull. A word of advice: not only is Xuan Thuy extremely hard to find if you don't speak Vietnamese, it is also inside a military area, as I found out in person, the soldiers are very suspicious of birders, loaded with optics, that have not made prior arrangements. It is advisable to make prior arrangements for a permit and accommodation through, for example, the BirdLife International office in Hanoi. Accommodation is just more than basic, the food is horrible, and the boat trip to the mud flats (a must) a real rip-off, but the quality of birds more than makes up for it.
Number of bird species: 826
Number of endemics: 10
Orange-necked Partridge Arborophila davidi Annam Partridge Arborophila merlini Imperial Pheasant Lophura imperialis Edwards's Pheasant Lophura edwardsi Vietnam Fireback Lophura hatinhensis Germain's Peacock-Pheasant Polyplectron germaini Black-hooded Laughingthrush Garrulax milleti Collared Laughingthrush Garrulax yersini Grey-crowned Crocias Crocias langbianis Vietnam Greenfinch Carduelis monguilloti
* Field Guides & Bird SongFor a comprehensive list of recommended titles covering Asia as a whole - please see the Asia page of Fatbirder
A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East AsiaCraig Robson Hardcover - 504 pages ( 1 February, 2000) New Holland Publishers (UK)
Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birds of South Vietnamby Philip Wildash - Kodansha Europe
Buy this book from NHBS.com
Checklist of the Birds of VietnamVo Quy and Nguyen Cu 119 pages, map. Vietnam National University Distributed by NHBS 1995
Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birdlife International – Vietnam ProgrammeWebsite
BirdLife International in Indochina website covers our activities in Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam. You can read about our recent work and the updated news by visting our latest newsletter The Babbler...
National University of Hanoi Zoological Museumhttp://coombs.anu.edu.au/~vern/hnu-zoo-mus.html
The museum contains about 1000 large mammal, 3000 bird, over 400 fish, over 650 snake and some turtle specimens. Many specimens, including a mounted collection, date from the French colonial period.
Bach Ma National ParkWebsite
The 330 species of birds that have been observed in the park represent over one-third of the species found in Vietnam. There are seven species of pheasants, including the rare endemic Edward's pheasant Lophura edwardsi. Historically this species was very common in the forests along the foot of the mountain but was already considered to become extinct by the 1940s. More than 50 years later, it was rediscovered in the park and has become one of the symbols of Bach Ma National Park...
Binh Chau - Phuoc Buu ReserveInformation
Although established in 1986, Binh Chau - Phuoc Buu Reserve is relatively unknown. This low, sandy, coastal wetland forest - seems almost like scrub bushland - but it is in fact a valuable link in Vietnam's network of natural forests and wetlands. The Reserve has no tourist facilities. It is serviced only by a dirt road.
Cat Tien National ParkInformation
This park covers 74,000 Hectares of lowland forest and swamp and is home to numerous birds and mammals. One of Vietnams most important and largest National Parks. Supported by the WWF, projects include surveying the small population of Javan rhinoceros, that still exist in the area the last remaining population on main land. Other mammals include Elephant, Gaur and tiger. Many birds can be found, including such specialities as Germain's Peacock Pheasant, Bar-bellied Pitta and the rare endemic Orange-necked Partridge...
Ha Long BayInformation PDF
Results from preliminary surveys indicate the presence of about 1,000 fish species. Mammals, reptiles and birds are found on the islands, especially the earth type...
Viet Nam presently has 1 site designated as a Wetland of International Importance, with a surface area of 12,000 hectares...
2004 [December] - Hanno Stamm - Cuc Phuong and Xuan ThuyReport
...The idea was to see some key species (White-winged Magpie and Pittas in Cuc Phuong, Black-faced Spoonbill in Xuan Thuy)...
2004 [January] - Greg RobertsReport
...We had excellent weather throughout this trip, with no rain at all and just one day lost to fog at Sapa. The trip was arranged through Nguyen Van Viet email@example.com...
2004 [January] - Thaïs & Howard ArmstrongReport
...Bar-bellied Pitta 3 m, 2 f, heard 22; Blue-rumped Pitta 1 excellent & 3 poor views. Silver Pheasant 1m; Red-vented Barbet 2 seen, many heard; Grey-eye Bulbul 7; Japanese Thrush common...
