Vietnam – Nature Trails (12j / 11n) – Bird Watching (18j / 17n) – Fugues Vertes

Birding Tours

6 jours / 6 nuits

6 jours / 6 nuits Birding Tours
Jour 1 Ho Chi Minh City – Cat Tien National Park Pick up in Saigon in the early morning, about 3.5 hours driving to Cat Tien National Park. This morning we will drive northwards from Saigon to Cat Tien National Park, stop en route at Tan Phu Forest Enterprise Special Use where the rare endemic species, Orange – necked Partridge can be found. Other specialities here are Indochinese Green Magpie, Bar-bellied and Blue-rumped Pittas. Drive to Cat Tien, commence exploration of this fabulous reserve during the afternoon. Overnight in Cat Tien.
Jour 2 Cat Tien National Park This day, we use jeep to visit Crocodile lake, a long list of targets such as Germaine’s Peacock Pheasant, Siamese Fire back, Green Peafowl, Wreathed Hornbill, Lesser Adjutant, Woolly-necked Stork, Blue-rumped and Bar-bellied Pitas and many other widespread species such as Doves, Bulbuls, Purple Swamphen, White-breasted Water hen, Kingfishers, etc. Later in the afternoon we bird around HQ for Grey-faced Tit Babbler, Woodpeckers, Green Pigeons, and Nightjars. Overnight in Cat Tien.
Jour 3 Cat Tien National Park The morning jeep to Heaven rapid to find Pale-headed and Black-and-buff Woodpeckers, Black-and-red, Banded, Dusky Broadbill. Overnight in Cat Tien.
Jour 4 Cat Tien national Park – Da Lat After early morning birding at Cat Tien, we will drive northwards through the cultivated lowlands before climbing up onto the Lang Bian Plateau and the charming town of Da Lat. We will make several stops along the way at any patch of interesting-looking habitat, including some very attractive waterfalls. The hill resort of Da Lat, perhaps the most attractive large town in Vietnam, is located at 4,900 feet (ca. 1,475 meters) in a temperate region dotted with lakes and waterfalls and surrounded by evergreen forests, including various native pine woodlands. Overnight in Da Lat.
Jour 5 Da Lat Two full days exploring Da Lat plateau. First of our visits is Ta Nung, a small private evergreen forest but is the most accessible site for the rare and endemic species Grey-crowned Crocias. Other goodies endemic such as Orange-breasted, Black-hooded Laughing thrushes, Vietnamese Cutia, Vietnamese Greenfinch may also be found here. Overnight in Da Lat.
Jour 6 Da Lat The second visit is Langbian Mt, the high peak at 2,169 m asl. This forest support to the most sought-after species, the beautiful and skulking endemic Collared Laughing thrush. The Black-crowned Fulvetta (split from Rufous-winged Fulvetta) is the common endemic among other targets: Wintering. Overnight in Da Lat.

Mekong Delta Homestay

6 jours / 5 nuits

6 jours / 5 nuits Mekong Delta Homestay
Jour 1 Arrivée – Ho Chi Minh City Arrive at Tan Son Nhat airport, transfer to the hotel. Stroll around the down town to explore different local ways of life. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Jour 2 Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – Vinh Long Leave Ho Chi Minh City to My Tho in the Mekong Delta. On the way visit Vinh Trang Pagoda, the most famous pagoda in the south whose architecture is a mixture of Vietnamese, Kh’mer and Chinese. On arrival in My Tho, we board a boat visiting the fish wharf, the 4 islands of Dragon, Unicorn, Turtle and Phoenix. Take a short tour to the bank of Mekong River visiting a rice farm, candy workshop and honey bee farm, then journey by sampan through the canals and mangrove forests where we watch the fishermen lay their fish traps. Enjoy time on the Unicorn island visiting the local fruit, tea mixed with bee’s honey, and enjoy a locally produced folk show of traditional Mekong Delta music and dance. Proceed to Vinh Long, heart of Mekong Delta. Late afternoon, ride a bicycle around the village to learn about local daily activities of the people living in the Delta Region, continue to a bonsai garden or fruits garden, boat building workshop and girdle cake shop. Overnight at local house in Vinh Long.
Jour 3 Vinh Long – Can Tho Take three hours boat trip to discover the beautiful Cai Be floating market with local people selling, buying, exchanging goods from their colourful boats. Walk around to visit fruit orchards, rice paper making, and rice crisp producing process. Then proceed to Can Tho.
Afternoon, visit Bang Lang Stork Garden, a 1.3 hectare stork sanctuary, is a popular stop of international and domestic tourists coming to view thousands of storks. More than ten species of storks are residing here. We can see these birds returning home in late afternoon after the whole day seeking food from other places. There is a tall wooden viewing platform to view the birds. The scenery of thousands of storks flying around and gathering in the Garden is really exotic to visitors. Evening enjoy the fresh fruits, grilling fish with the villagers. Discover a new way of life by staying with local people. Overnight at local house in Can Tho.
Jour 4 Can Tho – Chau Doc Morning take a boat trip to discover the beautiful Cai Rang floating market, the busiest and biggest floating market of the Mekong River with sellers and buyers bargaining and exchanging goods from their colourful boats. Head to Chau Doc (117 km). On arrival, visit Lady Chua Xu temple built in the 1820s, where the biggest local belief-festival occurs yearly. Continue on by a boat trip to visit a floating fish farm where fish are bred in wooden cages suspended under floating houses on the Mekong River. Then visit a village of Cham ethnic minority which is well-known for its traditional silk products. Stroll around the village and talk with local people working on their traditional wooden looms to learn about the original culture and customs of Cham people. Visit Mek Mah and Mohamadiyah, two biggest Islam worshipping places in the village, to understand Cham religious activities. In the evening, we stay in an ancient house of 100 years old with special characters of Cham people to engage deeper into Cham lifestyle. Overnight at local house in Chau Doc.
Jour 5 Chau Doc – Ho Chi Minh City Drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. The rest of the day is free for relaxing. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Jour 6 Ho Chi Minh City – Départ Free at leisure until transfer to the airport for departure flight.

