How to Birding in Dalat Plateau?


Explore the best times for birding in Dalat Plateau, home to 8 endemic species, 9 endemic subspecies, and 14 near-endemic species. This guide introduces each birding spot and suggests accommodations for a memorable birdwatching experience.

Central Highland South Vietnam Birding WANEE asia
Collared Laughingthrush
Vietnamese Greenfinch
Cat Tien Dalat Photography tour WANEE asia
Vietnamese Cutia
Blue Pitta

Situated at an elevation of 1,500 meters on the Dalat Plateau, this area is home to many of Vietnam’s endemic and near-endemic bird species. The habitat features a blend of coniferous forest, dominated by Benguet Pine, along with montane evergreen and secondary forests. The montane evergreen forest reaches elevations of up to 2,287 meters on Mount Bi Doup and 2,167 meters on the nearby Mount Lang Bian, the second and third highest peaks on the plateau, respectively.

Why birding in Dalat Plateau?

Situated at an elevation of 1500 m on the Dalat Plateau, this area is a haven for Vietnam’s unique bird species. From endemics and sub-endemics to near-endemics and rare highlights, the plateau’s diverse habitats support a rich avian biodiversity. Explore below to discover the variety of bird species that make Dalat a compelling destination for birdwatchers.

The list of endemic and near-endemic species and subspecies found in the Dalat area:

Bird NameType
Annam Grasshopper-warbler (Dalat Bush Warbler)Endemic
Black-crowned FulvettaEndemic
Indochinese Wren-babbler (Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler)Endemic
Vietnamese CutiaEndemic
Orange-breasted LaughingthrushEndemic
Collared LaughingthrushEndemic
Grey-crowned CrociasEndemic
Vietnamese GreenfinchEndemic
Dalat Red Crossbill (subspecies of Red Crossbill)Subspecies Endemic
Annam MinivetSubspecies Endemic
Yellow-crowned Green Magpie (subspecies of Common Green-Magpie)Subspecies Endemic
Langbian Tit (subspecies of Green-backed Tit)Subspecies Endemic
Brown-backed Bulbul (subspecies of Ashy Bulbul)Subspecies Endemic
Annam Streaked Wren-babbler (subspecies of Streaked Wren-Babbler)Subspecies Endemic
White-spectacled Sibia (subspecies of Black-headed Sibia)Subspecies Endemic
Langbian Lesser Shortwing (subspecies of Lesser Shortwing)Subspecies Endemic
Langbian Sunbird (subspecies of Black-throated Sunbird)Subspecies Endemic
Lowe’s Green-pigeon (subspecies of Pin-tailed Green-Pigeon)Near Endemic
Red-vented BarbetNear Endemic
Necklaced BarbetNear Endemic
Annam Barbet – Indochinese BarbetNear Endemic
Dalat Shrike-babblerNear Endemic
Grey-crowned Tit (subspecies of Black-throated Tit)Near Endemic
Indochinese FulvettaNear Endemic
Black-headed ParrobillNear Endemic
Black-hooded LaughingthrushNear Endemic
White-cheeked LaughingthrushNear Endemic
Plain Minla (subspecies of Blue-winged Minla)Near Endemic
Yellow-billed NuthatchNear Endemic
Annam Sunbird (subspecies of Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird)Near Endemic
Yellow-vented Green-pigeonNear Endemic
Bar-backed PartridgeRare
Silver PheasantRare
Hodgson’s FrogmouthRare
Spot-bellied Eagle-owlRare
Rusty-naped PittaRare
Blue PittaRare
Green CochoaRare
Maroon OrioleHighlight
Slender-billed OrioleHighlight
Indochinese CuckooshrikeHighlight
Manipur Treecreeper (Hume’s Treecreeper)Highlight
Notable: This table updated at 05.07.2024
Silver Pheasant

What bird species can you see while birding in Dalat?

Bird Fauna of the Dalat Plateau – Birding in Dalat

Lam Dong Province, encompassing the picturesque Dalat Plateau in Vietnam, is renowned for its rich avian diversity, boasting 606 species of birds. This region’s varied habitats, including montane evergreen forests and serene lakes, provide vital habitats for a wide range of endemic and near-endemic bird species.

The Dalat Plateau is recognized as one of Vietnam’s five endemic bird areas (EBAs) by BirdLife International. It hosts several notable endemic and near-endemic species, including:

  • Crested Argus (Rheinardia ocellata)
  • Yellow-billed Nuthatch (Sitta solangiae)
  • Black-hooded Laughingthrush (Garrulax milleti)
  • White-cheeked Laughingthrush (Garrulax vassali)
  • Collared Laughingthrush (Garrulax yersini)
  • Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler / Indochinese Wren Babbler (Jabouilleia danjoui)
  • Vietnamese Greenfinch (Carduelis monguilloti)
  • Grey-crowned Crocias (Crocias langbianis)
Black-hooded Laughingthrush

The Dalat Plateau also supports distinctive sub-species of global species such as Rufous-backed Sibia (Heterophasia annectens), Black-headed Sibia (Heterophasia desgodinsi), and others unique to the region. Additionally, notable bird species found in the area include:

