North & Central Thailand Birding



Thailand is a gorgeous Asian country, rich in birds. The beautiful and diverse habitats, including fabulous reserves, parks, sanctuaries, etc., are home to a large number of different species. We can also find some Palearctic migrant species on our birding expedition to Thailand. This Thailand tour includes stays from marshy plains, mangroves, and salt pans around Bangkok to coastlines inhabiting the endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper. From extensive lowland forests at Kaeng Krachan National Park covering exclusive blinds to the beautiful woods at Khao Yai, and from montane forests in the northwest near Chiang Mai to Thailand’s highest mountain peak at Doi Inthanon, this birding tour targets birds of different habitats.

Trip Highlights
  • Birding at some of the most exotic birding locations of Thailand – KAeng Krachan, Doi Inthanon, Doi Ang, Kaeng Krachan and Doi Land
  • Birding across varied terrains of Thailand, and chances of some very rare birds like the Spoon-billed Sandpiper
  • We have specially setup birding blinds at some places for closer observation and photography
  • Target multiple species of Pitta including the Blue Pitta

Day 1


Arrive in Bangkok. After having a view of the city and a fantastic welcome dinner by the hotel staff, the city is incredible to watch at night. So, if you want, you can take a short trip to the town. Otherwise, relax at the hotel and gear up for the adventure in the coming days.

Day 2

Mahachai Mangrove Forest and Phetchaburi

After an early breakfast, depart for a drive to Wat Chalerm Phrakiat temple and public park. Here, witness country birds like the Spotted Owlet, Oriental Magpie Robin, Openbill Stork, Green Bee-eater, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Pied Starling, Common Iora, Common Tailorbird, Brown-winged Kingfisher, Coppersmith Barbet, Asian Common Koel, Pied Starling, Greater Coucal, Openbill Stork, and the flashy Indian Roller. Afterwards, we go to Wat Chong Lom temple for Edible-nest Swiftlet and then drive to Mahachai Mangrove Forest to watch Oriental White-eye, Mangrove Whistler, Racket-tailed Treepie, Brown-throated, Olive-backed Sunbirds, Black-winged Stilt, Yellow-bellied Prinia, and Golden-bellied Gerygone. Our next spot is the Bang Jak rice field, which has a high bird diversity: Purple Swamphen, Bronze-winged Jacana, Pied Kingfisher, White-browed Crake, Asian Streaked Weaver, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Long-tailed Shrike, Plain-backed Sparrow, Golden Weaver, Grey-breasted Prinia, Cotton Pygmy-Goose, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Scaly-bread, and more. The night will be spent at a hotel in Phetchaburi province.

tea plantation covered with fog in doi ang khang mountain, thailand

Day 3

Laem Phak Bia and transfer to Kaeng Krachan

We spend the morning birding in the Laem Phak Bia area, searching for the rare, endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Little Egret, Nordmann's Greenshank, Painted Stork, Black-capped, White-throated, Common, and Pied Kingfishers, and a host of other waders and wetland species. After this, we visited the nearby Royal Project, which studies polluted water caused by major cities. Here there are fish ponds, salt pans, and a wooden walkway through the mangrove forest. After lunch, we take a boat to Laem Phak Bia Sand Spit to look for Chinese egrets, Malaysian and White-faced Plovers, gulls, and other waterbirds. As we drive to Khao Kakrao, we'll check out freshwater marshes for Black-faced Spoonbill, Painted Storks, Milky Stork, Black-headed Ibis, herons, rails, and whatever else we can find. Landbirds can include the Long-tailed Shrike, Plain Prinia, Siberian Stonechat, and Black Drongo. We arrive at Kaeng Krachan perhaps in time for a productive session of birding at a blind set-up, especially for bird photography. At dusk, we look for Indian nightjars. We will spend three nights here at Samarn Bird Camp, just outside the park entrance.