Vietnam Bird Watching

18 jours / 17 nuits

18 jours / 17 nuits Vietnam Bird Watching
Jour 1 Arrivée – Ho Chi Minh City Arrive in Ho Chi Minh city and transfer for hotel check – in. The rest of the day is free at leisure. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Jour 2 Ho Chi Minh City – Cat Tien Drive to Cat Tien National Park, the biggest and most primitive national park in Vietnam with more than 50 kinds of rare animals named in the Red Book of the world, some ramain only in Vietnam (170km from Ho Chi Minh City). The road passes through large areas of rubber plantations before branching off to the National Park. An incredible diversity of birds and mammals live in the forest and wetland habitats of Cat Tien, including an estimated 230 species of birds. Endangered birds that can be found here include Germains Peacock-Pheasant, Woodpeckers, Green Peafowl White-shouldered Ibis, White-winged Duck and the very elusive Orange-necked Partridge. Mammals that can sometimes be seen include wild boar, Samba Deer, the rare Black-shanked Duoc Langur, Yellow-cheeked and Crested Gibbon. The afternoon is free for birding along the road or trails. Overnight in Cat Tien.
Jour 3 Cat Tien Full day to enjoy the rich bird life of Cat Tien. Species to look out for include Black-naped Orioles and a Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo. Spotted Dove, White-crested Laughingthrushes, Brown Shrike, with Streak-eared Bulbuls, Stonechats, and Thick-billed Pigeons. Zitting and Bright-headed Cisticolas, Osprey and Grey-headed Fish Eagles, Woolly-necked Stork. Green Peafowl, Wood Sandpipers, Green Sandpipers, Greenshank, Little Ringed Plovers, and Black-winged Stilts. Snipe, Common and Pied Kingfishers, Rufescent Prinia. Overnight in Cat Tien.
Jour 4 Cat Tien Another full day to enjoy the rich bird life of Cat Tien. Species to look out for include Black-naped Orioles and a Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo. Spotted Dove, White-crested Laughingthrushes, Brown Shrike, with Streak-eared Bulbuls, Stonechats, and Thick-billed Pigeons. Zitting and Bright-headed Cisticolas, Osprey and Grey-headed Fish Eagles, Woolly-necked Stork. Green Peafowl, Wood Sandpipers, Green Sandpipers, Greenshank, Little Ringed Plovers, and Black-winged Stilts. Snipe, Common and Pied Kingfishers, Rufescent Prinia. Overnight in Cat Tien.
Jour 5 Cat Tien – Da Lat A final morning of birding along the trails or perhaps the headquarters road where Green-eared, Blue-eared, Lineated, and if you are lucky, Red-vented Barbet, can often be seen perched high up in the roadside trees. Check out of the park guest house and meet up with the driver before leaving for the 150km drive to Da Lat. It is a scenic drive through tea and coffee plantations to the cooler climes of the former colonial hill station. Transfer to hotel on arrival in Da Lat. Overnight in Da Lat.
Jour 6 Da Lat A full day of birding at Mount Lang Bian where the evergreen forests are home to many interesting species including some endemics. Key species to be found at Mount Lang Bian include Silver Pheasant, Indochinese Cuckooshrike, Eurasian Jay, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Cutia and Red Crossbill. This is also the place to see two of Vietnam’s sought after endemics, the Collared Laughingthrush and the Vietnamese Greenfinch. Overnight in Da Lat.
Jour 7 Da Lat Tuyen Lam Lake, only 3km from the centre of town, is Da Lat’s other hotspot for birders. Take a boat-ride to far side of the lake where a track leads through the pines to areas of remnant tropical evergreen forest. The rare and endemic Grey-crowned Crocias was re-discovered in 1994 after not being seen for nearly 60 years. Other interesting species possible here include Slender-billed Oriole, Maroon Oriole, Rufous-backed Sibia, Black-hooded and White-cheeked Laughingthrush. Overnight in Da Lat.
Jour 8 Da Lat The Ta Nung Valley, around 15km from Da Lat, holds a few pockets of remnant evergreen forest where many of the Da Lat specialities can still be found including Grey-crowned Crocias, Black-hooded and White-cheeked Laughiingthrush, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Blue-winged Minla and Black-throated Sunbird. Overnight in Da Lat.
