Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Indochinese Green Magpie Cissa hypoleuca ©Andy Walker Website

Vietnam is a country at the eastern edge of mainland Southeast Asia, with an area of about 331,000 square kilometres (128,000 square miles) and a population of over 100 million, making it the world’s fifteenth-most populous country. Vietnam shares land borders with the Republic of China to the north, and Laos and Cambodia to the west. It shares maritime borders with Thailand through the Gulf of Thailand, and the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia through the South China Sea. Its capital is Hanoi (c.9 million people) and its largest city is Ho Chi Minh City, commonly referred to by its former name, Saigon, c.9.5 million people). The combined length of the country’s land boundaries is over 4,600 km (2,800 miles), and its coastline is c.3,400 km (2,100 miles) long. At its narrowest point in the central Quảng Bình Province, the country is as little as 50 kilometres (30 miles) across, though it widens to around 600 kilometres (370 miles) in the north.

Vietnam’s land is mostly hilly and densely forested, with level land covering no more than 20%. Mountains account for 40% of the country’s land area, and tropical forests cover around 40%. The Red River Delta in the north, a flat, roughly triangular region covering 15,000 km2 (5,800 square miles), is smaller but more intensely developed and more densely populated than the Mekong River Delta in the south. Once an inlet of the Gulf of Tonkin, it has been filled in over the millennia by riverine alluvial deposits. The delta, covering about 40,000 km2 (15,000 square miles), is a low-level plain no more than 3 metres (10 ft) above sea level at any point. It is criss-crossed by a maze of rivers and canals, which carry so much sediment that the delta advances 60 to 80 metres (200 to 260 ft) into the sea every year.

Southern Vietnam is divided into coastal lowlands, the mountains of the Annamite Range, and extensive forests. Comprising five relatively flat plateaus of basalt soil, the highlands account for 16% of the country’s arable land and 22% of its total forested land.The soil in much of the southern part of Vietnam is relatively low in nutrients as a result of intense cultivation. The northern part of the country consists mostly of highlands and the Red River Delta.  From north to south Vietnam, the country also has numerous islands; Phú Quốc is the largest. The Hang Sơn Đoòng Cave is considered the largest known cave passage in the world since its discovery in 2009. The Ba Bể Lake and Mekong River are the largest lake and longest river in the country.

Due to differences in latitude and the marked variety in topographical relief, Vietnam’s climate tends to vary considerably for each region. During the winter or dry season, extending roughly from November to April, the monsoon winds usually blow from the northeast along the Chinese coast and across the Gulf of Tonkin, picking up considerable moisture causing annual flooding. The temperature is generally higher in the plains than in the mountains, especially in southern Vietnam compared to the north. Temperatures vary less in the southern plains around Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, ranging from between 21 and 35 °C over the year. In Hanoi and the surrounding areas of the Red River Delta, the temperatures are much lower between 15 and 33 °C. Seasonal variations in the mountains, plateaus, and the northernmost areas are much more dramatic, with temperatures varying from 3 °C in December and January to 37 °C in July and August.  The country is also affected by tropical depressions, tropical storms and typhoons. Vietnam is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, with 55% of its population living in low-elevation coastal areas.

Vietnam possesses high level of biodiversity and is home to approximately 16% of the world’s species. 15,986 species of flora, of which 10% are endemic, 750 insects, 260 reptiles, and 120 amphibians, over 900 birds and 310 mammals many are endemic. Vietnam has two World Natural Heritage Sites and nine biosphere reserves, but wildlife poaching remains an issue.

Birding Vietnam

Golden-winged Laughingthrush ©Andy Walker

Regrettably, many people still associate Vietnam with war and hardship but it is a fast-developing country with mostly good infrastructure, extremely friendly people, and cheap to boot. Apart from the birding, Vietnam also has a very rich culture, a wide diversity of people, and great scenery, making it worthwhile to visit for both birders and non-birders alike.