2005 [April] - Hanno StammReport
...However, a little bit further on, Richard heard the prize bird. We hunkered down, and it didn't take long at all until we had our next endemic: three absolutely, stunningly beautiful, Collared Laughingthrushes!! For all I cared, we could have turned around right there and then, I was such a happy camper, but a mountain had to be climbed...
2006 [December] - Chris BradshawReport
This was the first Birdwatching Breaks tour to Vietnam. We visited the southern half of the country visiting the wonderful Cat Tien National Park, various sites on the Da Lat plateau and finally Bach Ma National Park in Central Annam. The weather was generally hot and humid, although some breezy days and overcast conditions clearly made things hard going at times. We were lucky to miss Typhoon Durian that made landfall at Saigon, just 150km away from where we were in Cat Tien. Having caused considerable damage and taken some lives around Saigon, we can consider ourselves very lucky to have just had an afternoon birding only marginally compromised by breezy conditions. However, Typhoon Utor threatened to make landfall near Bach Ma and the rain associated with this weather system disrupted our birding and necessitated our departure a day early...
2006 [December] - Gary & Marlene BabicReport
...We also started to see some interesting birds, including a flock of Ashy-throated Parrotbills, two Little Buntings, one Daurian Redstart and an active flock of Black-headed Greenfinches. An interesting location was scrubland behind the ostrich pens. However, overall the birding was slow, and we only saw a total of 17 species while in Sapa...
2006 [February] - Craig RobsonReport
Undoubtedly, the highlight of the tenth Birdquest to Vietnam was our experience with four Orange-necked Partridges at Cat Tien National Park, as we huddled motionless inside some shady mixed forest. This strikingly-patterned Arborophila has only been seen well by a handful of people since its rediscovery in 1991, after an ‘absence’ of some 64 years! Once again, we recorded a high number of endemics, near-endemics, and diamond birds amongst our grand total of almost 400 species...
2006 [March] - Henk HendriksReport
From 25 February to 24 March 2006 I made a birding trip to Vietnam in the company of my brother Frans. We decided to spend 2 weeks in the south and another 2 weeks in the north, including a visit to Sapa, an old French hill station, close to the Chinese border, which would gave us another set of species...
2007 [April] - David DiskinReport
The following report details a recent visit to southern Vietnam from Hong Kong where I currently live. My aim was threefold: to seek out the endemic and near-endemic species that occur in Cochinchina and South Annam; to look for the five regular species of pitta that are possible in the region; and to do some general tropical-forest birding...
2008 [April] - Lim Kim SengReport
...Also present were a Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike and our only pair of White-browed Shrike-babblers of the trip. As the waterfall area was closed for the day, we left the amusement park and headed for a side trail that took us down an area of pines. These were the native Da Lat Pine Pinus kesiya. We got good looks of Barred Cuckoo-dove and also saw Verditer Flycatcher...
2009 [December] - John van der WoudeReport
This was a combined trip to Peninsular Malaysia and South Annam, Vietnam. We had booked a cheap flight Amsterdam - Kuala Lumpur and first spent a few days at Fraser's Hill in Malaysia, to get used to the birds in this Oriental region again...
2009 [January] - Trevor HardakerReport
[Follow the link to Trip Reports] ....e had about 1,5 hours left before it got dark and headed off down the road leading past our house. Very quickly we were adding new birds to our list including Asian Brown Flycatcher, Arctic Warbler, Indian Roller, Greater Racquet-tailed and Ashy Drongos, Green Imperial Pigeon, Ashy Woodswallow, White-crested Laughingthrush and Green-eared Barbet, as well as our first mammals in the country, Long-tailed Macaques...
2010 [March] - Hans MatheveReport
...A full day was spent near the bamboo covered hills in the Dac Lua area, about 16 KM from the HQ. Here we hoped to see the Orange-necked Partridge which we unfortunately only heard. There were no real trails and we just tried to enter the bamboo wherever possible. There is also a pool (almost dried out when we were there) which might hold some water birds. Again we were dropped off and picked up by a pre arranged vehicle....
2010 [May] - Hanno StammReport
Two years ago, Richard Craik of Vietnam Birding, Le Quy Minh from the Bach Ma National Park, my wife Ha and I went to the Central Highlands to look for a little-known species, Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush and failed miserably; in particular as we had no tape to lure it out. Since then, there is a recording from Clide Carter. Richard passed this recording on to Simon Mahood and Dave Edwards and, armed with this, they had no problem seeing the Laughingthrushes...