  • Bar-backed Partridge (Arborophila brunneopectus)
  • Silver Pheasant (Lophura nycthemera)
  • Red-vented Barbet (Psilopogon lagrandieri)
  • Black-browed Barbet (Psilopogon oorti)
  • Red-headed Trogon (Harpactes erythrocephalus)
  • Long-tailed Broadbill (Psarisomus dalhousiae)
  • Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon (Treron sphenurus)
  • Mountain Imperial Pigeon (Ducula badia)
  • Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malaiensis)
  • Rufous-bellied Eagle (Lophotriorchis kienerii)
  • Jerdon’s Baza (Aviceda jerdoni)
  • Rusty-naped Pitta (Hydrornis oatesi)
  • Blue Pitta (Hydrornis cyaneus)
  • Burmese Shrike (Lanius collurioides)
  • Indochinese Green Magpie (Cissa hypoleuca)
  • Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius)
  • Slender-billed Oriole (Oriolus tenuirostris)
  • Maroon Oriole (Oriolus traillii)
  • White-throated Rock Thrush (Monticola gularis)
  • Green Cochoa (Cochoa viridis)
  • Rufous-browed Flycatcher (Anthipes solitaris)
  • Blue-and-White Flycatcher (Cyanoptila cyanomelana)
  • Mugimaki Flycatcher (Ficedula mugimaki)
  • Snowy-browed Flycatcher (Ficedula hyperythra)
  • Little Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula westermanni)
  • Large Niltava (Niltava grandis)
  • Lesser Shortwing (Brachypteryx leucophris)
  • White-tailed Robin (Myiomela leucura)
  • Spotted Forktail (Enicurus maculatus)
  • Yellow-billed Nuthatch (Sitta solangiae)
  • Yellow-cheeked Tit (Machlolophus spilonotus)
  • Grey-crowned Tit (Parus cinereus)
  • Grey-bellied Tesia (Tesia cyaniventer)
  • White-spectacled Warbler (Seicercus affinis)
  • Chestnut-crowned Warbler (Seicercus castaniceps)
  • Black-hooded Laughingthrush (Garrulax milleti)
  • White-cheeked Laughingthrush (Garrulax vassali)
  • Orange-breasted Laughingthrush (Garrulax annamensis)
  • Collared Laughingthrush (Garrulax yersini)
  • White-browed Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus schisticeps)
  • Streaked Wren-Babbler (Napothera brevicaudata)
  • Eyebrowed Wren-Babbler (Napothera epilepidota)
  • Pygmy Wren Babbler (Pnoepyga pusilla)
  • Rufous-capped Babbler (Stachyris ruficeps)
  • Vietnamese Cutia (Cutia legalleni)
  • Chestnut-fronted Shrike-Babbler (Pteruthius aenobarbus)
  • Blue-winged Minla (Minla cyanouroptera)
  • Black-crowned Fulvetta (Alcippe klossi)
  • Indochinese Fulvetta (Alcippe danisi)
  • Grey-crowned Crocias (Crocias langbianis)
  • Rufous-backed Sibia (Heterophasia annectens)
  • Black-headed Sibia (Heterophasia desgodinsi)
  • Black-headed Parrotbill (Psittiparus margaritae)
  • Mrs Gould’s Sunbird (Aethopyga gouldiae)
  • Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna)
  • Vietnamese Greenfinch (Carduelis monguilloti)
  • Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)
  • Brown Bullfinch (Pyrrhula nipalensis)
Indochinese Fulvetta

When is the best time for birding in Dalat

Before focusing on birding we must know

Dalat Climate

Dalat features a “Tropical wet and dry or savanna” climate (Köppen classification: Aw). The highest temperature is 27.1°C (80.78°F) and the lowest is 13.6°C (56.48°F), with an average yearly temperature of 20.0°C (68.03°F). Annual rainfall averages nearly 2791.0 millimeters (109.88 inches).

Monthly Averages

Historical monthly average weather conditions for Dalat.

MonthsHigh / Low (°C)Rain
January23.4° / 14.0°7.5 days
February25.8° / 13.6°6.4 days
March27.0° / 15.0°11.9 days
April27.1° / 16.5°21.8 days
May26.3° / 17.4°29.2 days
June24.6° / 17.2°29.1 days
July23.9° / 17.2°29.5 days
August24.1° / 17.3°29.2 days
September24.0° / 17.2°29.6 days
October23.8° / 16.5°27.7 days
November23.6° / 15.8°19.0 days
December22.6° / 14.8°7.6 days

“The best time for birding in Dalat is from Nov to Apr when it is not much rain and migratory time”

Note that It will be cool, you should prepare for clothing

Where birding in Dalat

Birding routes

The cool climate, pine forests, lakes, and waterfalls make Dalat a popular destination for Vietnamese tourists; weekends and, especially, public holidays can be very busy. The Dalat area is also known throughout Vietnam for its market gardens and nurseries growing vegetables and flowers.

Many birding sites are within a few minutes’ drive from Da Lat city.

