Region (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W 36,500ha topography msl 

Protected/registered status 

Best Time for visit (11.04.97-26.04.97)


Birding Site Guide

This superb park is difficult to find and requires a ferry crossing to reach. It is located in southern Vietnam. Once over the river there is accommodation and food available all in the same ´village´ and vehicles (ex-war American Jeeps) are available with park staff for drives for getting to the more remote areas of the park. The obvious attraction is Orange-necked Partridge, which we saw very well, when one froze crossing the road from one bamboo thicket to another (when I shouted partridge! it dropped to its haunches and froze; obviously shouting isn´t the smartest thing to do, but I couldn´t help my excitement!) other good birds are Germain’s Peacock-Pheasant, Barred and Blue-winged Pittas. There is a wealth of other species to see and there are several good easy trails follow. 

We arrived at this reserve without booking anything, and had no problem finding accommodation. The hardest part of getting into the reserve was the amount of time it took us to wake up the ferry man who was sleeping in the boat on the opposite side of the river. In theory it is possible to take a vehicle into the reserve, but in practice there is very little chance of it as they warn you that the car ferry is damaged and you could have an accident with your vehicle, and nobody risks that with a hired car. The aim of this "deception" is to get you to hire the park vehicles and guides, which you do not need. When we were there, there was only one place to eat and meals had to booked in advance, but they were good and very ample, and cost next to nothing. Each day here had the same pattern to it, namely that the mornings were extremely hot and could be used to bird until 11.00 am. By this time the birds had usually disappeared and the heat was unhealthy. Only the butterflies in their thousands could survive. Mid afternoon usually brought a rainstorm which was short lived, and by 3-4 pm everything was dry again and it was possible to go out once more. Walking from the headquarters along the road in the opposite direction to Elephant mountain provided the best birding. The track that cuts the comer off the road is not particularly productive, the road is better. The map above shows a good site where we saw Blue-winged Pitta and Bar-bellied Pitta, but there were a number of sites where they were encountered along the road in both directions. Germain 's Peacock Pheasant was very active around mid morning but we only managed to hear it calling. At the Pitta site we also saw the incredible Lesser Malay Mouse Deer. Other good birds along this track between the Headquarters and the second yellow sign included Shikra, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Blue-winged Leafbird, Wooly-necked Stork, Great Hombill, Dusky Broadbill and Great Slaty Woodpecker. 

Walking in the opposite direction from the Headquarters also held its surprises. Both Bamboo groves were good. They both had Blue-winged Pittas, and other birds included Ratchet-tailed and Racquet-tailed Treepies, Large-tailed and Great-eared Nightjars, Oriental Pied Hombill, Pompadour Pigeon, Emerald Dove, Golden-capped Cisticola, and one long sighting of Orange-necked Partridge. After the second Bamboo grove there is a path off to the right which apparently leads to a pond which could hold some different species. 

As well as holding some of Asia's rarer birds, including Orange-necked Partridge, Germain's Peacock Pheasant, Barred Pitta and White-winged Wood-Duck, the park threw up asnother massive surprise but only after it had been designated, when a rhino was reported in the park and was assumed to be Indian Rhino, however it was not instead it turned out to be Javan Rhino. This is the only place apart from Java where it is found. 

