THAILAND

FROM BANGKOK TO NORTHERN THAILAND

Dates

1st to 15th December 2019

Tour Cost

 

2019 BAHT 99.300.- to be paid in GBP

Single room supplement

BAHT 24.100-

Group size

8/10 plus two leaders

Tour leader

Local guides + Andy Howes in 2019

Airport

UK - Bangkok - Chiang Mai /Chiang Rai - Bangkok - UK

What´s included

Full services of an experienced guide., All ground and 1 boat transportation together with any reserve entry fees and permissions. Use of 4wd vehicles where required. Guides internal flight(s). Unlimited cold bottled wáter in the vehicle(s).

What´s not included

Excluded : Optional Boat trip at Chiang Saen lake, Domestic Flight, Overnight in Bangkok, Sightseeing entrance fee, Souvenirs, Thai massage, Any kind alcoholic beverages, Telephone calls, Laundry, Personal tip.

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Tour code

Transport: in comfortable A/C mini bus. Accommodation: Superior Accommodations twin bed room or single Habitats Covered:Public Gardens, Rice Fields, Swamp Forest, Mangrove Forest, River Sandbar, Mixed Forest, Pine Forest, Evergreen Hill Forest.
Tour pace & walking: Moderate 

 

Selected species list

 Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Nordmann's Greenshank, Asian Dowitcher, Great Slaty Woodpecker, .Rufous-throated Hill-partridge, Pied Harrier, Black Baza, Violet Cuckoo, Giant Nuthatch, Jerdon's Bushchat, Siberian Blue Robin, Scarlet-faced Liocichla , Himalayan Bluetail, Dark-sided Thrush, Spot-breasted Parrotbill, Black-throated Laughingthrush, White-browed Shortwing,Spectacled Barwing, Crested Finchbill.

More information

Trip Reports

Introduction

Thailand is situated in South-east Asia, in the Indo-Chinese peninsula of the Oriental Region and has been described as a zoogeographic crossroads because the country's avifauna comprises Sino-Himalayan, Indo-Burmese, Indo-Chinese and Sundaic elements and there are a large number of migrant visitors from the Palaearctic Region. There are approximately 962 species (2 endemics) currently recorded, in other words 10% of the world species are present in Thailand.
     Thailand has a tropical monsoon climate. Generally the dry season is during November to April and the rainy season from May to October but, the southern and Southeastern provinces receive rain during Nov.-Jan..
      Geologically the country can be divided in the following way. The Central Plain extends to the coast around Bangkok and consists of areas of marshy floodplains. The North lying between the Mekong and Salween Rivers, is mainly mountainous, the highest peak at Doi Inthanon is 2,565m above sea level. The Northeast consists of dry plateau (Korat Plateau) mostly consisting of dry soil but there are some good forests such as Khao Yai located in this region. The East and Southeast has the isolated mountains of Khao Soi Dao at the westward part of the country near the Cambodia border. The West and Southwest has a large forested area and is divided from the Burmese border by the Tanassarim range. The South lying between the Andaman sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Peninsula Thailand is the southern part, which is a part of Sunda faunal sub-region.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Sun. 1st Dec. :  Bangkok > Mahachai > Bann Pak Thale > Lame Pak Bia > Kaeng Krachan/ Your bird guide will meet you at the lobby of the  Asia Hotel, Ratchethewi Road at 0645 hours and we will head off (1.5 hr. drive) to Mahachai Mangrove Forest, where we can see some birds up-close at the bird bath bowls. Possibilities are Oriental White-eye, Oriental Magpie Robin, Olive-backed Sunbird, Mangrove Whistler, Brown-throated Sunbird, Scaly-breasted Munia, Yellow-bellied Gerygone and Racket-tailed Treepie. Other birds that can be found in a short trail through the mangrove include Collared Kingfisher, White-breasted Waterhen, Black-winged Stilt, Yellow-bellied Prinia. Ten minutes drive away is the Wat Chong Lom Temple, where Edible-nest Swiftlets (a.k.a. Germain’s Swiftlet and Pale-rumped Swiftlet) nest - the colony is inside the temple. We will then transfer (1.5 hr) to Bann Pak Thale to look for waders such as Nordmann's Greenshank, Asian Dowitcher, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits, Plovers, Red and Great Knots, Red-necked Stint, Sandpipers, Eurasian Curlew, Whimbrel, Terns and Gulls.

After lunch at Payun Thai Restaurant we will take a short boat trip to the sand spit at Lame Pak Bia, where we hope to see White-faced and Malaysian Plovers, plus Chinese Egret and Western Reef Egret. It is a little over one hour from here to the resort at Kaeng Krachan NP.