Vietnam, being 1,600 km long, with over 3,000 km of coastline, has a wide variety of habitats and seasons. There is really no best time to visit Vietnam, although, from a birding point of view, winter is probably best for such specialties as Black-faced Spoonbill, Sarus Crane, and Spoon-billed Sandpiper, amongst others.

Although much of the forest that used to cover Vietnam has been destroyed, there is still excellent birding to be done here. However, due to excessive hunting, the best birding is confined to the numerous national parks in Vietnam. There are a number of tour operators who specialise in nature and birding trips, but the country can easily be explored independently. Although English is not much spoken outside the cities, patience, sign language and a good sense of humour will get you anywhere. With more than a dozen endemics, the largest number in mainland SE Asia, and over 900 species, Vietnam must rank as one of the prime countries in Asia for bird watching. Visiting Cat Tien, Da Lat, Bach Ma, Cuc Phuong, Xuan Thuy and Sapa during a 3-week trip should easily net 200+ species.

Vietnam is a very safe country to travel (apart from the traffic); with crime being primarily confined to pick-pocketing, especially in Saigon. One word of warning though: Parts of Vietnam were heavily bombed and mined during the wars, certain areas, especially along the old DMZ are still no-go areas. There is unexploded ordinance still, so stick to well-trodden paths in those regions.

Top Sites
  • Cat Tien National Park

    InformationSatellite View
    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 Park

    WebsiteSatellite View
    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 Plateau

    InformationSatellite View
    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.
  • Sapa

    InformationSatellite View
    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.
  • Xuan Thuy

    InformationSatellite View
    Visiting Xuan Thuy National Park, you will be surrounded by the eternal clear sky and immense natural landscape while watching the birds all flying around or looking for prey on the water
  • Hanno Stamm

    Sa Pa District, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam |

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 963

    (As at April 2024)
  • Number of endemics: 14

    Vietnam Partridge Arborophila merlini
    Vietnamese Pheasant Lophura hatinhensis
    Edwards's Pheasant Lophura edwardsi
    Dalat Shrike-babbler Pteruthius annamensis
    Dalat Bush Warbler Locustella idonea
    Black-crowned Fulvetta Schoeniparus klossi
    Pale-throated Wren-babbler Napothera pasquieri
    Vietnamese Cuti Cutia legalleni
    Orange-breasted Laughingthrush Garrulax annamensis
    Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush Garrulax konkakinhensis
    Golden-winged Laughingthrush Trochalopteron ngoclinhensis
    Collared Laughingthrush Trochalopteron yersini
    Grey-crowned Crocias Crocias langbianis
    Vietnamese Greenfinch Chloris monguilloti
  • Avibase - Bird Checklists of the World

    PDF Checklist
    This checklist includes all bird species found in Vietnam , based on the best information available at this time. It is based on a wide variety of sources that I collated over many years. I am pleased to offer these checklists as a service to birdwatchers.
  • Wikipedia

    Annotated List
    List of birds of Vietnam
Useful Reading

  • Birds of South-East Asia

    | By Craig Robson | Helm | 2018 | Edition 2 | Paperback | 544 pages, 120 plates with 3600+ colour illustrations; 3 b/w illustrations, 1 colour & 1 b/w map | ISBN: 9781472970404 Buy this book from
  • Birds of Vietnam

    | By Richard C Craik & Lê Quý Minh | Lynx Edicions | 2018 | Paperback | 400 pages, 1900+ colour illustrations, 870+ colour distribution maps | Out of Print | ISBN: 9788416728107 Buy this book from
  • Collins Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia

    | By Norman Arlott | William Collins | 2017 | Hardback | 432 pages, 178 plates with colour illustrations; colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780007429547 Buy this book from
  • The 125 Best Bird Watching Sites in Southeast Asia

    | Edited by Yong Ding Li & Low Bing Wen | John Beaufoy Books | Edition 2 | 2018 | 404 pages, colour photos, colour maps | ISBN: 9781912081523 Buy this book from
Festivals & Bird Fairs
  • Vietnam Bird Race

Museums & Universities
  • Bao tang Dong vat - Hanoi Zoological Museum

    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.
  • Birdlife International – Vietnam Programme

