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Vietnam Birdwatching

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Birding in Vietnam
Overview | Bird Habitats | Endemic Bird Areas | Endemic Birds & Specialities | 16D Best of North & South Birding | 11D Best of Northern Vietnam Birding | 16D Best of Southern & Central Vietnam Birding | 21D Best of Vietnam Birding & Culture | 10D Endemics & Specialities of Southern Vietnam | 24D Grand Vietnam Birding

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    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 travellers 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 neighbouring 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 travelling birder.

    Vietnam has some great birding sites, many of which are protected within the country’s national park system. A few however, including some of the extremely important sites on the Dalat Plateau, are not within protected areas and the long term survival of these sites, their birds and associated fauna and flora is by no means guaranteed.

    Birding sites in the south of the country include areas of lowland evergreen and semi-evergreen forest at Cat Tien National Park, montane evergreen forests on the Dalat Plateau and natural grasslands, mangroves and mudflats in the Mekong Delta.

    The habitats in the central region vary from dry dipterocarp forest at Yok Don National Park to lowland and montane evergreen forest at Bach Ma National Park and Lo Xo and Mang Den and limestone forest at Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

    In northern Vietnam habitats range from coastal mangroves and mudflats at Xuan Thuy National Park in the Red River Delta, to lowland evergreen forest on limestone at Cuc Phuong National Park, lowland and montane evergreen forest at Tam Dao National Park and Ba Vi National Park and the upper montane and sub-alpine forests of Sapa.

    Located in mainland South-East Asia bordering Cambodia and Laos to the west, China to the north and the South China Sea to the east, Vietnam is a long thin strip of a country with over 3,000 kilometres of coastline.

    At each end of the country are densely populated fertile lowlands, the Red River Delta in the north and the Mekong Delta in the south, where much of the country’s rice is grown. These two deltas are connected by a narrow coastal plain behind which the Truong Son or Annamite mountain range runs virtually the whole length of the country.

    In the far north-west of the country are the Hoang Lien mountains and Vietnam’s highest peak, the 3,143 m high Mount Fan Si Pan, while further south the Kontum Plateau and Dalat Plateau form the Central Highlands. The Dalat Plateau is of special interest to birders being home to several endemic species and distinct subspecies of more widely-spread birds.

    Birding combination tours
    If you are not looking for a full-on birding tour or are travelling with a non-birding partner or friends, we can create a personalised tour for you combining the best of Vietnam’s birding with the best of its culture including historical sites, river cruises, ethnic minorities, cuisine, beaches, mountain retreats, spa resorts, cycling, in fact whatever you want.

    Birding & combination tours to Cambodia, Laos & Thailand
    We can also tailor birding and birding combination tours to Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Combine your Vietnam birding trip with an extension to Cambodia for the critically endangered Giant and White-shouldered Ibises and Bengal Florican and marvel at the magnificent Angkor Wat temples. Head to Laos to explore the peaceful mountain kingdom of Luang Prabang or search for the bizarre Bare-faced Bulbul in the limestone hills of southern Laos. Or extend your trip to include Thailand with its wonderful national parks and idyllic beaches.

    How fit do I need to be?
    Anybody with a reasonable level of fitness can enjoy birding in Vietnam but to get the most out your tour requires a modest amount of physical activity. There may be walks of up to 10 kilometres/6 miles on some days and temperatures will often climb to over 30° Celsius/90° Fahrenheit by the late morning. Birds in tropical climates are most active in the cooler periods of the day from dawn to mid-morning and from late afternoon to dusk so early starts are required to maximise our chances of finding our target birds.

    E N Q U I R E » Need more information about the Birding in Vietnam? Enquire with a Symbiosis travel specialist today.
    * NOTE. Prices indicated on this website are shown as a guideline only and may be subject to currency fluctuations, banking fees and other changes outside our control. Pricing information is available in other currencies.

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