Meals          :     L / D
Overnight    :     Samarn Bird Camp

Days  2 & 3 : Mon. 2nd  & Tue. 3rd Dec.  : Kaeng Krachan & Bird Hide/ First day birding half day inside the park : Km.1 – 7. The secondary forest & fresh water ponds will hold birds such as Black Heron, Little Grebe, Yellow Bittern, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Hoopoe, Ashy Wood- swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Pied Hornbill, Black-thighed Falconet, Black-naped Oriole, Blue-winged Leafbird, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Greater Yellownape, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Bamboo Woodpecker, Black-and-Red Broadbill, Black-and-Yellow Broadbill, Banded Broadbill, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black Baza, etc. and more. After lunch in the park we will see birds at a Feeding Station outside park : The guide will take us to sit and watch the birds from hides for up to four hours until dusk. Hope to see such species as Grey Peacock Pheasant, Bar-backed and Scaly-breasted Partridge, Eared Pitta, Red Junglefowl, Silver Pheasant, Stripe-throated Bulbul, Black-crested Bulbul, Striped Tit-Babbler, Racket-tailed Treepie, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, White-browed Scimitar-Babbler, White-crested Laughingthrush, Lesser-necklaced Laughingthrush, Greater-necklaced Laughingthrush, Green Magpie, Abbott’s Babbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Pied Fantail, etc.

Second day - the guide will take you on a natural route from Km. 15-18 (Ban Krang Camp) in evergreen forest to the ‘third stream’, a total distance of 4 km. : We hope to see Asian-barred Owlet, Orange-breasted Trogon, Red-breasted Bee-eater, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Ochraceous Bulbul, Stripe-throated Bulbul, Green Iora, Green Magpie, Sultan Tit, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Ashy Drongo, Common Flameblack, Hill Blue Flycatcher, Green-eared Barbet, Striped Tit-Babbler, Oriental Dwarf-Kingfisher (Apr.-June), Blue Pitta, Brown Hornbill, Great Hornbill and more.

Mammals here may include : White-handed Gibbon, Dusky Leaf Languor, Lesser Mouse-deer,

Meals            :  B / L / D
Overnight      :  Samarn Bird Camp

 Day 4 :  Wed. 4th  Dec. :  Kaeng Krachan  > West Side of Bangkok  > Khao Yai /  After breakfast we will transfer (just over an hour) to a fresh water area at Wang Manao. Resident birds include Purple Swamphen, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Little Grebe, Lesser Whistling Duck, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Common Moorhen, White-breasted Waterhen, Crakes, Grey and Purple Herons, Open-billed Stork, and three species of co-existing Weavers (Baya, Streaked, and Asian Golden).   It is then a 4 hr. plus transfer to Khao Yai. We will start bird watching in Khao Yai National Park in the afternoon at the Heaw Narok Waterfall where you can see Pied Hornbill, Abbott’s Babbler, Purple-throated Sunbird, Heart-spotted Woodpecker and more.

Meals            :    B / L / D
Overnight  :    Balios Khao Yai Hotel

 

Day 5 : Thu. 5th Dec : Khao Yai/ It is just a few minutes from the hotel to the NP. Some key locations include:
 
Pak Chong viewpoint : Great Hornbill, Pied Hornbill, Hill Myna, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Greater Coucal and more.

Zone Thanarat habitat has scrub, grass field, with forest edge birds such as Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Heart-spotted Woodpecker.

Khao Khiew road : Banded Kingfisher, Orange-breasted Trogon, Red-headed Trogon, Blue Pitta, Siamese Fireback, Coral-billed Ground Cuckoo, Greater Flameback, Thick-billed Pigeon 

Pha Diew Dai viewpoint - evergreen forest and hill forest - Red-headed Trogon, Black-throated Laughingthrush, Puff-throated Babbler and more.

Pha Kaw Mai Campsite - Orange headed Thrush, Siberian Blue Robin, Hainan Blue Flycatcher, Buff-breasted Flowerpecker, Yellow-vented Flowerpecker, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Plain Flowerpecker, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker.

Trail 33 km. home of Great Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, White-crested Laughingthrush, White-browed Scimitar-Babbler, Eared Pitta (rare), Blue Pitta (uncommon), Banded Kingfisher, Long-tailed Broadbill. Along the stream we should find Slaty-backed Forktail and Blue-eared Kingfisher.