Mount Lang Bian

Just 12 km north of the city, Lang Bian Mountain (also known as ‘Nui Ba’) is easily accessible by motorbike taxi or car. A trail winds through pine forests up to the summit’s montane evergreen forest. Along the way, Vietnamese Greenfinch can be spotted in the pine groves, while Red Crossbill appears closer to the summit. The endemic Collared Laughingthrush, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, and Black-crowned Fulvetta are found in the evergreen forest leading to the top. Other notable species include Green Cochoa, White-cheeked Laughingthrush, Black-throated Sunbird, and Vietnamese Cutia.

Green Cochoa
Black-throated Sunbird

Tuyen Lam lake

This man-made lake is located just 3 km outside of the city and is easily accessible by motorbike or car. To reach the remnant forest at the far end of the lake, where the best birding opportunities are found, hiring a boat is necessary. Although there are trails through the forest, they are poorly marked and challenging to locate. Local specialties such as Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Black-hooded Laughingthrush, Grey-crowned Crocias, Vietnamese Greenfinch, Vietnamese Cutia, Black-headed Parrotbill, Blue-winged Minla, White-cheeked Laughingthrush, Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird, Black-throated Sunbird, and Streaked Wren Babbler can be observed in this area.

Black-headed Parrotbill

Ta Nung valley

This site, approximately 15 km from Da Lat by motorbike or car, is renowned as one of the prime locations for observing Grey-crowned Crocias. Additionally, birdwatchers can spot Indochinese Green Magpie, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Black-hooded Laughingthrush, White-cheeked Laughingthrush, Orange-breasted Laughingthrush, and Grey-headed Parrotbill in this area.

Grey-crowned Crocias
Grey-crowned Crocias

Nui San Pass (Deo Nui San)

This forested mountain pass on the main road from Di Linh to Phan Thiet, approximately 80 km from Da Lat, is renowned as the most reliable site for observing the Orange-breasted Laughingthrush. Other notable species that can be spotted here include Blue Pitta, Rusty-naped Pitta, Green Cochoa, Black-hooded Laughingthrush, White-cheeked Laughingthrush, Indochinese Fulvetta, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Long-tailed Broadbill, Collared Scops Owl, Collared Owlet, and Red-headed Trogon.

Long-tailed Broadbill
Long-tailed Broadbill

Giang Ly

Giang Ly is nestled within Bidoup National Park, conveniently positioned along road TL723 linking Da Lat and Nha Trang. The broadleaf forest at an elevation of 1600m above sea level provides habitat for nearly all endemic species of the Dalat Plateau, excluding the Orange-breasted Laughingthrush. Occasionally, the Indochinese Fulvetta makes appearances here, enhancing its appeal as a viable alternative to Langbian Mountain for birdwatching.

Indochinese Fulvetta
Indochinese Fulvetta

Cong Troi (“Heaven Gate”)

About 30 km from Da Lat city, Cong Troi emerges as a promising new birding spot, facilitated by a newly constructed road that provides access to this excellent birding area (heading towards Dak Lak province, although not yet completed). Comparable to Langbian Mountain, Ta Nung, Tuyen Lam Lake, and Giang Ly, Cong Troi offers diverse bird species. Bird blinds have been strategically placed within Cong Troi forest, providing ideal opportunities to observe and photograph species such as the Collared Laughingthrush, Indochinese Wren-babbler, Grey-bellied Tesia, Red Crossbill, Hume’s Treecreeper, Chestnut-fronted Shrike-babbler, Mountain Tailorbird, Kloss’s Leaf Warbler, Maroon Oriole, and many others up close.

Red Crossbill
Red Crossbill

Bidoup Mt

The highest peak (2,287m) in the core zone of Bidoup Nui Ba National Park offers a unique birding experience. Species like the Indochinese Fulvetta are found exclusively above 1,800m along the trail to the mountain top. Despite logistical challenges, birders can also spot the Collared Laughingthrush and Green Cochoa in this rugged terrain. Bidoup Mountain, while less accessible due to its remote location, requires overnight camping in the forest for a chance to explore its rich avian diversity.

Di Linh

Di Linh, often known as Deo Nui San or Deo Suoi Lanh, stands out as a distinct birding area separate from Da Lat. Despite this distinction, all the bird species found here can also be observed in Da Lat, albeit with some species being more readily accessible in Di Linh. Notable species easier to spot here compared to Da Lat include the Vietnamese Cutia, Orange-breasted Laughingthrush, Black-headed Parrotbill, and Green Cochoa.

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Tips for birding in Dalat


Da Lat is about 6-7 hours by car/bus from Ho Chi Minh City (300 km), and 5 hours from Nha Trang on the National Highway 20. There are two fights from Sai Gon/Ha Noi to Da Lat at Lien Khuong airport.


Da Lat is a big tourism city, hotels from standard to 5 stars, guesthouses and restaurants everywhere.

In Di Linh town, Bao Phu hotel is the best “mini-hotel” for big birding groups while Juliet Villa is nicer, located near the forest but only able to accommodate a maximum of 6 people.

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