2012 [February] - John Clark & Tim DoranPDF Report
2013 [April] - Sam WoodsReport PDF
2013 [March] - Chris Bradshaw - Cambodian & VietnamReport
...In Vietnam we began with a visit to Cat Tien where we had some amazing encounters with Bar-bellied and Blue-rumped Pittas, obtained great views of Siamese Fireback, Siberian Blue Robin, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Black-and-red and Dusky Broadbills, enjoyed some demure Swinhoe’s Minivets and saw a host of other species that included Green Peafowl, Banded Kingfisher, Black-and-buff Woodpecker, Violet Cuckoo, Golden-crested Myna and Grey-faced Tit-babbler. Mammals included the rare Black-shanked Duc Langur, Long-tailed and Pig-tailed Macaques. In the highlands we found most of the important species and enjoyed some of the best views I have ever had of both Collared and Orange-breasted Laughingthrushes. We had multiple encounters with Grey-crowned Crocias, Vietnamese Greenfinches, Annam Barbets and Black-crowned Parrotbills whilst other highlights included Rufous-backed and Black-headed Sibias, Lesser Shortwing, Grey-bellied Tesia, Rufous-browed and Snowy-browed Flycatchers, White-tailed Robin, Eyebrowed Thrush and Raddes Warbler....
2013 [March] - Richard Knapton - Cambodian & VietnamReport PDF
...many raptors from Black Eagle to Black Baza, incredible sunbirds including just awesome Black-throated and Mrs. Gould’s, Vietnamese Cutias and Gray-crowned Crocias, stunning views of four species of bee-eaters, the many barbets and broadbills (those Black-and-red!!) and woodpeckers – especially those Great Slaty Woodpeckers and the fabulous White-browed Piculet – everyone’s favourite!, and a plethora of kingfishers, woodpeckers, malkohas, trogons, minivets, leafbirds, babblers and laughingthrushes, spiderhunters, flowerpeckers, and mammals including macaques, langurs, mongooses, squirrels and Muntjac and Sambar deer!...
Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area...
Birdwatching VietnamTour Operator
Established in 2001, Wildtour Co., Ltd is the first professional birdtours organizer in Vietnam. We are young, enthusiastic, experience birders who specially arrange and guide professional birding tours as well as wildlife watching tours for individual or small group to all national parks and forests in Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia and Thailand….
Green Trail ToursTour Operator
Welcome to Green Trail Tours… and to our team of professionals. As a boutique tour operator we specialise in designing fully customised, privately guided trips. Last year we provided services for over 11,000 satisfied clients from around the world…
HG TravelTour Operator
Threeland TravelTour Operator
Threeland offers spectacular bird watching tours in Xuan Thuy national park – The Ramsar site and a wildlife adventure in Cuc Phuong, unique by its system of limestone mountains...
Vietnam BirdingTour Operator
Welcome to Vietnam Birding, the specialist for individually-tailored custom birdwatching tours and escorted small group birdwatching tours to Vietnam...
Wild Tour VietnamTour Operator
Figures for the total number of bird species recorded in the country range around 870 species. The high bird species richness in Vietnam can be attributed to the wide latitudinal and elevational variation present within the country, which has led to the development of a wide range of habitat types...
Hotel Sofitel Metropole HanoiAccommodation
About half of Cat Ba island (which has a total area of 354-sq. km) and 90-sq. km of the adjacent inshore water was declared a National Park in 1986 in order to protect the island's diverse ecosystems. More than 20 species of mammals, 69 species of birds and 20 species of reptiles and amphibians can be found in the National Park...
Birds of VietnamWebsite
What's so great about a list of bird names? After all, the names that men give are just a pale reflection of the birds themselves. Well, bird-lovers may rejoice in biodiversity, but in matters linguistic they tend to use common or garden English as a lowest common denominator. So, in the interest of 'lingua-diversity', here it is: a list of bird species of Vietnam, with names in Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Malay, Indonesian, and French....
Welcome to Birdwatching Vietnam, the birding guides team of Wildtour Company who are researching birding condition in Vietnam and specially arrange for individually birding tour as well as escorted small group birdwatching and wildlife exploring tour...
Checklist - Birds of VietnamChecklist
Hanno's Birding PagesWebsite
Admittedly, my main interest is birding. However, even the non-birder should find plenty of interest here, as I try to give information on as many aspects of my trips as I can...
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This site was last updated on Monday, 2nd December 2013.
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