Meals          :   B / L / D
Overnight     :   Balios Khao Yai Hotel 

 

Day 6 : Fri. 6th Dec. : Khao Yai >  Pak Chong  > Airport > Chiang Ma /
We will have time for a few hours birding at Pak Chong Agricultural area before travelling (2.5 hr) to Suvarnabhumi Airport, to take a flight TG116, departing at 17:20 to Chiang Mai, arrival time 18:20,

Meals          :   B / L / Khantok Dinner show * (drinks not included) 
Overnight   :   We Terminal Hotel

 

Day 7 : Sat. 7th Dec. : Chiang Mai > Huay Hong Khrai > Mae Hiab > Doi Lor > Bann Hong > Doi Inthanon / After breakfast it is a 40 minute transfer to the HHK Kings Project, where you can expect to see Red-billed Blue Magpie, Asian-barred Owlet, Lineated Barbet, Black Baza, Rosy Minivet and up to 20 more species. Buffet lunch at Pub Pla restaurant, then transfer to Mae Hiab Agriculture area in Chiang Mai town. We should find Rufous-winged Buzzard, Burmese Shrike, Red Avadavat, Lesser-whistling Duck, Purple Sunbird, Oriental Skylark, Pied Bushchat, Scaly-breasted Munia, Wire-tailed Swallow and more.Then transfer to Doi Lor to find Small Pratincole. Other species here include Bronze-winged Jacana, Lesser-whistling Duck, Hoopoe, Black-collared Starling, Blue-tailed Bee-eater and more.   Then to Bann Hong Wildlife Res. (40 mins) to look for Green Peafowl.

Meals          :   B / Buffet L / D
Overnight   :  
Mae Klang Luang View   (2.5 star) Or  Similar  

 Days  8 & 9 : Sun. 8th  & Mon. 9th Dec : Doi Inthanon / Two full days birding inside the park. The guide will take you to deciduous forest to see Collared Falconet, White-rumped Falconet (rare) and Black-backed Forktail, Black-headed Woodpecker and more. Then further inside the park there are many good birding spots:

Wachirathar Waterfall where the highlights are White-capped Redstart, Blue Whistling Thrush, Plumbeous Redstart, Slaty-backed Forktail.    

38 km. Second Check Point – the birds here include Rufous-bellied Niltava, Small Niltava, White-gorgetted Flycatcher, White-browed Scimitar-Babbler, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Grey-cheeked Fulveta, Black-headed Sibia, Asian Emerald Cuckoo, Chestnut-tailed Minla, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Grey-headed Flycatcher, White-browed Piculet, White-throated Fantail, Silver-eared Mesia, Spectacled Barwing, Grey-chinned Minivet, Scarlet Minivet, Flavescent Bulbul, Mountain Bulbul etc.  

We will drive to the highest mountain peak 2,685m in Thailand - Green-tailed Sunbird, Grey Bushchat, Chestnut-capped Babbler, Chestnut-tailed Minla, Yellow-bellied Fantail and Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Lesser Shortwing, White-browed Shortwing, Verditer Flycatcher, Gould's Sunbird, Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, Ashy-throated Warbler, even Eurasian Woodcock and more.

Huay Sai Luang Waterfall -  Orange-bellied Leafbird, White-headed Bulbul, Eurasian Jay, Grey Treepie, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, White-tailed Robin, Scaly Thrush and Chestnut-flanked White-eye. The waterfall may even produce a Yellow Wagtail and more.
        
Night time** : Hodgson's Frogmouth, Mountain Scops Owl.     

Meals          :  B / L / D  
Overnight   :  Mae Klang Luang View

Day 10 Doi Chiang Dao Foothills >  Hotel in Fang  / We have time for some more birding in the park before transferring (3 - 4 hrs.) to Doi Ang Khang, We will stop at Nong Bong Lake in the area of the Vocational Training Centre of the Border Patrol Police, Mae Tang District, where the habitats around include dry dipterocarp forest, freshwater swamp and orchard. Bird highlights will be Rufous Treepie, Eurasian Jay, Red-billed Blue Magpie and  Rufous Woodpecker.At Chiang Dao Hot Spring we should see Pin-tailed Pigeon, Green-tailed Parrotfinch (rare) and at Wat Tham Pha Blog Cave, (a tourist attraction too) the many birds include Limestone Wren Babbler, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl (rare), Dark-hooded Oriole, Pin-tailed Pigeon, Orange-breasted Trogon, Asian Fairy Bluebird, White-throated Fantail to name just a few.   It is then just 30 minutes to Fang town.

