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Where To Watch Birds In Thailand
Birdwatching Sites In Thailand
Beautiful scenery, good food, low prices, friendly people and warm weather all make Thailand a very popular destination for millions of holiday makers every year. With over one thousand bird species, many of which are fantastically colored, Thailand is also a wonderful place for bird watchers; both beginners and for dedicated ornithologists. Although much deforestation has taken place, Thailand still retains a large number of protected national parks and wildlife sanctuaries which protect habitats as diverse as offshore islands, rain forest and wetlands.
This page provides some basic information on some of the best locations and habitats in which to watch birds in Thailand; there are also many links to more detailed information.
Let Us Know If You Have Ever Been Bird Watching In Thailand
Have you been birdwatching in Thailand before?
A Field Guide To The Birds Of Thailand By Craig Robson
This is the most up to date English language field guide for the birds of this country. Unfortunately this book is a little out of date with many additions having been made to the Thai list, but until it is updated this is what you need. Make sure you get this version of the book and not the dreadful Princeton Press issue with its many confusing misprints and missing pages.
Bird Watching Locations In Central Thailand & Bangkok
Most visitors begin their journey in the capital city: Bangkok. A number of great places for observing birds exist within the city and a short journey from the city.
1. Khok Kham: This region of salt farms is about 1 hour west of the city centre and is famous for its shorebirds including annual sightings of the endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper.
2. Lumphini Park: Right in the center of the city this park offers birders a chance to see a number of the more common species.
3. Bang Poo: About forty five minutes from the center of Bangkok this coastal site is home to the largest congregation of wintering gulls in the country.
4. Bang Pra: This wetland site consists of a freshwater lake, reedbeds and woodland. A lovely place for walking, it is home to Rufous Treepie, Rain Quail (pictured) and Ospreys. Only about one hour east of Bangkok, this is a nice day out.
5. Bueng Boraphet: One of the most important wetland areas in southeast Asia with huge flocks of wildfowl in winter. Take a relaxing boat ride here and view masses of jacanas, egrets, storks and other waterbirds, it will be a memorable experience.
6. Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale: Laem Pak Bia and Pak Thale is one of the premier waterbird sites in Asia, if not the world. Situated together, a little over two hours from Bangkok, birds such as Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Nordmann's Greenshank, Malaysian Plover and Great Knot are high on many birders' list of targets.
Great Birdwatching Locations In The North Of Thailand
7. Chiang Saen: Nestled next to the Mekong River a number of wetlands around this small town are fantastic places for finding new species - the most recent being Chiffchaff.
8. Doi Ang Kang: Right upon the border with Myanmar, this mountain has some nice places to stay and pretty patches of forest among hilltribe agriculture. Crested Finchbill, Rufous-faced Liocichla and Spot-breasted Parrotbill are all regular.
9. Mae Hia Agricultural College: Just a stone's throw from Chiang Mai and sits at the foot of Doi Suthep National Park. Mae Hia is an excellent place to see open country species like Indochinese Bushlark and Burmese Shrike.
10. Doi Inthanon: The summit of the nation's highest mountain is one of the birdiest places in the whole country. Plenty of other spots on the mountain have beautiful forest and great birds such Large Niltava, Black-throated Parrotbill and Silver-eared Mesia.
11. Doi Lang: Possibly the best site in the north with miles of quiet road for birding along the Myanmar border. Species such as Black-throated Tit, Giant Nuthatch and Mountain Bamboo Partridge aren't bad either.
The Best Bird Watching Locations In Southern Thailand
In the south of Thailand some remnants of lowland rain forest host some memorable bird species, but finding them can be really tough.
12. Khao Nor Chu Chi: This small area of lowland forest is home to the fabulous Gurney's Pitta, a highly endangered species. A number of walking trails go through the remaining habitat but birding can be so very slow here.
13. Hala-Bala: A fantastic example of lowland rain forest, the many species of Hornbill that can be seen here is testament to the quality of the habitat. Unfortunately it is far too dangerous to visit this location due to political instability.
14. Krabi Mangroves: A boat trip into the mangrove forest here is a memorable experience and frequently amazing birds such as Brown-winged Kingfisher and Mangrove Pitta are found.
15. Krung Ching Waterfall: Several kilometres of trail leading to the waterfall pass through some excellent forest and there are some great birds to be found here; Malaysian Rail Babbler, Green Broadbill and Banded Pitta should whet your appetite.
Some More Great Locations For Bird Watching In Thailand
Great places for finding birds are located in many parts of the country, however, there are a couple more sites that are frequently visited by birders and all of them have some fantastic areas of forest.
16. Khao Yai: Many walking trails offer visitors a wonderful opportunity to enter the forest and Great, Wreathed, Brown and Oriental Pied Hornbills are seen by many visitors.
17. Kaeng Krachan: Kaeng Krachan is home to some of the most fabulous bird species in the country. Asian Fairy Bluebird is common and Hornbills, Pittas, Kingfishers and Woodpeckers all add color to any trip.
18. Khao Soi Dao: Khao Soi Dao is one of the most accessible places to find a number of bird species confined to the south eastern region. Roughly 5 hours from Bangkok this is a prime site for Blue-rumped Pitta, Eastern Green Magpie and many other great birds.
A Few Helpful Links For Those Who Want To Know More
- Thailand Bird Watching Locations Map
Detailed information on birding locations throughout the country, including key species, travel details and facilities.
- Johan Svensson's Photo Gallery of Thai birds
A beautiful collection of photographs of some of the Kingdom's amazing birds, featuring over 350 species.
- Alex Vargas's Photo Gallery of Thai birds
A wonderful gallery of many of the fantastic birds found throughout the country, including many that are really difficult to see.
- Bird Conservation Society of Thailand
The Birdlife International partner in Thailand.
- Thailand Birding
The Thai section of my blog, Dartford Waffler, includes photos, commentary and sightings.
- Checklist of the Birds of Thailand
The latest checklist as issued by the Thai records committee; this can be downloaded, with accompanying notes, for free.
A Selection Of Great Gifts That Bird Lovers Will Appreciate
Sometimes buying gifts for Christmas, birthdays or as a thank you can be really difficult. However, buying gifts for bird lovers is really easy, particularly those bird lovers with a garden, as a new bird feeder, bird table or other device designed to attract birds is always welcome. When you include bird books, bird DVDs and all the other bird-related products that exist, buying gifts for bird lovers can be made really easy indeed - there is just so much to choose from.
Use A Guidebook To Get Around Without Getting Confused
This newest version of an old classic has more information on national parks and wildlife issues than before. The maps and directions are essential and the language tips can help visitors enjoy trying the Thai language.
This is an excellent and informative alternative to the Lonely Planet guide. Detailed text in this book gives visitors a real insight into the country and this book covers a wide range of subjects better than many other guides.
Five Things That Make Thailand A Great Place To Visit
Five Reasons To Visit Thailand
Thailand is a great country to visit or to live in. The relaxed pace of life and low cost of living make it both a pleasant place to be and a cheap one. Here I will highlight just 5 things that make it a great place.
5 Great Things About Thailand