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Day trip from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (1 Viewer)

dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
We are doing a cultural trip to Vietnam and Cambodia next month, I promised this is not a birding one but hopefully some incidental birding around temples etc but we have a few days in Hanoi at the end and a day in Ho Chi Minh City at the start where I could fit some thing in. Any recommendations on sites?

Thanks

David
 

dalat

...
Hanoi itself is good during migration season, but Feb is still a bit early for that, so better head out of towns.

One day trips from Hanoi can be done to:
- Ba Vi (avoid weekends)
- Tam Dao
- Van Long (Delacour's Langurs and some water birds)

With 2-3 days, the options are
- Cuc Phuong
- Tam Dao
- Xuan Thuy (coastal area, with water birds, incl. black-faced spoonbills)

From HCMC

One day:
- Can Gio (muddy beach, shrimp ponds and salt pans for waders)
- Go Gong in the Mekong Delta with chances for Spoon-billed Sandpiper

2-3 days:
- Cat Tien
 
Last edited:

Xenospiza

Distracted
Supporter
Prepare for rather birdless forests in the north. This includes Cuc Phuong, where I almost reached 50 species in a day. People were poaching frogs 500 m from the headquarters: no one gives a ...
 

dalat

...
Prepare for rather birdless forests in the north. This includes Cuc Phuong, where I almost reached 50 species in a day. People were poaching frogs 500 m from the headquarters: no one gives a ...

True, and such sad impressions are always part of birding in Vietnam and probaly other places in Asia as well.

Still, great birds to be seen in Cuc Phuong and the other listed places. Some impressions from last Oct: https://www.birdforum.net/showpost.php?p=3786369&postcount=26
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Prepare for rather birdless forests in the north. This includes Cuc Phuong, where I almost reached 50 species in a day. People were poaching frogs 500 m from the headquarters: no one gives a ...

This is so sad :-C.. my comment upthread was based on a visit about 10 years ago, when the place was choc full of quantity and quality, from the HQ to the Bong Substation area .. I guess things have changed
 

Xenospiza

Distracted
Supporter
There's still quality in Cuc Phuong, but all in all a depressing country. Amazing not even to see egrets or stilts in the rice paddies.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
There's still quality in Cuc Phuong, but all in all a depressing country. Amazing not even to see egrets or stilts in the rice paddies.

You know the local saying....'the only thing with wings you can't eat is an areoplane, the only thing with legs you can't eat is a table'......

Cuc Phuong was superb when I was there, good food in the canteen as well but that's 17 years ago.
 

dalat

...
I don't think that Cuc Phuong has changed much in the last 10 years overall. Different experiences are probably more due to weather and season. The north has a lot of cold weather and drizzle, and it can be very dead then. But I also had very birdy days.

Cat Tien seems to be improving over the last years. Elsewhere probably rather on the decline. Cache bird trade seems to be on the increase, with specialities (e.g. endemic Laughingthruses) now targeted, when it used to be mostly Bulbuls and Whiteeyes before.

Some countryside areas can be surprisingly birdy, e.g. the ricefields around Hoi An. But also in the north there are large Heronries, e.g. tons of egrets at Van Long, not far from Cuc Phuong.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
When we were there, there was a guy with a mothlight set up outside the canteen. He was very professional in his preparation of a selected part of the catch. He seemed to inject them with something before placing them in small paper packets. Presumably the injection acted not only to kill them but maybe to stop them drying out before he could set them in a mount?

Anyway, my point is that I'm not sure this was a sanctioned and offical survey of the parks moths or if they were going to end up in tourist outlets for sale as it seemed to only be the bigger, most attractive moths that he selected?
 

glennmanc

Well-known member
There's still quality in Cuc Phuong, but all in all a depressing country. Amazing not even to see egrets or stilts in the rice paddies.
Depression is a bit subjective, isn't it? I don't find 50 species in a day so very depressing. The ricefields alongside Highway 1 in the South have plenty of the 3 common egrets and I saw over 150 Blackwinged Stilts on saltpans near Highway 1 yesterday (South Annam).

But this is getting way off the question:
The best place in HCM City WITHOUT A GUIDE is the SaiGon Zoo (Thao Cam Vien), just a $1 taxi ride from the city centre and lots of wild birds, in addition to the zoo specimens, although not as many as 50 species in a day, you should get 20+ in a couple of hours. Make sure you arrive at opening time (7.00AM) and not later in the day, and be prepared to look high up in the trees.
Here's a recent link (not mine): https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S51816102
 

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