    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…

Abbreviations Key

  • BR Cần Giờ Mangrove Forest

    InformationSatellite View
    Dugong have been reported to occur seasonally in seagrass beds at the site, although these reports have not been confirmed. The intertidal mudflats and sandbanks at the biosphere reserve are an important habitat for migratory shorebirds.
  • EBA De Lat Plateau

    WebpageSatellite View
    This EBA includes the southern part of Vietnam's western highlands which lie within the country's Lam Dong province and adjacent parts of Dak Lak and (probably) Ninh Tuan provinces. Several of the mountains in this area rise to over 2,000. The restricted-range species are all found in tropical montane broadleaf evergreen forest, except for Carduelis monguilloti which is usually found in pine forest. The other three species which are confined to the EBA all appear to have restricted altitudinal ranges: Garrulax milleti occurs at relatively low altitudes up to 1,650.
  • NP Xuân Sơn

    InformationSatellite View
    Xuân Sơn National Park (Vietnamese: Vườn quốc gia Xuân Sơn) is a national park of Tân Sơn District, Phú Thọ Province, Vietnam. It was established on August 9, 1986 as a nature reserve, and it covers an area of 150.48 square kilometres. The park lies at the extreme south-eastern extent of the Hoang Lien Mountains, 45 kilometres south-west of the confluence of the Red River and Black Rivers.
  • NP Ba Bể

    InformationSatellite View
    Ba Bể National Park is a reserve in Bắc Kạn Province, Northeast region of Vietnam, set up to protect a freshwater lake (Ba Bể Lake) along with surrounding limestone and lowland evergreen forests. It is located about 240 kilometers northwest of the capital city Hanoi. It is the largest natural fresh water lake, stretching about 8 kilometers in the north-south direction. 233 bird species, 43 reptile and amphibian species among them the king cobra and the Vietnamese salamander (Paramesotriton deloustali), have been recorded. In Ba Be lake, 106 fish species from 61 genera, 17 families, and 5 orders have been recorded. The park is also noteworthy for its diversity in butterflies for which 354 species have been recorded.
  • NP Ba Vì

    InformationSatellite View
    The park is 10,815 ha (26,720 acres) in area, and is located in the Ba Vì mountain range. The park has rich and diverse tropical and subtropical species of flora and fauna.
  • NP Bach Ma

    InformationSatellite View
    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…
  • NP Bidoup Núi Bà

    InformationSatellite View
    Bidoup Núi Bà National Park Located in Lâm Đồng Province, Bidoup Núi Bà National Park covers an area of 64,800 hectares (160,000 acres) and was established in 2004. It is formed mostly of forest area, and is hemmed between two mountain ranges of the Bidoup and the Lang Bian. It is also well known for its richness of endemic species of flora and fauna. Of the 1468 species of plants, 62 are rare species spread under 29 plant families and recorded in the Red Book 2000 of Vietnam. It is a store house of 250 species of wild orchids. The list of rare animals includes 52 species. The grey-crowned crocias, black-hooded laughingthrush and collared laughingthrush are the commonly seen bird species in the park
  • NP Cat Tien

    InformationSatellite View
    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…
  • NP Cát Bà

    InformationSatellite View
    The Cát Bà langur, also known as the white-headed langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus) is resident within the park and is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a critically endangered primate; one of the rarest in the world.
  • NP Côn Đảo

    InformationSatellite View
    Located in Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu Province, Côn Đảo National Park is an archipelago of 16 islets covering an area of 19,998 hectares (49,420 acres). Forest and forestland cover 5,998 hectares (14,820 acres) and a biodiversity marine protected area covers the remaining 14,000 hectares (35,000 acres). The largest of the three islands is Côn Sơn. It was gazetted as a national park on 31 March 1993. Its coastal environment is famous for its scenic vistas and varied coral reefs. Fauna reported consist of 24 species of mammal, 69 species of bird and 42 species of reptiles and amphibians.
  • NP Cúc Phương