Jour 9 Da Lat – Ho Chi Minh City Transfer by road the 300km back to Ho Chi Minh City . On arrival in Ho Chi Minh City transfer to hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure in Ho Chi Minh City. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Jour 10 Ho Chi Minh City – Hue – Bach Ma An early transfer to the airport to catch the flight to Hue in central . On arrival at Hue Airport follows the coast for 45km south down Highway One before turning inland on the road that leads to Bach Ma National Park, 20km away. On arrival the driver and car return to Hue and transfer by park vehicle to the summit guest house. The road from the park entrance to the park guesthouse near the summit is very scenic with sweeping vistas of undisturbed rainforest and the coastal plain. The park accommodation is in renovated colonial villas and the ruins of once grand holiday homes and hotels are scattered along the trails from this point up to the summit. There are many good trails for birders and for non-birders alike with several waterfalls and small lakes. Overnight in Bach Ma.
Jour 11 Bach Ma Full day to explore the trails of Bach Ma. Other desirable species include Bar-bellied and Blue-rumped Pitta, Red-collared Woodpecker and White-winged Magpie. Overnight in Bach Ma.
Jour 12 Bach Ma Another full day to explore the trails of Bach Ma. Other desirable species include Bar-bellied and Blue-rumped Pitta, Red-collared Woodpecker and White-winged Magpie. Overnight in Bach Ma.
Jour 13 Bach Ma – Hue – Hanoi There is time for some early morning birding before meeting up with the driver and transferring to Hue Airport for the flight to Hanoi . Pick-up and transfer to hotel. Free at leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.
Jour 14 Hanoi – Xuan Thuy Depart to Xuan Thuy Nature Reserve (120km). More than 200 bird species have been recorded at Xuan Thuy. The site is the most important staging and wintering area for migratory waterbirds in the coastal zone of the Red River Delta. It regularly supports large numbers of commoner migratory waterbird species, including Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank and Eurasian Curlew. Many rare species can also be found at Xuan Thuy, including the largest wintering population of Black-faced Spoonbill in, with around 60 birds each winter in recent years. Other rare species that regularly occur at the site include Saunders’s Gull, Spotted Greenshank, Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Asian Dowitcher. Upon arrival, at hight tide, take a boat to reach the offshore mudflats and sandy flats to give us maximum opportunity of finding some of the worlds’ rarest and most enigmatic shorebirds, including the spectacular Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank. We may also find Asiatic Dowitchers and Great Knot amongst the huge flocks of shorebirds passing through the reserve at this time of year. We will hope to find flocks of Black-tailed Godwits, Eurasian Curlews, Spotted Redshanks and many other northern hemisphere shorebirds so familiar to us from the UK. If we are fortunate we may also find a few Saunder’s Gulls and Black-faced Spoonbills, as well as other gulls and ducks. Overnight in Xuan Thuy.
Jour 15 Xuan Thuy – Cuc Phuong Walking through the shrimp ponds on Con Ngan island, where the park headquarters is located, can be rewarding, especially at high tide when Black-faced Spoonbills and various gulls, ducks and waders come to roost and feed in the shrimp ponds. Afternoon depart to Cuc Phuong National Park (85km). Overnight in Cuc Phuong.
Jour 16 Cuc Phuong The first national park to be established in , Cuc Phuong is an area of limestone hills covered with large tracts of primeval rainforest with 307 species of birds counted so far. Key bird species here include Grey Peacock-Pheasant, Bar-bellied, Blue-rumped and Eared Pitta, White-winged Magpie, Limestone Wren-Babbler, Fujian Niltava, Red-collared Woodpecker, Silver-breasted Broadbill and Pied Falconet. A full day’s birding on the trails of Cuc Phuong. Rising this morning with the sounds of the forest all around us, we head out for a trek through the lush rainforest that makes up the park. The trek will take in stops at centuries old giant trees. Reach out the Muong minority people at Bong village. During the 20 km journey, view the wide variety of preserved bird species in the park and enjoy the sights and sounds of the jungle. Overnight in Cuc Phuong.
Jour 17 Cuc Phuong From Bong village, we follow a circular route viewing a variety of endangered bird species. Return to the guesthouse in late afternoon. Overnight in Cuc Phuong.
Jour 18 Cuc Phuong – Hanoi – Depart Hanoi A final morning of birding before meeting up with the driver and heading back to Hanoi in the afternoon.

