Why birding in Mang Den – Ngoc Linh Np.

Birding in Mang Den

A newly established hill resort town an hour’s drive from the city of Kontum, on the plateau of the same name. The surrounding areas of montane evergreen forest can easily be explored by car from Mang Den. One of the main draws for birders is the recently-discovered near-endemic Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush which is fairly common here.

The area shares several specialties with the Dalat Plateau such as Indochinese Wren-babbler, Black-hooded Laughingthrush, Grey-crowned Crocias and Yellow-billed Nuthatch. Other interesting species encountered in the Mang Den area include Pale-capped Pigeon, Austen’s Brown Hornbill, Stripe-breasted Woodpecker, Rusty-naped Pitta, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, White-winged Magpie, Rufous-faced Warbler, Grey-crowned Tit, Grey-headed Parrotbill, and Pale Blue-flycatcher.

Birding in Ngoc Linh Np.

Recent road construction in the area has opened up the tantalizingly close but previously inaccessible montane evergreen forest of Ngoc Linh National Park. Simple rooms are available at Tu Mo Rong, around 1.5 hours drive from the best birding, while more comfortable accommodation is available at Dak To, a 3-hour drive away.

The prize bird here is undoubtedly the recently described Golden-winged Laughingthrush but the birding, in general, is excellent, especially c. 2000 m, offering opportunities of seeing a mouth-watering range of high elevation specialties such as Ashy Wood-pigeon, Eye-ringed Shrike-babbler, Annam Golden-breasted, and Indochinese Fulvettas, Black-eared Parrotbill, Red-tailed Laughingthrush, Brownish-backed Sibia, Red-tailed, Blue-winged and Bar-throated Minlas, Black-crowned Barwing, Yellow-billed Nuthatch and both Purple and Green Cochoa.

Travel to both site take quite much time so the best option that take in one plan for save cost

What to see?


Biodiversity values of Mang Den

Mang Den is located in Kong Plong district, Kontum province. The town is developing as a hill resort since 2004, it lies on Road 24 from Kon Tum to Quang Ngai which is approximately 50 km to the east of Kontum, in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. The forest named Mang Canh forest enterprise on the local road 676, an excellent montane evergreen forest survives mostly intact although it is degrading for a damp project.

Within the Kontum Plateau EBA, the little-known Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush can be found here and is the highlight for almost birders, it was described as recently as the late 1990s this enigmatic species is known only from the Kontum Plateau, and until “rediscovery” in mid-2010 although we had tried much time since 2006.

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Mang Den Bird fauna

The town itself is a mix of pine-broadleaf forest, many birds can be encountered including Black-hooded Laughingthrush, Red-vented Barbet, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Silver Pheasant, Blue Pitta, Rufous-faced Warbler and Tits As mentioned above, the Mang Canh forest is the best spot for Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush, moreover, Rusty-naped, Blue and Blue-rumped Pittas can be founded in some difficult ways, Brown Hornbill, White-winged Magpie, Rachet-tailed Treepie are along the main road.

Most highlights Mang Den

Pale-capped Pigeon, Northern Brown Hornbill, Stripe-breasted Woodpecker, White-winged Magpie, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, Pale Blue Flycatcher, Grey-crowned Tit, Rufous-faced Warbler, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Indochinese Wren-babbler, Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush, Black-hooded Laughingthrush, Grey-crowned Crocias, Rufous-backed Sibia, Grey-faced Warbler

Birding in Mang Den
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IN Ngoc Linh National Park

Birding spots in Ngoc Linh have a chance to reach

 Tumorong  – Mang Ri and Ngoc Lay

There are two different spots, you have to stay overnight in a newly established town Tu Mo Rong to visit both. From there you can drive to a new road construction leading to Mang Ri commune. Note that the area is very new so security is not guaranteed, however when you arrive there, a lot of things to see.

One of the most desired is Golden-winged Laughingthrush  although it is not common along the road you climbing a bit to reach 1800m will be easier. Black-crowned Barwing is very common around. Surprisingly Grey-crowned Crocias, which are believed confine to the Da Lat area also can be found here.

Back to road 20B which leads to Tam Ky – Quang Nam and drive for about 10km, you will reach Ngoc Lay commune, take the drive for 2km more and see the beautiful forest at 1,600m. Just keep along the main road you will easily get Red-tailed Laughingthrush and Green-tailed Sunbird

Of course, there are many more to see in the central highland, a Cutia here is still unknown whether it is Himalayan or Vietnamese, Grey-headed Parrotbill which is different Black-headed from Da Lat, Green Shrike Babbler, Crested Argus (heard only), Rusty-naped Pitta, Blue Pitta, Silver Pheasant, etc and other things waiting for us to find.

When is the best time for birding in Mang Den – Ngoc Linh Np.

PlaceThe best time in a year
Mang Den Feb-Jun
Ngoc Linh Np.Feb-May; Nov – Dec

“The best time for birding in Mang Den & Ngoc Linh Np. is from Feb to May when it is not much rain and migratory time”

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

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Tips for birding in Mang Den – Ngoc Linh Np.


This map HERE helps you to find the way, you can travel by private car from Pleiku airport for about 3 hours. A connected trip with LO XO is usually a drive from Da Nang for one night stay in Kham Duc or in-versa.


Now a day there are many hotels in Mang Den and our recent place is Hoa Sim Hotel, Birding in Ngoc Linh is the only choice that stays at the TuMrong which small guest house (very basic) and leave early in the morning to reach the birding spot.

The best tour cover Birding in Mang Den – Ngoc Linh

Hot-spot for Birding in Vietnam 

all birding in hot-spot informative info [updated Jan 2023]

Nr.: Nature reserve; Np. National Park; mt. Mountain

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