    InformationSatellite View
    Cúc Phương National Park is located in Ninh Bình Province, in Vietnam's Red River Delta. Cuc Phuong was Vietnam's first national park and is the country's largest nature reserve. The park is one of the most important sites for biodiversity in Vietnam. Bird species include bar-backed partridge, scaly-breasted partridge, silver pheasant, red junglefowl, grey peacock-pheasant, laughingthrushes, red-vented barbet, green-eared barbet, scimitar-billed babblers, brown hawk-owl, scarlet minivet, racket-tailed drongos, racket-tailed treepie, white-winged blue magpie. Migrant species include thrushes, flycatchers, tits, finches, pipits amongst others. Hornbills can also be spotted in the forest.
  • NP Hoàng Liên

    InformationSatellite View
    Hoàng Liên National Park was gazetted in 2002 to cover a total area of 29,845 hectares (73,750 acres) of special forests, in Lào Cai province, it includes the high mountain system of Hoang Lien Son range with its Fansipan peak (3,143 metres (10,312 ft)). There is a buffer area of 38,724 hectares (95,690 acres). About 2,000 species of plants including several red listed species) are reported. Ancient mushroom species are also noted in the high mountain areas bordering China. 66 species of mammals (including black gibbon and silver-cheeked langurs), 41 amphibians and 61 reptile species (includes the rare spike frog) and 347 species of birds.
  • NP IBA Chư Yang

    InformationSatellite View
    Chư Yang Sin National Park is located in Đắk Lắk Province, covers an area of 58,947 hectares (145,660 acres), which includes a range of high mountains in the northern part of the Southern Annamite Mountains. It is an Important Bird Area with grey-crowned crocias, which is endemic and also globally endangered.
  • NP Lò Gò-Xa Mát

    InformationSatellite View
  • NP Núi Chúa

    InformationSatellite View
    Núi Chúa National Park is a very special and unique area and is one of the priority areas for nature conservation in Vietnam. It is one of the few remaining sites in Southeast Asia where the coastal and marine habitats are still in relatively good condition, and it protects an impressive and largely intact biodiversity. It contains unique semi-arid vegetation and sea turtle nesting beaches, and is located on a promontory bordering a marine park with coral reefs. 72 mammal species and 181 bird species have been recorded in Núi Chúa National Park. The Park also supports a number of mammal and bird species of global conservation concern, including the Black-shanked Douc Pygathrix nigripes, Pygmy Loris Nycticebus pygmaeus, Asian Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Sun Bear (U. malayanus), Large-antlered Muntjac Muntiacus vuquangensis and Siamese Fireback Lophura diardi.[1] It is reported to have the highest known population of Black-shanked Douc in Vietnam.
  • NP Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng

    InformationSatellite View
    The park is home to over 200 bird species, inclusive of several rare birds such as: chestnut-necklaced partridge, red-collared woodpecker, brown hornbill, sooty babbler and short-tailed scimitar babbler.[30][47] There is good evidence for the Vietnamese pheasant (Lophura hatinhensis) and imperial pheasant (Lophura imperialis) species at Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng area.
  • NP Phú Quốc

    InformationSatellite View
    Phú Quốc National Park is a national park on Phú Quốc Island, in the Kiên Giang Province of Vietnam's Mekong Delta Region. This park includes land and sea area, protecting oceanic species such as dugong.
  • NP Pù Mát

    InformationSatellite View
    Pù Mát National Park lies in Nghệ An Province and has an area of 911 square kilometres (352 sq mi) (strict protected area of 895.17 square kilometres (345.63 sq mi), ecological recovery zone of 1,596 hectares (3,940 acres) at the middle of the larger Western Nghệ An Biosphere Reserve. With 241 mammal species, 137 bird species, 25 reptiles and 15 amphibians it is also known as "Vietnam's great museum of animal gene pool.
  • NP Tam Đảo

    InformationSatellite View
    22 species are endemic to North Vietnam including nine bird species, four reptiles, three amphibians and six species of insect; six are endemic to Vietnam (five bird species and one species of amphibian).
  • NP Vũ Quang