Species seen 

  • Little Egret Egretta garzetta M, CT
  • Chinese Pond-Heron Ardeola bacchus HTL, M/CT, NDL
  • Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis M/CT
  • Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis CT
  • Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus CT
  • Black Baza Aviceda leuphotes CT
  • Oriental Honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus CT
  • Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus ML, CT, VT
  • Crested Serpent-Eagle Spilornis cheela CT, NDL
  • Pied Harrier Circus melanoleucos M/CT
  • Shikra Accipiter badius CT
  • Orange-necked Partridge Arborophila davidi CT
  • Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus CT, NDL
  • Siamese Fireback Lophura diardi CT
  • Germain's Peacock-Pheasant Polyplectron germaini heard only CT
  • White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus CT
  • Watercock Gallicrex cinerea M/CT
  • Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio M/CT
  • Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus M/CT
  • Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus CT
  • Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola M/CT
  • Oriental Turtle-Dove Streptopelia orientalis M/CT, CT
  • Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica CT
  • Pink-necked Pigeon Treron vernans CT
  • Pompadour Green-Pigeon Treron pompadora CT
  • Green Imperial-Pigeon Ducula aenea CT, NDL
  • Red-breasted Parakeet Psittacula alexandri HTL,CT, NDL
  • Vernal Hanging-Parrot Loriculus vernalis CT
  • Green-billed Malkoha Phaenicophaeus tristis BL, DW, CT, NDL
  • Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis BL, CT, NDL
  • Lesser Coucal Centropus bengalensis CT
  • Asian Barred Owlet Glaucidium cuculoides CT
  • Great Eared-Nightjar Eurostopodus macrotis CT
  • Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus CT
  • Silver-backed Needletail Hirundapus cochinchinensis CT
  • Brown-backed Needletail Hirundapus giganteus CT
  • Asian Palm-Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis CT
  • House Swift Apus nipalensis many places
  • Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis M/CT
  • White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis M/CT, NDL
  • Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata CT, NDL
  • Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis CT
  • Blue-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis athertoni CT
  • Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis M/CT
  • Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Merops leschenaulti BL, CT
  • Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis M/CT, CT, NDL
  • Oriental Pied-Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris CT, NDL
  • Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis CT
  • Lineated Barbet Megalaima lineata BL, CT
  • Green-eared Barbet Megalaima faiostricta CT
  • Moustached Barbet Megalaima incognita DW, CT
  • Coppersmith Barbet Megalaima haemacephala CT
  • White-browed Piculet Sasia ochracea CT
  • Gray-capped Woodpecker Dendrocopos canicapillus CT
  • Lesser Yellownape Picus chlorolophus CT, NDL
  • Greater Yellownape Picus flavinucha CT
  • Laced Woodpecker Picus vittatus CT
  • Gray-faced Woodpecker Picus canus ML, CT
  • Common Flameback Dinopium javanense CT
  • Black-and-buff Woodpecker Meiglyptes jugularis CT
  • Great Slaty Woodpecker Mulleripicus pulverulentus CT
  • Dusky Broadbill Corydon sumatranus CT
  • Bar-bellied Pitta Pitta elliotii heard only CT
  • Blue-winged Pitta Pitta moluccensis CT
  • Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula CT, VT
  • Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica M/CT, CT
  • Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica M/CT, CT
  • Richard's Pipit Anthus richardi ML, CT, NDL
  • Large Cuckoo-shrike Coracina macei HTL, CT
  • Scarlet Minivet Pericrocotus flammeus DW, CT
  • Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike Hemipus picatus DW, M/CT, CT
  • Black-crested Bulbul Pycnonotus melanicterus many places
  • Sooty-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus aurigaster M/CT
  • Stripe-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus finlaysoni BL, CT, NDL
  • Streak-eared Bulbul Pycnonotus blanfordi CT
  • Blue-winged Leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis CT
  • Golden-fronted Leafbird Chloropsis aurifrons CT, NDL
  • Common Iora Aegithina tiphia CT
  • Great Iora Aegithina lafresnayei CT
  • Orange-headed Thrush Zoothera citrina CT
  • Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis M/CT
  • Golden-headed Cisticola Cisticola exilis CT
  • Plain Prinia Prinia inornata HTL, CT, NDL
  • Dark-necked Tailorbird Orthotomus atrogularis CT
  • Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica CT
  • Tickell's Blue-Flycatcher Cyornis tickelliae CT
  • Oriental Magpie-Robin Copsychus saularis M/CT, CT, NDL
  • White-rumped Shama Copsychus malabaricus CT, NDL
  • Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus HTL, M/CT
  • Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata CT
  • White-crested Laughingthrush Garrulax leucolophus CT
  • Scaly-crowned Babbler Malacopteron cinereum CT
  • Chestnut-capped Babbler Timalia pileata CT
  • Velvet-fronted Nuthatch Sitta frontalis CT
  • Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Chalcoparia singalensis CT
  • Eastern Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja DW, CT
  • Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Dicaeum cruentatum CT
  • Black-hooded Oriole Oriolus xanthornus CT
  • Asian Fairy-bluebird Irena puella HTL, M/CT, CT
  • Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus M/CT
  • Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus BL, CT, NDL
  • Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus CT
  • Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus CT
  • Racket-tailed Treepie Crypsirina temia CT, NDL
  • Ratchet-tailed Treepie Temnurus temnurus CT
  • Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos CT
  • Golden-crested Myna Ampeliceps coronatus CT
  • Common Hill Myna Gracula religiosa CT
  • Common Myna Acridotheres tristis M/CT
  • Vinous-breasted Starling Acridotheres burmannicus many places
  • Black-collared Starling Gracupica nigricollis many places
  • Plain-backed Sparrow Passer flaveolus M/CT
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus M/CT, ML
  • Asian Golden Weaver Ploceus hypoxanthus CT
  • White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata CT
  • Nutmeg Mannikin Lonchura punctulata many places



  • Bao Luc BL
  • Cat Tien CT
  • Da Lat DL
  • Datlana Waterfall DW
  • Ho Chin Minh city HCM
  • Ho Tuyen Lam HTL
  • Lean Khuong Airfield LKA
  • Madagui M
  • Mount Langbian ML
  • Nam Dac Lua NDL
  • Vung Tao VT
  • between places /


  • Crab-eating Macaque Macaca fascicularis CT
  • Southern Serow Naemorhedus sumatraensis CT
  • Lesser Malay Mouse-Deer Tragulus javanicus CT

Author: BSG, Geof Grafton