Birding – Bird photography & Cultures in the Southern Vietnam and Cambodia

Combination of birding & cultural tours
Da Lat - Cat Tien - Mekong Delta - Phnom Penh - Kratie - Tmatbouy - Angkor - ATT - Prek Toal
20 days
Wildtour Standard

Sample itinerary

Day 1: Travel to Cat Tien natiobal park (L, D)

After an early start we will drive northwards towards the renowned Cat Tien National Park for first exploration of this superb National Park in the afternoon.

Overnight at the Cat Tien National Park HQ guesthouse (3 nights)

Day 2 & 3: Cat Tien national park (B, L, D)

The premier National Park in South Vietnam, Cat Tien is located in Cochinchina in the Da Lat foothills and boasts an impressive mosaic of forest and seasonal wetlands which largely escaped the defoliants used in the Vietnam War. We will bird by jeep track and forest trails to seek out the endemic Germain’s Peackock-Pheasant, other spectacular birds such as Siamese Fireback, Green Peafowl and Scaly-breasted Partridge, endemic Pittas, the endemic Grey-faced Tit-Babbler and a host of other species also known from Malaysia and Thailand.

Key species

Orange-necked Partridge, Germain's Peacock Pheasant, Siamese Fireback, Green Peafowl, Wreathed Hornbill, Blue-rumped and Bar-bellied Pittas, Pale-headed and Black-and-buff Woodpeckers, Black-and-red, Banded, Dusky Broadbill, Blyth’s Frogmouth, Grey-faced Tit Babbler

Day 4: Cat Tien – Di Linh (B, L, D)

We leave Cat Tien for the relatively short drive to Di Linh. Certain birds can be easier to locate here at the Nui San Pass than in Da Lat including Blue and Rusty-naped Pittas, Spotted Forktail, White-cheeked, Black-hooded and Orange-breasted Laughing-Thrushes, Vietnamese Cutia and “Black-headed” Parrotbill, a probable split from the more widespread Grey-headed

Overnight Bao Phu hotel, Di Linh (1 night)

Day 5: Di Linh – Da Lat (B, L, D)

After an early morning return to the Nui San pass (which will give us our first chance for the elusive Green Cochoa) we will drive up to the Langbian Plateau and the evocative hill resort of Da Lat. We will stop at any interesting patches of habitat en route and also see several attractive waterfalls. Da Lat is situated at a delightfully cool 1475 metres asl in a temperate region dotted with lakes and waterfalls and surrounded by forest including various native pine woodlands.

Overnight Hoang Anh Gia Lai Resort, Da Lat (3 nights)

Day 6 & 7: Da Lat (B, L, D)

We will explore the Da Lat Plateau including the 2169 metre Mt Langbian, cloaked with evergreen forest right up to its peak and accessed by a progressively steeper footpath. Our efforts should be rewarded however as this is the home of the spectacular endemic Collared Laughing-Thrush, as well as Yellow-billed Nuthatch and the Vietnamese forms of  Cutia, Rufous-winged (Black-crowned) Fulvetta and Black-throated (Grey-crowned) Tit which are sure fire bets for splitting before too long. The elusive and handsome Green Cochoa is also here and should be vocal at this time of year and a number of other Asian and wintering birds will also be encountered.

Nearer to Da Lat itself is Ta Nung Valley, famous for the relatively recently re-discovered Grey-crowned Crocias which is regularly encountered here. Other endemics such as Black-hooded and Orange-breasted Laughingthrushes and Vietnamese Greenfinch are also possible

Overnight Hoang Anh Gia Lai Resort, Da Lat

Key species

Bar-backed Partridge, Silver Pheasant, Red-vented Barbet, Black-browed Barbet (Annam Barbet), Red-headed Trogon, Long-tailed Broadbill, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Jerdon’s Baza, Rusty-naped Pitta, Blue Pitta, Burmese Shrike, Indochinese Green Magpie, Eurasian Jay, Slender-billed Oriole, Maroon Oriole, White-throated Rock Thrush, Green Cochoa, Rufous-browed Flycatcher, Blue-and-White Flycatcher, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Little Pied Flycatcher, Large Niltava, Lesser Shortwing, White-tailed Robin, Spotted Forktail, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Grey-crowned Tit, Grey-bellied Tesia, White-spectacled Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Black-hooded Laughingthrush, White-cheeked Laughingthrush, Orange-breasted Laughingthrush, Collared Laughingthrush, White-browed Scimitar Babbler, Streaked Wren Babbler, Eyebrowed Wren Babbler, Pygmy Wren Babbler, Rufous-capped Babbler, Vietnamese Cutia, Chestnut-fronted Shrike-Babbler, Da Lat Shrike-Babbler (split from White-browed), Blue-winged Minla, Black-crowned Fulvetta, Indochinese Fulvetta (low chance on this itinerary), Grey-crowned Crocias, Rufous-backed Sibia, Black-headed Sibia, Black-headed Parrotbill, Mrs Gould’s Sunbird, Streaked Spiderhunter, Vietnamese Greenfinch, Red Crossbill, Brown Bullfinch

Day 8: Fly Da Lat – Ho Chi Minh city (B, L, D)

We shall spend a few hours birding in the morning then fly to Ho Chi Minh city then drive to My Tho.