    InformationSatellite View
    This park contains biodiversity. Saola and Giant muntjac are species found in this park. Vũ Quang is a remote forested region of Vietnam, in which several new species of deer and antelope have been discovered since the 1990s. Some are so new that scientific description is still pending, although most have local names.
  • NP WII Xuân Thủy

    InformationSatellite View
    Xuân Thủy National Park is a part of the Hong River Biosphere Reserve in Nam Định Province. The park was the first wetland area to be announced a Ramsar site in south-east Asia and is internationally significant as a migratory bird habitat. Xuân Thủy National Park is a staging and wintering area for shorebirds, gulls and waterfowl in the coastal zone of the Red River Delta. The National Park is a living space for 250 species of birds (150 migratory and 50 water bird species) from 41 families and 13 orders. 9 species are designated as endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species for example the spoon-billed sandpiper and Nordmann's greenshank.[8] 65- 75 black-faced spoonbill – who were chosen to be the symbol of Xuân Thủy National Park - are seen in the migratory season. The total number of black-faced spoonbill in the world are about 1000, it shows that 5% of the whole population of the species are living in Xuân Thủy National Park during the winter season. The park also provides a habitat for other rare animal species.
  • NP Yok Đôn

    InformationSatellite View
    The vegetation at Yok Don National Park is dominated by a mosaic of deciduous forest and semi-evergreen (mixed deciduous) forest, with smaller areas of evergreen forest, particularly on hills and along watercourses; one of the most biodiverse forest in Vietnam. This park is an important site for the conservation of globally endangered species such as Indochinese tiger, Indochinese leopard, Indian elephant and gaur.
  • NR Phuoc Buu

    InformationSatellite View
    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.
  • NR Pù Luông

    InformationSatellite View
    The reserve is located along two parallel mountain ridges, that run from north-west to south-east, and are divided by a central valley, which contains several human settlements and a large agricultural land area, therefore, is not included within the nature reserve. Pù Luông is endowed with great biodiversity, its flora and fauna is closely associated with the Cúc Phương National Park 25 km south-east.
  • RAMSAR Wetlands

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Viet Nam currently has 9 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 120,549 hectares.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • AnNam Birding

    Tour Operator
    Vietnam birding tours
  • Vietnam Birding

    Tour Operator
    Welcome to Vietnam Birding, the specialist for individually-tailored custom birdwatching tours and escorted small group birdwatching tours to Vietnam
  • WildBirdEco

    Our tour service has run the business for 15 years. We are also well known to local media as Thailand
Trip Reports
  • 2015 [03 March] - James Eaton

    PDF Report
    This comprehensive tour of Vietnam targeted almost all of the countries endemics and near-endemics, andincredibly, we saw every single one of them amongst a total 358 species recorded on the tour.
  • 2015 [03 March] - Tom Wheatley - Mang Den, Kontum Province

    ...I am an amateur birdwatcher who has birded extensively in South East Asia and this document should be treated as such. This is was not a professional survey, I did not band or handle any birds. I relied on my binoculars, camera, my ear and Craig Robson's field guide.
  • 2015 [09 September] - Dominic Le Croissette - Dalat

    The endemic-rich Dalat Plateau is a great place for a few days birding, with the three key sites all within 20 minutes drive of the town center. I first visited in 2006, when I was new to south-east Asian birding, and made only a single outing to Lang Bian mountain – predictably seeing only a small selection of the available birds. Nine years later, a bit more time, more skill and experience, and a more targeted approach produced sightings of the majority of the area’s endemics and special birds among a healthy total of 106 species.
  • 2016 [02 February] - Dominic Le Croissette - South and Central Vietnam

    In mid January, I had a great opportunity to revisit southern Vietnam for the second time in less than four months. My friend Yann Muzika had arranged an 11-day birding and photography tour of the Dalat Plateau and central Annam, with well-regarded guide Duc Tien Bui – did I want to join them in return for a very reasonable contribution towards the costs? With a tempting menu of target birds on offer, including some highly sought-after Laughingthrushes, and the chance to connect with one or two Dalat endemics that I missed last time around, it was an easy decision to make.
  • 2016 [10 October] - Florian Klingel