Vietnam Nature Trails

12 jours / 11 nuits

12 jours / 11 nuits Vietnam Nature Trails
Jour 1 Arrivée – Ho Chi Minh City Arrive at Tan Son Nhat airport, transfer to the hotel. An afternoon tour round Ho Chi Minh city (formerly Saigon) including the Reunification Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Saigon Post Office. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Jour 2 Ho Chi Minh City – Nam Cat Tien Drive to Nam Cat Tien National Park, the biggest and most primitive national park in Vietnam with more than 50 kinds of rare animals named in Red Book of the world, some ramain only in Vietnam.  70,000 hectare park is home to various species of giant trees and large wild animals such as Asian elephant, bison and rhinoceros. Take an easy trek to the jungle. (Optional night jeep ride into Nui Tuong forest to look for nocturnal animals). Overnight in Nam Cat Tien.
Jour 3 Nam Cat Tien – Bau Sau – Ho Chi Minh City Morning jeep drive to Bau Chim (Bird park), opportunity to enjoy a wonderful show of all kinds of birds. Trek for two and a half hours deep into the forest to Bau Sau (Crocodile lake) areas. In Bau Sau, we ourselves row the boat around a lake, then trek back to the jeep for the drive back to Ho Chi Minh city. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Jour 4 Ho Chi Minh City – Hue – Bach Ma Morning flight to Hue, transfer to Bach Ma Mount (1,444 metres over sea level). Enjoy panoramic views of lagoons, sand dunes and mountains. Afternoon trek (5km) along park trails to explore the diversity of the local fauna and flora. Overnight in Bach Ma.
Jour 5 Bach Ma – Hue Bach Ma, a birdwatchers’ paradise, home to 330 species of bird. If lucky enough, we can see countless birds at close range along the trails. Spend the whole day trekking (7km) through a dense jungle.
Return to Hue, enjoy a typical royal dinner with Hue traditional royal music. Overnight in Hue.
Jour 6 Hue – Hanoi Visit the Imperial Citadel and the Forbidden City. Boat cruise on the romantic Perfume River to Hue’s most ancient and revered site, Thien Mu pagoda. In the afternoon, transfer to the airport for a short flight to Hanoi.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Jour 7 Hanoi – Cuc Phuong Morning visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One-pillar pagoda, West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda, Temple of Literature. Afternoon transfer to Cuc Phuong National Park. Overnight in Muong ethnic village.
Jour 8 Cuc Phuong Whole day discover Cuc Phuong National Park, home to 2,000 species of flora, 1,800 species of insect, 320 species of bird, 70 species of mammal…. Overnight in Muong ethnic village.
Jour 9 Cuc Phuong – Hanoi Visit the park museum, the botanical garden with a collection of 252 species of rare plant and the endangered primate rescue centre, followed by a seminar on primate rescue. Afternoon, drive back to Hanoi to enjoy a fantastic water puppet show, a theatrical genre reflecting the agricultural civilization of thousands of years ago. Overnight in Hanoi.
Jour 10 Hanoi – Cat Ba Drive to Haiphong then take the boat to Cat Ba Island which consist of tropical evergreen forests, fresh water swampy forests, coastal mangrove forests, small fresh water lakes, sandy beaches and offshore coral reefs which are still very dense and unknown to the civilised world. Afternoon is free to relax or explore the island. Overnight in Cat Ba.
Jour 11 Cat Ba – Hanoi Start a long trek (5-7 hours) through Cat Ba National Park to explore a wide range of the tropical fauna and flora which impress us with its beauty. Opportunity to meet some rare animals named in Red Book. Take the express boat to Hai Phong and travel back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
Jour 12 Départ Hanoi Free at leisure until transfer to Noi Bai airport for departure flight.

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