Vietnam Bird Watching

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Day 1: Arrival Ho Chi Minh City
Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City and transfer for hotel check - in. The rest of the day is free for leisure. (D)

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City - Cat Tien
Drive to Cat Tien National Park, 170km from Ho Chi Minh City in Dong Nai Province. Once off Highway One, the road passes through large areas of rubber plantations before branching off to the national park. Check in to park guest house on arrival and the driver and car return to Ho Chi Minh City. An incredible diversity of birds and mammals live in the forest and wetland habitats of Cat Tien, including an estimated 230 species of birds. Endangered birds that can be found here include Germains Peacock-Pheasant, Green Peafowl and the very elusive Orange-necked Partridge. Mammals that can sometimes be seen include wild boar, Samba Deer, the rare Black-shanked Duoc Langur, Yellow-cheeked and Crested Gibbon. The afternoon is free for birding along the road or trails. (B)

Day 3: Cat Tien
A full day of birding along the road and forest trails of Cat Tien. A jeep can be hired at the park headquarters to visit areas further afield such as Bird Lake to look for visiting waders or Crocodile Lake where Green Peafowl, Lesser Adjutant and Purple Heron may be seen. During the walk through the forest to Crocodile Lake look out for Bar-bellied and Blue-rumped Pitta, Red and Black and Banded Broadbill and Orange-breasted Trogon amongst others. (B)

Day 4: Cat Tien
Another full day to enjoy the rich bird life of Cat Tien. Species to look out for include Woolly-necked Stork, Siamese Fireback, Scaly-breasted Partridge, Bar-bellied Pitta, Blue-rumped Pitta, Grey-faced Tit-Babbler, Great Slaty Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker and Heart-spotted Woodpecker.(B )

Day 5: Cat Tien-Da Lat
A final morning of birding along the trails or perhaps the headquarters road where Green-eared, Blue-eared, Lineated, and if you are lucky, Red-vented Barbet, can often be seen perched high up in the roadside trees. Check out of the park guest house and meet up with the driver before leaving for the 150km drive to Da Lat. It is a scenic drive through tea and coffee plantations to the cooler climes of the former colonial hill station. Transfer to hotel on arrival in Da Lat. The driver and car are available for transferring to birding sites around Da Lat over the next three days. (B)

Day 6: Da Lat
A full day of birding at Mount Lang Bian where the evergreen forests are home to many interesting species including some endemics. Key species to be found at Mount Lang Bian include Silver Pheasant, Indochinese Cuckooshrike, Eurasian Jay, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Cutia and Red Crossbill. This is also the place to see two of Vietnam’s sought after endemics, the Collared Laughingthrush and the Vietnamese Greenfinch. Mount Lang Bian is best avoided at weekends and holidays when it is a very popular destination for local tourists. (B) (OVERNIGHT IN DA LAT)

Day 7: Da Lat
Tuyen Lam Lake, only 3km from the centre of town, is Da Lat’s other hotspot for birders. Take a boat to far side of the lake where a track leads through the pines to areas of remnant tropical evergreen forest. The rare and endemic Grey-crowned Crocias was re-discovered here a few years ago after not being seen for nearly 60 years. Other interesting species possible here include Slender-billed Oriole, Maroon Oriole, Rufous-backed Sibia, Black-hooded and White-cheeked Laughingthrush.(B )

Day 8: Da Lat
The Ta Nung Valley, around 15km from Da Lat, holds a few pockets of remnant evergreen forest where many of the Da Lat specialities can still be found including Grey-crowned Crocias, Black-hooded and White-cheeked Laughiingthrush, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Blue-winged Minla and Black-throated Sunbird.(B)

Day 9: Da Lat-Ho Chi Minh City
Transfer by road the 300km back to Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival in Ho Chi Minh City transfer to hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure in Ho Chi Minh City.(B)

