Why birding in Phong Nha Ke – Bang national park

Designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2003, the remarkable Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park contains the oldest karst mountains in Asia, formed approximately 400 million years ago. Riddled with hundreds of cave systems – many of extraordinary scale and length – and spectacular underground rivers, Phong Nha is a speleologists’ heaven on earth, and a real treat for anyone who appreciates the sight of nature at its most raw.

An area dominated by limestone karst landscapes in northern Central Vietnam bordering Laos with a mix of limestone forest, remnant lowland evergreen forest and areas of cultivation. Spectacular limestone caves make the park a popular tourist destination and at weekends and holidays it can be very crowded. Species of particular interest here are two limestone specialists, the recently described Limestone Leaf-warbler and Sooty Babbler.

Other species that can be found here include Tonkin Partridge, White-bellied Green-pigeon, Brown Fish-owl, Austen’s Brown Hornbill, Red-collared Woodpecker, Blue-rumped and Bar-bellied Pittas, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, White-winged Magpie and Indochinese Wren-babbler. With Phong Nha-Ke Bang being a major tourist attraction there is a plentiful supply of hotels, guest houses, homestays and restaurants in the vicinity of the park.

What to see?

Bird fauna in Phong Nha Ke Bang – Birding in Phong Nha Ke Bang

Over 200 bird species have been recorded at Phong Nha-Ke Bang, with regard to the avifauna of Phong Nha Nature Reserve, Timmins et al. (1999) recorded several globally threatened species, including Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata, Chestnut-necklaced Partridge Arborophila charltonii and Red-collared Woodpecker Picus rabieri, Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler Jabouilleia danjoui.

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On the basis of the occurrence of four restricted-range bird species, Phong Nha lies within the Annamese Lowlands Endemic Bird Area. Phong Nha area is considered to be of particular importance for bird conservation because the populations of species of conservation concern are not at immediate risk of extirpation or major population declines.

Most highlights Birding in Phong Nha Ke Bang

Chestnut-necklaced Partridge, Red-collared Woodpecker, Brown Hornbill, Sooty Babbler and Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler.

When is the best time for birding in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park?

Before focusing on birding we must know

Phong Nha – Ke Bang Climate

Phong Nha – Ke Bang features a “Tropical monsoon” climate (Köppen classification: Am). The highest temperature is 32.5°C (90.5°F) and the lowest is 17.5°C (63.5°F), with an average yearly temperature of 24.6°C (76.28°F). Annual rainfall averages nearly 1503.3 millimeters (59.19 inches).

Monthly Averages

Historical monthly average weather conditions for Phong Nha – Ke Bang.

MonthsHigh / Low (°C)Rain
January21.2° / 17.5°15.6 days
February23.2° / 18.1°8.6 days
March26.0° / 20.1°10.4 days
April29.1° / 22.3°10.0 days
May32.1° / 25.1°12.8 days
June32.5° / 26.0°9.1 days
July31.4° / 25.5°13.2 days
August31.1° / 25.3°16.0 days
September29.8° / 24.4°19.1 days
October26.8° / 22.2°19.8 days
November24.6° / 21.0°17.8 days
December21.5° / 18.4°15.6 days

“The best time for birding in Phong Nha Ke Bang is from Dec to Apr when it is not much rain and migratory time”

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

Where’s to birding in Phong Nha Ke Bang Np.?

Birding routes

Visitors can get the trail up to the grotto by boat to see Sooty Babbler. The new trail to Thien Duong cave is the best route to see many species including Sooty Babbler, Limestone Warbler, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Red-headed Trogon

There are several forest trails in the park for birding however foreigners need to have permission to enter. When you get the permit, go to the Tra Ang bridge area where the Rachet-tailed Treepie, Sooty Babbler, White-winged Magpie, Red-collared Woodpecker, and many more are available.

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Tips for birding in Phong Nha Ke Bang Np.

Transportation

Car, motorbike. Phong Nha-Ke Bang is a major tourist attraction and can be easily accessed by road from Dong Hoi city or from Hue. Dong Hoi nowadays has an airplane to Ha Noi or Ho Chi Minh city every 2 days.

Nearby accommodation

There are several guesthouses and hotels around the park, and also restaurants. The best quality so far is Sai Gon – Phong Nha hotel, other private hotels such as Thien Thanh, Song Son, etc are good enough to stay.

The Phong Nha region is changing fast. Son Trach village (also known as Phong Nha town) is the main centre, with an ATM, a rapidly mushrooming choice of accommodation and eating options, and improving transport links with other parts of central Vietnam. This is the easiest place to base yourself for exploring the park, though their are eco-farms and homestays in the back and beyond if you like your solitude. Good accommodation options in Son Trach village include Victory Road Villas, Central Backpackers Hostel and Jungle Boss Homestay. 

The best tour cover Birding in Phong Nha Ke Bang Np.

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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