Trip Reports

Home and away - late 2012

(by Kevin Elsby - Spoon-billed Sandpiper and more in Vietnam)

This occasional Birding World feature highlights interesting reports from Britain, Europe and beyond. To contribute to future editions of this column, please contact the editor. Photographs, illustrations and sketch maps are welcomed

Vietnam is a popular country to visit for many tourists from Britain, and it is now possible to fly direct to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) from London with Vietnamese Airlines. On a trip to Vietnam in November 2012, my wife and I travelled through much of the country, with the aim of seeing as many species of birds as possible. We arranged our itinerary with Wildtour, a travel company based in Saigon (, and our excellent main guide was Bao Nguyen. After arrival in Saigon, we took an internal flight to Da Nang, in the north, and from there we drove south over the next two and a half weeks, visiting many different environments, reserves and national parks, before finishing back in Saigon.

Report detail

John G Williams, USA, 2012



I had planned to write earlier, but have been quite busy since I returned from Cat Tien. I wanted you to know that I thought the trip was outstanding. Quang is a wonderful guide: friendly, engaging, compassionate about birds, has a birder's ears and eyes, and most importantly put up with me asking numerous times, "Now what's that bird" after I had already seen it. I also appreciated his views and insights about the country. When I get home, I will try to find one of the websites where people can write in and 'rate a trip'. I think other birders would particularly appreciate knowing about your company (you and Quang). Thanks again for your help in getting me set up for this and arranging the lodging when I arrived. If I come to Viet Nam again, my wife will surely want to come also, and I will definitely will contact you about another birding trip.


Amy Kirsher, USA - 2012

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Thank you very much for providing Ken and me (and also Mike) with such an excellent guide for our trip to Cat Tien. Quang is extremely knowledgable, obviously passionate about his profession, and very accommodating to his guests. He was tireless even along our lengthy drive to and from Cat Tien, pointing out sights and sharing insights and historical information along the way. His "eye" for identifying the birds at great distances and even in poor lighting was amazing. He generously shared his binoculars most of the time, since Ken and I were sharing a pair. We'll each have a pair for our next trip! Even though we have a bird feeder in our yard at home and have done a little birding, I am obviously a beginner. Quang was very patient with me, and I learned a lot from him. By the end of our time at Cat Tien, I was usually spotting the birds as he pointed them out. The trip was an inspiration to both of us to seek out birding classes back in our home town with the Audubon Society. Thank you also for assisting with the booking of our hotel reservations. I have kept your contact information and will recommend Quang and your company to friends who may come to Vietnam. We look forward to our next trip.

Best regards,

Amy and Ken