Why birding in Tam Dao National Park

Located on a mountain ridge rising up from the plain of the Red River Delta to the north of Hanoi. Lower montane evergreen forest with areas of the bamboo forest dominate at around 1100 m rising to just below 1600 m at the highest point with remnant lowland evergreen forest and coniferous plantations at lower elevations. Tam Dao is home to four specialties that are seldom seen elsewhere in Vietnam: Blue-naped Pitta, Chestnut Bulbul, Short-tailed Parrotbill, and Grey Laughingthrush.

The hill town of Tam Dao, located within the national park area, is a popular tourist destination with numerous accommodations and dining options. Like most tourist sites in Vietnam in can be very busy at weekends and holiday periods. Note, frequent low clouds and mist can often make for frustrating birding conditions at Tam Dao.

What to see?

Biodiversity values of Birding in Tam Dao national park

According to the investment plan, Tam Dao supports 21,982 ha of natural forest and 1,351 ha of plantation forest. The natural forest is of two main types: lowland evergreen forest and lower montane evergreen forest. Lowland evergreen forest is distributed at elevations between 700 and 800 m. The diversity of tree species in this forest type is high, with the Fabaceae, Dipterocarpaceae, Meliaceae, Burseraceae, Myrtaceae, and Anacardiaceae families being well represented.

This forest type is heavily degraded. Lower montane evergreen forest is distributed above 800 m. Members of the Dipterocarpaceae family are almost entirely absent from this forest type, which is dominated by species in the Fagaceae, Lauraceae, Magnoliaceae, Aceraceae, Theaceae, Hamamelidaceae, Sapotaceae, and Ericaceae families. Also in this forest type, a number of conifer species are present, such as Decussocarpus fleuryiAmentotaxus argotaenia, Podocarpus imbricatus and Fokienia hodginsii.

In addition to the two main forest types, Tam Dao National Park supports 669 ha of elfin forest, dominated by species in the Ericaceae and Theaceae families. During field surveys conducted by FIPI in preparation for the investment plan, 490 species of vascular plant, 58 species of mammal, 158 species of bird, 46 species of reptile, and 19 species of amphibian were recorded.

Many of these species are listed in the Red Data Book of Vietnam. One of the most notable species to occur at Tam Dao National Park is the Vietnamese Salamander (Paramesotriton deloustali), a globally threatened species, endemic to northern Vietnam. Tam Dao National Park supports some of the highest levels of recorded insect diversity in Vietnam. Although this may partly reflect the high levels of survey effort at Tam Dao compared with other sites.

Bird fauna in Tam Dao national park – Birding in Tam Dao national park

About 100 species have been recorded at Tam Dao, specialities include Purple and Green Cochoas, Chestnut Bulbul, Grey Laughingthrush, Coral-billed and Streak-breasted Scimitar Babblers and Greater Rufous-headed and Short-tailed Parrotbills. Winter visitors that may turn up here between December and March include Black-breasted, Japanese, Eyebrowed, and Grey-backed Thrush and Fujian Niltava.

Most highlights in Tam Dao national park

Grey Laughingthrush, Black-throated Laughingthrush, Green and Purpple Cochoas, and Short-tailed Parrotbill

Gray Laughingthrush
How to Birding in Tam Dao national park [update 2023] 10
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When is the best time for birding in Tam Dao Np?

The park receives weather benefits from the high altitude. The temperature can be said to be comfortable almost every month with high humidity.

Covered in greenery, this park is an ideal place for novice trekkers and climbers.

The best time to visit Tam Dao National Park is from June to August. While other provinces in the North suffer from heatstroke, Tam Dao remains chilly with a clear sky and bright sun. The park shall make a perfect summer getaway. Remember to check the weather forecast to avoid rainy days. Avoid traveling to the park from November to March. In winter, the park is covered in thick fog, making forest paths treacherous to conquer.

Monthly Averages

Historical monthly average weather conditions for Tam Dao.

 JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
Avg. Temperature °C (°F)15.1 °C(59.1) °F17.1 °C(62.9) °F20.1 °C(68.1) °F23.8 °C(74.8) °F25.7 °C(78.3) °F27 °C(80.6) °F26.9 °C(80.4) °F26.4 °C(79.5) °F25.4 °C(77.7) °F23.3 °C(74) °F19.9 °C(67.9) °F16 °C(60.8) °F
Min. Temperature °C (°F)12.2 °C(54) °F14.2 °C(57.6) °F17.1 °C(62.7) °F20.6 °C(69.1) °F22.8 °C(73) °F24.3 °C(75.7) °F24.3 °C(75.8) °F23.9 °C(75) °F22.6 °C(72.8) °F20.3 °C(68.5) °F16.6 °C(61.9) °F12.6 °C(54.7) °F
Max. Temperature °C (°F)17.8 °C(64.1) °F20.2 °C(68.4) °F23.3 °C(74) °F27.5 °C(81.5) °F29.4 °C(84.9) °F30.5 °C(87) °F30.4 °C(86.7) °F30 °C(85.9) °F28.9 °C(84.1) °F26.8 °C(80.2) °F23.4 °C(74.1) °F19.2 °C(66.6) °F
Precipitation / Rainfall mm (in)65(2)57(2)92(3)126(4)283(11)358(14)370(14)375(14)225(8)112(4)69(2)45(1)
Humidity(%)75%78%79%79%81%84%85%87%83%78%75%72%
Rainy days (d)91012111516171814977
avg. Sun hours (hours)2.42.02.33.76.28.08.17.57.56.75.14.2

Data: 1991 – 2021 Min. Temperature °C (°F), Max. Temperature °C (°F), Precipitation / Rainfall mm (in), Humidity, Rainy days. Data: 1999 – 2019: avg. Sun hours

The variation in the precipitation between the driest and wettest months is 330 mm | 13 inches. The variation in annual temperature is around 11.9 °C | 21.5 °F.

The month with the highest relative humidity is August (86.86 %). The month with the lowest relative humidity is December (72.19 percent). The month with the rainiest days is August (23.70 days). The month with the fewest rainy days is November (8.70 days).


“The best time for birding in Aug is from Nov to Tam Dao when it is not much rain and migratory time”

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

Where’s birding in Tam Dao National Park?

Birding routes

Birding routes

The route from Tam Dao town, which lies within the national park, to Rung Rinh has long been the favoured birding route (known as the ‘Contour Trail’ or ‘Water Tank Trail’). Short-tailed Parrotbill and Blue-naped Pitta can be seen along this route 

Television Tower Trail: Walking up the 500 or so steps to the television tower above Tam Dao town, birders may encounter Grey Laughingthrush, Chestnut Bulbul, and, if they are fortunate, Green Cochoa. Be warned: this trail becomes very crowded with noisy students on weekends.

The route to Nung village from behind the park headquarters is a good walk through forest, which may yield Ratchet-tailed Treepie and Black-throated Laughingthrush. Note that permission is required from the national park to walk this route.

Other small trails around the foot of the mountain and along the road to Tam Dao town can turn up Spot-necked Babbler.

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How’s to birding in Tam Dao National Park?

Get there

Transportation

With a close distance to Hanoi, it is easy to visit Tam Dao National Park in one day. It only takes a maximum of 2 hours on bus, car, motorbike, taxi, or train to get here.

By bus

  • New way and Tien Thinh: the company provides round-trip service between Hanoi and Tam Dao by 200.000 per person. Buses are departed from My Dinh bus station.
  • Nhat Nam: Pick-up and drop-off places are based on agreement.
  • Public bus: 07/58 Hanoi bus connects Cau Giay/ Long Bien to Tam Dao. From Vinh Phuc stop, continue to ride on the 01 or 07 Vinh Phuc bus to Tam Dao mountain foot. Then call a taxi to your destination. Consider Mai Linh, Huy Hoang, and Thinh Hung brands.

By private vehicles

Travel by private car or motorbike is the most flexible means to Tam Dao National Park. Starting from Hanoi city center, follow Noi Bai international route or Me Linh Road (toll fee included), then continue with Highway 5 (Noi Bai – Lao Cai express), and turn to 2B National Road after seeing Vinh Yen city. Trust the road signs and you will arrive in no time.

However, as the mountain roads have many sharp turns, and high slopes, be careful of your speed and beware of the opposite vehicles.

By train

With only 35.000 VND you can catch a Hanoi – Lao Cai train and stop by Vinh Yen station. It takes about 45 minutes from the station, by taxi or bus to Tam Dao Park.

By taxi

Long way taxis are also available, but the price can be high compared to other transportations, about 1.000.000 VND one turn.

Accommodations

updating

The best tour cover Birding in Tam Dao 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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