    ...Black Drongos were moving southwards continuously and many Sparrowhawks (probably Chinese) with them. We had spent a lot of time to look for waders, so not that much time was left to search the island for resting passerines, and we had no really spectacular sightings. Still good though, with Siberian Rubythroats, Siberian Blue Robins, a Red-flanked Blue-tail, Eastern Crowned Leaf Warbler and other Phylloscopus Warblers, several Chestnut-winged Cuckoos. We also flushed a Red-legged or Slaty-legged Crake but could not see the legs unfortunately.....
  • 2016 [12 December] - Dave Stejskal

    ...Among the targets we were able to track down here were Red-vented Barbet, Red-collared Woodpecker, Pied Falconet, White-winged Magpie, Limestone Leaf Warbler, Gray-cheeked Warbler, White-tailed Flycatcher, Fujian Niltava, Rufous-tailed Robin, Limestone Wren-Babbler, Rufous-throated and Black-browed fulvettas, Gray-backed and Japanese thrushes, Chinese Blackbird, Fork-tailed Sunbird, and even an immature male Green Cochoa for some at Bong Substation!....
  • 2017 [04 April] - János Oláh

    PDF Report
    Birdquest was the pioneer birdwatching company to take birders to Vietnam and ever since we have returned regularly to this amazing country! Indochina has many endemics and an additional wide range of special birds. Vietnam hosts a fairly large number of birds found nowhere else, and it is amazing how much more we see nowadays on the tour compared to the lists of 1990’s.
  • 2017 [04 April] - János Oláh - Expedition

    PDF Report
    Following the Birdquest regular tour to Vietnam we offered an expedition this year to try and locate some rare birds which are new to Birdquest and at the same time get some information how some of these birds could be integrated to our main tour or make it a regular extension.
  • 2017 [11 November] - Dave Stejskal

    among many highlights, was that wonderful pair of Black-crowned Barwings en route to Mang Den. I had my doubts that we would ever find this one on that day, but it all worked out beautifully in the end! Mang Den produced some other quality endemics for us, notably the recently-described Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush and the dapper Gray-crowned Crocias, both of which were seen very well indeed. The Dalat/Di Linh area was our other endemic species center, where we added Vietnamese Greenfinch, Dalat Shrike-Babbler, Black-headed Parrotbill, Collared Laughingthrush, Vietnamese Cutia, and Black-crowned Fulvetta.
  • 2018 [03 March] - Craig Robson

    PDF Report
    2018 brought the most comprehensive itinerary since our first pioneering tour here in 1991, and one thing is for sure, we see a hell of a lot more these days. In the lowlands of Cochinchina, at Cat Tien National Park, we enjoyed such mouth-watering specialities as Orange-necked Partridge, Germain’s Peacock-Pheasant, Green Peafowl, Blyth’s Frogmouth, Blue-rumped and Bar-bellied Pittas...
  • 2018 [04 April] - James Eaton

    PDF Report
    This comprehensive tour of Vietnam targeted almost all of the countries endemics and near-endemics, and we saw nearly every single one of them, with a total 382 species recorded on the tour. Starting in the hot and humid south, with Bar-bellied and Blue-rumped Pittas, Germain’s Peacock Pheasant and a haul of woodpeckers, we quickly pulled in all the Dalat endemics including spectacular views of all the laughingthrushes and Grey-crowned Crocias, with a bonus Blue Pitta. We then worked our way north...
  • 2019 [04 March] - James Eaton

    PDF Report
    This comprehensive tour of Vietnam targeted almost all of the countries endemics and near-endemics, and we saw nearly every single one of them, with a total 383 species recorded on the tour. Starting in the hot and humid south, with Orange-necked Partridge, Bar-bellied Pitta, Germain’s Peacock Pheasant, Green Peafowl and a haul of woodpeckers, we quickly pulled in all the Dalat endemics including spectacular views of all the laughingthrushes and Grey-crowned Crocias, with bonus Blue Pitta and Hodgson’s Frogmouth.
  • 2020 [02 February] - Ken Behrens