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City - Hue - Bach Ma
An early transfer to the airport to catch the flight to Hue in central Vietnam. On arrival at Hue Airport follows the coast for 45km south down Highway One before turning inland on the road that leads to Bach Ma National Park, 20km away. On arrival the driver and car return to Hue and transfer by park vehicle to the summit guest house. The road from the park entrance to the park guesthouse near the summit is very scenic with sweeping vistas of undisturbed rainforest and the coastal plain. The park accommodation is in renovated colonial villas and the ruins of once grand holiday homes and hotels are scattered along the trails from this point up to the summit. There are many good trails for birders and for non-birders alike with several waterfalls and small lakes. (B)

Day 11: Bach Ma
Bach Ma National Park is a very well-run operation and knowledgeable park guides can be hired if required. Over 330 species of bird have been recorded at Bach Ma and specialities include the Annam Partridge, Crested Argus, Coral-billed Ground-Cuckoo, Blyth’s Kingfisher, Ratchet-tailed Treepie and Sultan Tit. (B)

Day 12: Bach Ma
Another full day to explore the trails of Bach Ma. Other desirable species include Bar-bellied and Blue-rumped Pitta, Red-collared Woodpecker and White-winged Magpie. (B)

Day 13: Bach Ma-Hue-Hanoi-Tam Dao
There is time for some early morning birding before meeting up with the driver and transferring to Hue Airport for the lunchtime flight to Hanoi. On arrival in Hanoi transfer directly to Tam Dao, a hill station an hour and a half by road from the airport. Transfer to hotel on arrival in Tam Dao. The driver and car return to Hanoi.(B)

Day 14: Tam Dao
There are several good trails in the hills above the town, the Water Tank Trail and the Radio Transmitter Trail in particular are normally quite productive. Species to look out for here include the Grey Laughingthrush, Chestnut Bulbul, Black-chinned Yuhina and Fork-tailed Sunbird.(B) (OVERNIGHT IN TAM DAO)

Day 15: Tam Dao
Another full day to explore the forest above Tam Dao. Winter visitors that are possible here include Black-breasted Thrush, Japanese Thrush and Fujian Niltava.(B)

Day 16: Tam Dao-Hanoi-Cuc Phuong
Time for some early morning birding before meeting up with the driver and transferring by road to Hanoi and continuing on to Cuc Phuong National Park, three hours south of the capital. The driver and car return to Hanoi. (B)

Day 17: Cuc Phuong
The first national park to be established in Vietnam, Cuc Phuong is an area of limestone hills covered with large tracts of primeval rainforest. Key bird species here include Grey Peacock-Pheasant, Bar-bellied, Blue-rumped and Eared Pitta, White-winged Magpie, Limestone Wren-Babbler, Fujian Niltava and Pied Falconet. (B)

Day 18: Cuc Phuong
A full day’s birding on the trails of Cuc Phuong. The birding is good at Cuc Phuong with over 300 species recorded in the park. endangered mammals such as Indochinese Tiger, Clouded Leopard and the rare Delacour Langur also inhabit the forests of Cuc Phuong though they are seldom seen. Other possible bird species include Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl, Ruddy Kingfisher, Silver-breasted Broadbill and White-tailed Flycatcher.(B)

Day 19: Cuc Phuong - Hanoi - Depart Hanoi
A final morning of birding before meeting up with the driver and heading back to Hanoi in the afternoon and transfer to Noi Bai Airport for departure flight. (B)

Note : The intinerary above can be changed at the time of booking


  • Cat Tien national park in the south.
  • Bach Ma national park in central.
  • Ba Vi national park in the north.
  • Touring mixture between bird watching and sightseeing that must - see in each destination.


Trip includes:

  • English speaking guides.
  • Domestic flights with airport taxes
  • All accommodation twin share & daily breakfast . (B : Breakfast ; L : Lunch ; D : Dinner )
  • All meal as indicated on itinerary
  • All private transfers & transport
  • All entrance fees & permits during guided time

Trip excludes:  

  • International airfares & airport taxes.
  • Visa & visa arrangements
  • Travel insurance
  • Meal not indicated on itinerary
  • Other personal expenses
  • Tips & gratuities

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