Afternoon will be spent for sight-seeing actives including visit local market, pagoda and walk along river side to see local living.

Overnight at Chuong Duong hotel (2 nights)          

Day 9: Spoon-billed Sandpiper (B, L, D)

Early morning start to Go Cong mud-flat where we aims to seek for Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Nordmann’s Greenshank and many other shorebirds. After that, we will drive to My Tho for  another night stay at Chuong Duong hotel

Day 10: Tram Chim national park (B, L, D)

After morning sight-seeing along river bank of mighty Mekong, we will head further south to Tram Chim national park, the RASAR site. Here we will have chance to see a lot of waterbirds as well as wintering Reed Warblers. Sarus Crane is one of the rare beautiful species that you may want to see most.

Overnight at Hoang Gia hotel, Tam Nong town (1 night)

Day 11: Tram Chim – Chau Doc

We spend the early morning in the park, then drive to Chau Doc city, a town on the Bassac river

Overnight at Victoria hotel (1 night)

Day 12: Chau Doc – Phnom Penh  by boat

An interesting boat trip upstream to Phnom Penh, you will enjoy like normal tourist’s way. City tour in the afternoon

Overnight at Himarawi hotel (1 night)

Day 13: Phnom Penh - Kratie

This morning will be spend for the new species Cambodian Tailorbird which found outskirt of Phnom Penh, later on we drive 5 hours to Kratie

Afternoon will be spending aboard small boats along the Mekong River to the north of Kratie (Kampi village) searching the small vegetated islands for the recently described Mekong Wagtail. An added attraction while searching for these birds is the small population of the critically endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin, which are resident in small numbers here, and we can hope to be entertained by several of these wonderful creatures. Other bird species could include the declining Grey-throated Sand Martin, Small Pratincole and Pied Kingfisher.

Overnight at Oudom Sambath hotel, Kratie city (1 night)

Day 14: Kratie – Tmatbouy

We might return to Kampi if necessary for any missing species. Later morning, we will drive to Preah Vihear, for about 5 hours we arrive into our comfortable guesthouse in the mid-afternoon in time for some late afternoon birding.

Overnight at Tmatboey ecolodge

Day 15 & 16: Tmatboey

During our a full day and one morning exploring the area surrounding Tmatboey we hope to see most target species. We walk through open forest in search of small waterholes, or ‘trapeangs’, which offer us the best chance of locating the near-mythical Giant and White-shouldered Ibises, which use these trapeangs to feed. In between visiting these waterholes good numbers of other species will be encountered, including an array of wintering passerines found in large feeding flocks. Up to sixteen species of woodpecker make this forest their home, including the spectacular Black-headed, gigantic Great Slaty and striking White-bellied. Other localised species here include Burmese Shrike, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Rufous-winged Buzzard, four species of prinia including the localised Brown Prinia, Blossom-headed, Red-breasted and Alexandrine Parakeets, Indochinese Cuckooshrike, Indochinese Bushlark, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Black-hooded Oriole and White-rumped Falcon. Night-birding is often productive; Spotted and Brown Wood Owls, Collared and Oriental Scops Owl, Brown Fish Owl and Spotted Owlet all being possible along with Savannah and Large-tailed Nightjars.

Overnight at Tmatboey ecolodge

Day 17: Tmatboey – Siem Reap

Spend our last morning birding at Tmatboey then drive to Siem Reap after lunch.

Overnight at Apsara Holiday hotel

Day 18: Ang Trapeang Thmor

Again, we start early morning for 2 hours drive to ATT, the wetland for Crane Conservation. Here will encounter number of waterbirds including Cotton Pigmy-goose, Lesser Whistling-duck, White-browed Crake, Bronze-winged and Pheasant-tailed Jacana and especially Sarus Crane as well as a chance for Black-necked Stork.

Overnight at Apsara Holiday hotel

Day 19: Angkor Temples

Today is not birding however we visit the amazing temples and ruins of Angkor Wat and surrounding historical and cultural attractions. There will be wildlife present at the sites.

Overnight at Apsara Holiday hotel

Day 20: Departure

Our tour ends after breakfast for flights home however if you have late flight today, two optional trips can be chose

A full-day trip to Tonle Sap lake

Prek Toal might be the best choice to kill time and end-up the trip, here is the only place in South-east Asia to see Greater Adjutant and Milky Stork. It is also number of Spot-billed Pelican, trio species of Cormorants, Black-headed Ibis and Grey-headed Fish-eagle

Half-day tour to see Bangal Florican

Leaving early morning, we visit grasslands along the perimeter of the huge Tonle Sap in search of Bengal Florican. Large numbers of wintering migrants make these grasslands their home, especially large numbers of Eastern Marsh and Pied Harriers, and we may find water-birds including Sarus Crane, Lesser Adjutant and Painted Stork.

Price is fully included:

  • Accommodation base on sharing 2 person/room, hotels are listed in itinerary
  • All meals and drinking water mentioned
  • Transportation by minibus/private car
  • Experienced birdguide
  • Entrance tickets to all sites
  • Local transfer by boat, jeep, truck…

Price is NOT including international airfare, personal items and optional tipping to driver and guide.