two oriental pied hornbill on a tree branch in khao yai national park, thailand

Day 4

Kaeng Krachan

We will spend two productive days birding in Kaeng Krachan. Kaeng Krachan National Park is Thailand's largest national park and covers nearly half of the province. Several incredible species inhabit the lush green forests: the Blue Pitta, Grey Peacock-Pheasant, Kalij Pheasant, and Orange-headed Thrush. Roadside birding here is very productive. In Dry Forests, we look for Black-naped Orioles, Blue-winged and Golden-fronted Leafbirds, Great Slaty Woodpeckers, Greater Yellownapes, Black-and-red Broadbills, and Crested Serpent Eagles, along with Banded and Silver-breasted Broadbills and Red-bearded and Blue-bearded Bee-eaters. Higher elevation birding at Pha Nean Thung could produce Long-tailed Broadbill, Great and Wreathed Hornbills, Pin-tailed Parrotfinch, Flavescent Bulbul, Great Barbet, White-browed Shrike-Babbler, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Streaked Spiderhunter, Red-headed Trogon, Dark-sided Flycatcher, and mammals such as Dusky Leaf Langur and White-handed Gibbon. A daytime roost of the rare White-fronted Scops Owl is a bonus. The blinds at Uncle Sin's and nearby Ban Song Nok are excellent for bird photography.

oriental white-eye bird on a cherry tree in doi ang khang, chiang mai, thailand

Day 5

Khao Yai National Park

We spend all day birding in Khao Yai National Park because of the abundance of birds. We visit various locations in the park: Heaw Narok Waterfall for Banded Kingfisher, Pied Hornbill, Black-crested Bulbul, and Abbot's Babbler; the Zone Thanarat Bungalow habitat of scrub, grassy, forest edge for Hill Myna, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Red-wattled Lapwing, Red Junglefowl, and Ashy Wood Swallow; Khao Khiew road for Blue Pitta, Orange-breasted and Red-headed Trogon, Silver Pheasant, Siamese Fireback, Greater Flameback, Thick-billed Pigeon, Long-tailed Broadbill, and Blue-breasted Bee-eater; Pha View Dai viewpoint of evergreen forest and hill forest for Red-headed Trogon, Black-throated Laughingthrush, Puff-throated Babbler, Black Eagle, Great and Wreathed Hornbills; Pha Kaw Mai Campsite for Siberian Blue Robin and four species of Flowerpeckers - Yellow-vented, Plain, Scarlet-backed, and Buff-breasted; and Wang Jumpee, Buong Pai & Dong Tiew trails for Eared Pitta, White-crowned Forktail and Slaty-backed Forktail. Mammals include sambar deer, barking deer, white-handed gibbons, wild dogs, black giant squirrels, and variable squirrels. The evening could produce the northern brown boobok, brown fish owls, wild elephants, and civets. Night near Khao Yai.

silver breasted broadbill on a twig in the forest of kaeng krachan national park, thailand

Day 6

Chang Mai & Doi Ang Khang

After breakfast, we go to Bangkok and then take an afternoon flight to Chiang Mai. In the afternoon, we drive north to Doi Ang Khang for an afternoon of exploratory birding, perhaps stopping at Chiang Dao Mineral Hot Spring and Wat Pha Blog Cave for Limestone Wren-Babbler. We will spend three nights near Doi Ang Khang. We spent two days birding at Doi Ang Khang due to several unique birds in this area, notably the Giant Nuthatch, White-browed Laughingthrush, Spectacled Barwing, Brown-breasted Bulbul, and Spot-breasted Parrotbill, amongst many others. We can also get to see many wintering thrushes and warblers.

spoon-billed sandpiper in laem phak bia area, thailand

Day 7

Doi Inthanon NP

This part of northern Thailand is a highly bird-rich area; dry dipterocarp forests on lower mountain slopes merge into pine stands and deforested areas that support wintering Grey Bushchats, Siberian Rubythroat, Buff-throated, Radde's, and Yellow-streaked Warblers, and Chestnut Buntings. Higher elevation evergreen forest contains patches of rhododendrons around ponds, where Red-flanked Bluetail, White-tailed, Ashy-throated Leaf-Warblers, and Scarlet Rosefinches occur. Night birding here can be good, with Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl, Brown Hawk Owl, and Asian-barred Owlet seen in the vicinity.

Day 8

Return to Bangkok

After spending the morning birding at Doi Inthanon NP, we will take an afternoon flight to Bangkok. We will spend a night in Bangkok.