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Birdwatching in Vietnam

Vietnam, a country that for a generation was associated with suffering, has risen phoenix-like from the ashes of war to become one of Asia’s dynamic rising tigers. Vietnam’s economy is booming and travelers from around the world are discovering its ancient culture, picturesque countryside, deserted beaches, delicious cuisine and its friendly, smiling people. But what may come as the real surprise to many birders is that Vietnam has the highest number of endemic bird species on mainland South-East Asia.

There are currently twelve species of bird that are found only in Vietnam, though this figure is liable to change at any time as taxonomic changes are made and species are 'split'. In addition to these twelve endemics there are many more near endemics, bird species restricted to Vietnam and a few neighboring countries. Since the 1990s the number of birders discovering Vietnam has risen steadily and its unique and exotic avifauna of over 850 species make it an enticing destination for the traveling birder.

Tour I
7 day birdwatching tour to Vietnam.


Day 1 - Hanoi, Van Long Nature Reserved, Cuc Phuong.
07:00 bird leader pick you up at your hotel. Check out after breakfast, transfer 5 hr. to Cuc Phuong. lunch on the way. Take a stopping off on the way for Van Long wetland protected area (1 hour maybe more) then continue to Cuc Phuong National Park. Arrive there in the afternoon and then birding around in the afternoon.
Meals: L - Overnight Hotel National Park (air-con, hot shower, free WiFi).

"Sultan Tit"

Day 2 and 3 - Cuc Phuong.
Two full days to bird different trails in the park center.
Meals: B/L. Overnight: Hotel National Park.

"Collared Owlet"

Day 4 -Cuc Phuong, Tam Dao.
Meeting together at the Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport, then drive to Tam Dao (1,5 hour driving). Meals: B/L. Overnight: Mela Hotel in Tam Dao (free WiFi).

"Fork-tailed Sunbird"

Day 5 - Tam Dao.
All day bird watching in side park.
Meals: B/L. Overnight: Mela Hotel.

"Bar-barred Pitta"

Day 6 -Tam Dao, Ba Be.
After breakfast transfer 7 hr. to Ba Be, Lunch on the way, arrive on late afternoon and then take a boat trip to watching White-eared Night-Heron.
Meals: B/L. Overnight: Guest House national park (air-con., hot shower).
Day 7 - Ba Be, Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport.
Few hours birding trip on boat in early morning, then transfer 6 hr. back to check out to Noi Bai Airport.
Meals: B/L.

Meals: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner.

7 Days tour price is:
2 pax US$1134 per person double room. 4 pax US$700 per person double room.

US$235 single supplement.

Due to currency fluctuations and fuel cost we reserve the right to adjust any pricing prior to departure.

Convert your tour cost into your currency of choice.

Local Bird Leader English speaking with Telescope. Vehicle with fuel. Boat trip at BB. Meals and refreshment as indicated. Field equipment bird photography: hide, mew worm. Park entrance fees. Travel insurance. Accommodations base share twin bed room.
Sightseeing temple, museum. Souvenirs. Massage. Any kind alcoholic beverages. Telephone calls. Laundry. Extra bed in room. Extra night
The above birding itineraries are based on what are essentially popular routes for birders. It can be shortened or extended.
Things to bring: Light walking boots or sports shoes. Long or short trousers and long-sleeved shirt. Mosquito repellent, hat, lotion sunblock.
To check availability for tours on short notice, fill out “Request for Quote” form with desirable dates.
Tour pace & walking: Moderate.
Habitats Covered: Broadleaved evergreen forest, wet land, rice field, mountain/pine/bamboo forest, 1,200 MSL, lake.
Accommodation: Comfortable hotel.
Photographic Opportunities: October – April is excellent.
Excellent Month & Climate: October – April - 10-25 C. Fairly Month & Climate: May - September - 25-32 C.

Should you only need a guide for a day please send a message    
Birding guide Bui Duc Tien, your local Birdingpal guide
Was Born in Ninh Binh Province 17/6/1972. Living with family in Cuc Phuong National Park, my wife is a Park's staff cook, who will serve you every meals during the time you birding here. We have 2 sons. I've been a bird guide in Cuc Phuong since 1998. I am a full time birdwatching guide covering all of Vietnam. I studied for management and protection of forest resource, so I also know about trees and plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. I've have started bird photograph tours in Cuc Phuong, Da Lat and Cat Tien. I know good spots for bird photography, so that I can take care you on birdwatching and/or bird photography tours.


Tien, Thanks again for a wonderful birding trip to Cuc Phuong. I'm sorry for all the time you had to spend searching for trogons and pittas! I was very happy with everything I was able to see. After you left, I got wonderful views of a Pied Falconet very close along that side road, and also of a Racket-tailed Treepie, so I ended up with good looks at both treepie species. We also had good luck with the jacanas - I attach one of the best photos. There was also a young grebe in the same area with an interesting head pattern - almost like a finfoot. I attach a photo for your possible interest. As we left, a large dark duck flew over, headed toward the Van Long reserve area. Definitely a duck, not a cormorant. All I could make out was overall dark color, no contrasting patterns. Perhaps a whistling-duck, but it seemed heavier-bodied. A mystery! Thanks again. If I am ever able to return to Vietnam, I will certainly book another birding trip with you. I hope that will happen! Pepper, July 2013
Wow! That is brilliant Tien. Was it hard to see? I do want to come back to Vietnam to see more primates with you. Do you mind if I add the picture to my blog to tell people? Happy new year to you - I hope everything is going well for you. Jon, January 2013
Dear Mr. Bui Duc Tien, Thanks again for guiding me so proficiently! It has been a great trip so far, and I have learned a lot. Yours very truly, Gary. June 2012

Some facts about Vietnam.
Vietnam is a long distance country from the north to the south, in the east side close to Laos and Cambodia, the west side is a gulf of Tonkin, the central of country have Annamite mountain range is a mountain range of eastern Indochina, which extends approximately 1,100 km (680 mi) through Laos, Vietnam, and a small area in northeast Cambodia. The highest points of the range are 2,819 m high Phou Bia, for here is a home of endemic species.
Vietnam recorded 891 species. There are now considered to be twelve true Vietnamese endemics if we count species found only in Vietnam. Two species, Imperial Pheasant and Vietnamese Pheasant are no longer considered true species. Imperial Pheasant is now thought to be an Edwards’s x Silver Pheasant hybrid and is considered an invalid taxon by BirdLife International. Vietnamese Pheasant is most likely just a form of Edwards's Pheasant. The twelve endemic species are Annam Partridge, Edwards’s Pheasant Lophura edwardsi, Orange-breasted Laughingthrush, Collared Laughingthrush, Golden-winged Laughingthrush, Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush, White-throated Wren Babbler, Pale-throated Wren Babbler, Vietnamese Cutia, Black-crowned Fulvetta, Grey-crowned Crocias, Vietnamese Greenfinch.

More facts about Vietnam.

Guide books and CD's recommended:

A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand and South-East Asia - Craig Robson
A Photographic Guide to Birds of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos by Peter Davidson
A Birds of South Vietnam - Philip Wildash, Kodansha Europe
A Photographic Guide to Mammals of Thailand & South-East Asia – Charles M.Francis

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