Trip Reports

Central and South Viet Nam - March 2008

(by Björn Anderson - Phong Nha, Bach Ma, Lo Xo, Tan Phu, Cat Tien, Ta Nung and Mt Lang Bian)

This was a 1.5 week trip to some key sites in central and south Viet Nam. Having been to Viet Nam a few times before (e.g. the north and Da Lat), I was keen on cleaning up on certain key birds. Stig-Uno Svensson was also ready to set his first steps on Vietnamese ground. In order to arrange local logistics in the most efficient way, I contacted Nguyen Bao, one of the extremely few Vietnamese birders. Bao fortunately decided to also join us and just before the trip, the interest of a national TV channel was lso aroused. We were therefore a happy crew of seven people to go after those nice endemics (although on the trails the TV team kept their distance in order not to disturb the skulkers). All local arrangements worked out absolutely perfect and the time in the field was truly maximized.

All in all it was a very successful trip. We saw most of the target birds, heard a few of them (Crested Argus, Vietnam and Orange-necked Partridge) and missed completely only two (Red-collared Woodpecker and Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl). Favorite birds were Indochinese Wren-Babbler (former Short-tailed Scimitar-Babbler), Black-crowned Barwing, Blue-rumped Pitta, Germain’s Peacock Pheasant, Sooty Babbler, Pale-headed and Black-and-buff Woodpecker. We also encountered numerous endemic taxa, many of which are strikingly different from other taxa that they are currently included in. 

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Central & South Vietnam 2008

(Birders: Søren Bøgelund, Erik Danielsen, Jørgen Jensen and Michael Mosebo Jensen (text and photos))

The itinerary of this trip was limited to cover sites in the central part of Vietnam due to the risk of cold, mist and rain in the north in February. We never regretted this decision as there was plenty of work to do on the sites we had chosen combined with tales of exactly that kind of weather from two Australians we met, who had just arrived from the north. We had some rain at Lo Xo Pass at Kon Tum, and on our way down Mount Lang Bian we got soaked, but otherwise it was decent if a bit hot at noon in Cat Tien. Birds were never very numerous outside the reserves or national parks. Though hunting is prohibited by law there is little doubt that birds are either eaten or put into cages on a grand scale.

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Neville Crowther, Scotland February 2007


My wife and I accompanied by a couple of friends from Canada had a very successful birding trip to Vietnam in early 2007. We spent almost four weeks under Bao's supervision, travelling from Saigon northwards almost to the Chinese border. We stayed at all the major National parks and traveled by internal air flights and hired vehicles with local drivers. We found him to be a charming, intelligent and companiable leader with a excellent knowledge of natural history, particularly birds. I have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone needing his birding skills, local knowledge and organisational flair, which he needed to demonstrate in  full at the difficult time of  the Tet New Year festivities when much of the country had 'closed down'. At all times he was flexible in his itinerary to make the most of unexpected opportunities and had close contacts with local bird experts who accompanied us on several occasions.