    PDF Report
    Vietnam is one of Asia’s biologically richest countries. Unfortunately, it’s also famous as a place that is over-hunted and over-trapped, and heavily populated, making the wildlife viewing quite difficult.
  • 2020 [04 March] - Mike Nelson

    PDF Report
    Vietnam has is one of Asia’s premier birding destinations with many endemics and near endemics spread across a wealth of habitats. Our comprehensive tour covers most of these but sadly we had to cut this year’s tour short with the spread of the Covid-19 Virus. With most of the country suddenly shut down, and travel restrictions imposed literally overnight, including parks and hotels, it left us no option but to call time on this amazing birding destination, but not before we’d racked up an impressive list of some of Vietnam’s most sought-after birds. These included such gems as Bar-bellied, Blue-rumped and Blue Pitta, Collared and Orange-breasted Laughingthrush, Rufous-throated and Bar-backed Partridge, Siamese Fireback, Vietnamese Cutia and Greenfinch, Grey-crowned Crocias, Annam Prinia and Indochinese Wren-Babbler to name a few.
  • 2022 [04 April] - Jan van der Laan

    PDF Report
    ... First birds were Spotted Dove, Dalat Shrike-babbler (the first endemic!), Kloss’s Leaf Warbler, Indian Cuckoo, Mountain Bulbul, Necklaced Barbet, Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler, Green-backed Tit and Blackthroated Bushtit. We heard a Blue Pitta and Collared Laughingthrush and had bad views of a Blackheaded Parrotbill. We arrived at the hide just before nine, so I became a little bit nervous...
  • 2023 [02 February] - Marc Cronje

    During the tour the temperature ranged from 9ºC to 31ºC. We recorded 13 mammal species, over 250 species of birds and 8 species of reptiles. The species mentioned in the daily summaries are only some of those seen.
  • 2024 [03 March] - Andrew Walker

    PDF Report
    We recorded 297 bird species (12 heard only) during the tour, the trip list follows the report. The tour highlights included a long list of endemic and near-endemic birds. Some of the non-passerine highlights included Germain’s Peacock-Pheasant, Green Peafowl, Siamese Fireback, Slatylegged Crake, Great Eared Nightjar, Hodgson’s Hawk-Cuckoo, Ashy-headed Green Pigeon, Orange-breasted Green Pigeon, Silver-backed Needletail, Black-tailed Gull, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Banded Kingfisher, Red-vented Barbet, Indochinese Barbet, Necklaced Barbet, Black-and-buff Woodpecker, Collared Falconet, and Red-breasted Parakeet.
Places to Stay
  • Hotel Sofitel Metropole Hanoi

    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
  • Pu Luong Eco Garden

  • Topas Ecolodge

    Sapa is a popular tourist destination in northern Vietnam and a natural starting point for those discovering the unique mountainous area, including the Hoang Lien Son mountain range and Mt Fansipan – Indochina’s highest peak at 3,143m.
Other Links
  • Birds of South East Asia

    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…
  • Birds of Vietnam

    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
  • Birds of Vietnam

    While its avifauna of just in excess of 900 species is rather overshadowed numerically by some of its near neighbours, especially China and Thailand, ten of these are found nowhere else on Earth and another 27 are almost endemic to the country. Among these are several species new to science discovered at the end of the 20th century, like Chestnut-eared and Golden-winged Laughingthrushes
  • Vietnam Birds

    Vietnam is an avian paradise that should be on the bucket list of any bird enthusiast! Boasting the highest number of endemic species on the Southeast Asian mainland, including 19 Endemic species and 39 nearly exclusive species, Vietnam is a treasure trove of bird diversity. It’s also home to several distinct subspecies, adding to the country’s allure for birdwatchers. In recent years, Vietnam has become a popular destination for birders from all over the world, making it a must-visit location for those interested in exploring the region’s birdlife.

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