Meals         :    B / L / D
Overnight    :    Tangerine Ville Hotel, Fang town       

 

Day 11 : Wed. 11th Dec - Doi Ang Khang /  We will leave the hotel early to spend a full day inside the park at key spots such as the Royal Project, Military Thai-Burma border, Garbage area. Expect to see pine forests species including Red-faced Liocichla, Little Pied Flycatcher, White-browed Laughingthrush, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler, Siberian Stonechat, Spectacled Barwing, Dark-sided Thrush, Black-breasted Thrush, Scaly Thrush, Hill-blue Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker, Brown-breasted Bulbul, Crested Finchbill, Siberian Rubythroat, Long-tailed Broadbill, Common Rosefinch, Spot-winged Grosbeak amongst many others. 

Meals          :   B / L / D  
Overnight     :   Tangerine Ville Hotel Fang 

Day 12 : Thu. 12th Dec. : Doi San Ju /There are two sides to this mountain, being both a tourist area and a bird watchers favourite. Doi San Ju is in Fang District and Doi Lang is in Mae Ai District, The tourists have to drive up and down, but for Doi Lang we will utilise pick-up trucks due to the poor roads - to access both sides and save much driving time. Normal road vehicles are unable to drive on these roads.

We will leave the hotel at 0500 hours to go birding at DSJ. For this mountain there are many photographic opportunities take pictures and species may include Mountain Bamboo Partridge, Stripe-breasted Woodpeckers, Hume's Pheasant, Giant Nuthatch, Minivets, Red-faced Liocichla, Striated Bulbul, Crested Finchbill, White-tailed Leaf Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Black-eared Shrike-Babbler, Chestnut-fronted Shrike-Babbler, White-browed Shrike-Babbler, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Blue-winged Minla, Whiskered Yuhina, Striated Yuhina, Yellow-bellied Fantail, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Spot-breasted Parrotbill, Black-throated Tit (Feb.-April), White-bellied Redstart,  Orange-flanked Bush-Robin, Himalayan Bush-Robin and much more. 

Meals         :  B box / L box / D            
Overnight    :  Tangerine Ville Hotel Fang 

 

Day 13 : Fri. 13th Dec. : Doi Pha Hom Pok NP. & Fang Rice Fields./ Transfer 45 min. to Doi Pha Hom Pok (in the mountains), birding all day. Later in the afternoon we will visit the Fang Rice Fields to look for species such as Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Grey-faced Buzzard, Chestnut-eared Bunting, Rosy Pipit, Dusky Warbler, Isabelline Wheatear, Tibetan Stonechat, Citrine Wagtail and others.  Time permitting we can visit Fang Hot Springs and hope to see Spot-winged Grosbeak.

Meals        :  B  / L box / D 
Overnight   :  Tangerine Ville Hotel Fang 

Day 14 : Sat. 14th Dec. : Fang > Tha Ton > Bird Hide at Chiang Saen Lake./After breakfast we will transfer just 20 minutes to Tha Ton open area with habitats including Rice Field, Fresh Water Pond, Mae Kok River and  Gardens. Birds to look for include Bluethroat, Siberian Rubythroat, Chestnut-capped Babbler, Yellow-eyed Babbler, Racket-tailed Treepie, and Red Avadavat, amongst others.

After birding we will visit the Tha Ton Temple and later transfer (2 hr.) to the Golden Triangle at Mae Khlong giant river, the famous place for tourism, where you can see all three countries - Thailand, Myanmar and Laos - from the viewpoint.
        
We will check-in early and relax before heading out again around 4pm (1hr.) to Nong Lome Swamp to watch hundreds of Pied Harriers arriving at their roost. There is a small bird hide here – for only a few photographers - and the rest of the group will be able to view the spectacle from slightly further away.

Meals         :   B  / L / D 
Overnight    :   Siam Triangle Hotel  

 Day 15 : Sun. 15th Dec. : Chiang Saen  > Chiang Rai Airpor./   Time today for a few hours birding around the Chiang Saen paddy fields where the highlights may include Jerdon's Bushchat (a rare bird in Thailand) and other species such as Yellow-bellied Prinia, Pied King- fisher, Chestnut-capped Babbler, Chestnut-vented Starling. Birds around the lake here may include Baer’s Pochard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Spot-billed Duck, Gadwall, Purple Swamphen, White Wagtail, Rudy-breasted Crake, Bronze-winged and Pheasant-tailed Jacana.
  
We will be heading to Chiang Rai and, time permitting, we may include visits to Wat Rong Suae Teng (Blue Temple) and Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) – famous tourist spots, before getting to the airport for your departure at  17:45 hours

Meals     :  B / L                                       
(Meals: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

            

 

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