VN03 Da Lat
Da Lat, just over 300 km from HCMC, was established as a colonial hill resort at the beginning of the 20th Century after being “discovered” by Dr.Alexandre Yersin. Homesick Europeans were attracted to its cool, spring – like weather, pine forests, waterfalls and lakes. Today Da Lat has grown to a city with a population of around 160,000 but the surrounding countryside holds much interest for birdwatchers with the Lang Bian Plateau being one of Asia’s endemic bird hotspots. Although much of the original forest cover has gone there are a few areas of remnant evergreen forest where, with a little patience, many bird can be seen. Da Lat also offers great possibilities for trekking, biking and other adventure activities.
Facilities : There is no shortage of accommodation in Da Lat ranging from simple guesthouses to a luxurious 5- star hotel.
When to go : The dry season from November to May.
Mount Lang Bian
What remain of the montane evergreen forest is at the summit but the pines lower down also hold many good birds.
Birding tips : Check the pines at lower elevations of the mountain. White–cheeked Laughing Thrush : In the scrubby secondary forest area after the pines and before entering the evergreen forest at the summit . Collared Laughing Thrush : search in the scrubby secondary forest area just before the evergreen forest and in the evergreen forest particularly on the trail to the left–hand side of the summit .Often responds to tape but difficult to see .Vietnamese Greenfinch : Can be found in pines from the bottom all the way up to the ‘saddle area’ before the start of the evergreen forest .
Other species possible here : Silver Peasant, Golden-throated Barbet, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Black Eagle Burmese Shrike, Yellow–billed Nuthatch, Yellow –cheeked and Black Throated Tits, Cutia and Black–headed Sibia and many others.
Tuyen Lam Lake
The remnant patches of evergreen forest at the far end are good birding sites. Take care not to get lost as the forest trails here are rather overgrown and hard to follow.
Blacked–hooded Laughing Thrush,White–cheeked Laughing Thrush and Grey–crowned Crocies : along the evergreen forest trail at the far end of the lake.
Vietnam Greenfinch : check in the pines at the far end of the lake.