Vietnam has shaken off its association with war and its booming economy has allowed outsiders to visit and enjoy its beautiful scenery, delicious food, culture and, of course, its amazing birds. Vietnam has more endemic bird species than any other mainland Southeast Asian country and is the best place to see a large number of regional specialities. This short tour concentrates on Southern Vietnam and takes us to all of the premier birding sites in the area at a time of year when birds are starting to breed and should be more detectable than at other times. By visiting lowland broad-leaved forest, grasslands, wetland, pine woodland and high altitude semi-deciduous forest we will see a wide variety and number of species in a short space of time on this tour.
Starting the tour in the capital, Ho Chi Minh City, our birding commences in the forests of Cat Tien National Park where we have an excellent chance of finding two of the star birds in Bar-bellied and Blue-rumped Pittas at this time of year. In this fabulous area of forest we will also search for Germain’s Peacock Pheasant, Orange-breasted Partridge and Siamese Fireback. After spending several days at Cat Tien we will begin our journey northwards to the Dalat plateau where some of Vietnam’s beautiful, but difficult-to-see Laughingthrushes can be found – Orange-breasted, Black-hooded and White-cheeked Laughingthrushes will be high on our target list here. High altitude birding in this area contains an excellent prospect of finding specialities such as Vietnamese Cutia, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Vietnamese Greenfinch and the stunning Collared Laughingthrush. By spending our time between just a few of the best birding sites we hope to locate a very high proportion of the key birds at an optimal time of the year.