Gulf of Thailand Gulf of Thailand tour

Gulf of Thailand


Historically a freshwater swamp area with raised wooded land, Central Thailand is presently either full of farmland or has urbanized areas. However, Central Thailand still has many areas where one can spot various species of water birds. Since the freshwater species use rice fields and fish ponds for feeding and nesting, and therefore, this less-intensively farmed land in Central Thailand contains marshland species. The Gulf of Thailand has mudflats that support the internationally significant numbers of various wintering waders like the Asian Dowitcher, Nordmann’s Greenshank, and the endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper. The orchards and parks like Ao Phang Nga National Park and Kaeng Krachan National Park in the urban areas house many common species and also act as a magnet to passage migrants in spring and autumn seasons.


Location: Thailand

Nearest Airport: Bangkok International Airport

How to reach: Most places are within 1-4 hours of Bangkok airport

Famous for: Exotic birding

Best time to visit: December to May


Key birds: Blue Pitta, Austen’s Brown Hornbill, Mekong Wagtail, Short-tailed Parrotbill, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Spot-billed Pelican, Greater Painted Snipe, Yellow-breasted Bunting, Great Knot, Asian Golden Weaver, Nordmann’s Greenshank, Watercock, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Asian Dowitcher, Greater Spotted Eagle, Pied Harrier, Malaysian Plover, Painted Stork, Siamese Fireback, Milky Stork, Stork-billed Kingfisher


Being the specialty of this region, wetlands have patches of woodland and parks that attract migrants, and over a year, an extremely large number of species can be spotted in the region. The real reason to visit Central Thailand is the Migrant shorebirds. Central Thailand has large numbers of waders, a magnificent diversity of species, and several globally rare and unique species. The Gulf of Thailand is amongst the world’s best shorebird watching sites.


The upland plateaus have forests that act as the biggest draw in the region. Birders get easy access to great quality mixed evergreen forest, and make several sites in the region accessible for seeing several widespread birds that are usually not that easy to spot in the forest. Guests can reach a bunch of main sites easily by private vehicles or public transport. However, there are a lot of locations that do not get much attention but are worth exploring. There are various areas of dry dipterocarp woodland that are full of interesting and scarce species of birds found in Thailand. Guests will also get the possibility of finding a few birds that are unseen or rarely spotted in Thailand but are regularly seen across the border in Cambodia. Several interesting wetlands are close to the border with Cambodia, especially in the province of Buriram. These wetlands add variety to the region’s avifauna, and it still holds some of the most unique and rare river-dwelling species.


Key Destinations

Kaeng Krachan National Park:The Kaeng Krachan National Park is located in the Prachuab Kiri Khan and Petchaburi provinces. Being Thailand’s National Park, the Kaeng Krachan National Park occupies 2915 square kilometers of area. The national park is Thailand’s premier forest bird watching location because of the quality and quantity of species found there. Being just three hours away from Thailand, guests go to the Kaeng Krachan National Park to experience the evergreen tree species as well as the numerous birds found here. Housing some of the most unique birds, the guests can spot bird species like Grey Peacock-Pheasant, Ferruginous Partridge, Kalij Pheasant, Blue Pitta, Banded Broadbill, Great Slaty Woodpecker, etc. can be found easily in the Kaeng Krachan National Park.

Khao Yai National Park: Established in 1962, the Khao Yai National Park is a world heritage site because of the quality of the habitat at this national park. Having an area of 2168 square kilometers, this National Park is amongst the largest national parks in Thailand, after the Kaeng Krachan National Park. The dominant habitat of the national park is the seasonal evergreen forest, but the park has various areas of hill evergreen forest and some expanses of grassland. The guests have an extensive option of exploring the forests because of the presence of different trails inside the national park. The Khao Yai National Park is a bird watcher’s paradise as it has various bird species that include Coral-billed Ground-Cuckoo, Wreathed Hornbills, Siamese Fireback Pheasants, Long-tailed Broadbill, Slaty-backed Forktail, Red-headed Trogon, etc.

Mahachai Mangrove Forest:The Mahachai Mangrove Research Station is a part of regenerating and mature mangroves that are located on the western side of the Tachin River’s estuary in the province of SamutSakorn. Housing several unique species, the Mahachai Mangrove Forest has a reconstructed boardwalk that is made of concrete, and it provides the birders a chance to get into the mangroves. After combining the time birding the mangroves, mudflats, the surrounding pools, scrubland, and other scrappy areas, guests can spot a great number of species here. The highlights of the Mahachai Mangrove Forest include the Asian Dowitcher and Mangrove Whistler. The other species of birds found in this area include the Collared Kingfisher, Dark-necked Tailorbird, Golden-bellied Gerygone, Yellow-rumped Flycatcher, Square-tailed Drongo Cuckoo, etc.

Petchaburi Rice Fields:Lying in the farmland in the north of Petchaburi, the Petchaburi Rice Fields is famous for its fields of rice, but the area also contains various fish ponds, uncultivated Typha beds, and gardens. Small numbers of cattle and ducks are spotted and farmed among the rice fields of the area. The Petchaburi rice fields are owned privately by people, and in recent years farming methods have started to increase, and therefore, many rough patches have disappeared over time. The Petchaburi Rice Fields have an abundance of birds, which include the Greater Spotted Eagle, male Pied Harrier, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Eastern Marsh Harrier, Steppe Eagle, Booted Eagle, etc. There are a lot of freshwater species in the area, which include the Stork-billed Kingfisher, Plain-backed Sparrow, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, White-shouldered Starling, Black-browed Reed Warbler, and many other species of birds.