North Thailand Birding


Thailand offers guests everything they expect from a gorgeous tropical destination, be it the lush mountainous landscapes of the north or the idyllic islands of the south! Thailand birding tours start and end in Chiang Mai and make the guests travel through the stunning scenery and astonishingly rich forests of the country. The guests will get to enjoy the famed and extremely delicious food of Northern Thailand. Being a birding tour, guests will get the opportunity to spot various rare bird species that include Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant, Himalayan Cutia, Silver-eared Mesia, Hodgson’s Frogmouth, and many more. Furthermore, guests will also visit various temples and many sites that offer excellent photographic opportunities to tourists!

Trip Highlights
  • Enjoy the traditional Northern Thailand food
  • Explore the Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Get the opportunities to witness and photograph the unique birds in different regions
  • Visit the iconic Doi Chiang Dao mountain
  • Explore the small town of Fang
  • Pay a visit to the Thaton rice paddies
  • Spend a day in the forests and gardens of the Doi Ang Khang mountain

Day 1

Arrive Chiang Mai

After a pleasant flight, you will arrive in Chiang Mai, where you will be greeted by our guide and transferred to your hotel. Later in the evening, you will have a group meal together.


Those of you who will resume the Central Thailand tour will take the flight directly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and meet the other tour members at the evening meal.

Days 2 - 4

Doi Inthanon National Park

After having an early breakfast, you will leave the city and head straight to Doi Inthanon National Park. Being an excellent place for birdwatching in northern Thailand, you will spot an awful lot of birds in this national park! Having a height of 8415 feet, Doi Inthanon is the highest mountain in Thailand and supports some of the country's most unique habitats. Apart from the marvelous birds and forests, the National Park also has incredible views! There are several trails, different roads, and various access points at different elevations that will allow you to explore the different types of forests, the unusual bog habitat at the mountain's summit, and the numerous rivers that head downwards to the mountainside!


As you proceed towards the lower elevations, you will get to spot unique species of birds, which include the Blossom-headed Parakeet, Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler, Asian Barred Owlet, Brown Hawk-Owl, and many more. As you pass through the rivers, damp areas, and waterfalls, you will stop and look for the Black-backed and Slaty-backed Forktail, White-capped Redstart, Plumbeous Water Redstart, Blue Whistling Thrush, and Grey Wagtail.


After going high up and around the bog, you will get to spot some unique birds like the Rufous-throated Partridge, Ashy Wood Pigeon, Black-tailed Crake, Yellow-bellied Fantail, Silver-eared Laughingthrush, Himalayan Shortwing, Ashy-throated Warblers, and many more.


The highlight birds in the middle elevations include the Red-headed Trogon, Maroon Oriole, Stripe-breasted Woodpecker, Clicking Shrike-Babbler, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, Little Pied, Rufous-bellied Niltavas, and many others.


While examining the forest floor, you will try to find the secretive Pygmy, Eyebrowed Wren-Babblers, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Lesser Shortwing, etc. You can also find some interesting migrant thrushes (Chestnut, White’s, Eyebrowed, and Grey-sided Thrushes), chats (Blue-fronted Redstart and Himalayan Bluetail), and warblers (Pallas’s Warbler).

Day 5

Transfer to Chiang Dao

You will go for a morning birding session in the Doi Inthanon National Park, and after that, you will head towards the north, back past Chiang Mai. From Chiang Mai, you will travel up to the foot of the scenic Doi Chiang Dao. If you have time, then you will visit the rice paddies, where you will get to spot the Brown-cheeked Rail, Greater Painted Snipe, Pied Harrier, Grey-headed Lapwing, Chinese Pond Heron, Pied Bush Chat, etc.

Day 6

Birding at Doi Chiang Dao

You will spend the early morning near the top of Doi Chiang Dao, where you will spot numerous birds, and you will reach the top through your 44-mile drive up the rocky mountain road to reach the top when the sun rises. After reaching it, you might get the opportunity to spot Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant, Mountain Bamboo Partridge, Slender-billed Orioles, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Himalayan Swiftlet, Japanese Tit, Hill Prinia, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Hodgson’s Frogmouth, and many more.


If the weather is alright, then you will have your lunch on the mountain and spend some time in the afternoon continuing your birding. However, if the weather is not good, then you will go to the middle and lower elevations to spot plenty of birds in that area.

Day 7

Explore the Thaton Rice Paddies

You will spend your morning birding the forest and gardens near your accommodation, where you will spot species like the Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Violet Cuckoo, and many more.


After having lunch, you will be transferred to our base, where you will spend your next few nights in the small town of Fang. Later in the afternoon, you will visit the nearby rice paddies, where you will spot the Small Pratincole, Siberian Rubythroat, Yellow-breasted Bunting, Long-tailed Shrike, Pied Bush Chat, Stejneger’s Stonechat, and various varieties of open-country birds.

Day 8

Bird Watching at Doi Ang Khang

The Doi Ang Khang Mountain is a bit farther to the north and offers various species and some potential Chinese migrants from the southern areas, acting as a great vagrant hotspot. You will spend your full day in the mountain's forests and gardens, where you will search for various Chinese migrants and other vagrants like thrushes, warblers, chats, and flycatchers, along with some resident species.


The target bird of the area is the Giant Nuthatch, but you will also get to spot other birds like the Rusty-naped Pitta, Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant, Black-eared Shrike-Babbler, Spot-breasted Parrotbill, Scarlet-faced Liocichla, Black-breasted Thrush, Black-headed Greenfinch, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush, Daurian Redstart, Hodgson’s Frogmouth, Streaked Wren-Babbler, Crested Finchbill, Common Rosefinch, and many more. You will also get some great photographic opportunities with birds.


Later in the afternoon, you will return to your accommodation in Fang.

Day 9

Birding Doi Lang

The ninth day will be exciting as you will go bird watching along the Thai-Myanmar border and get some great photographic opportunities. Anything can turn up at this border, and therefore, you will look out for Chinese migrants and vagrants who come to visit for the food provided by Thai and Chinese photographers.


Some of the birds that you might get to spot include the Mountain Bamboo Partridge, White-bellied Redstart, Black-eared Shrike-babbler, Crested Finchbill, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Whiskered Yuhina, White-browed Laughingthrush, Rufous-gorgeted Ultramarine Flycatchers, Oriental Turtle Dove, Cook’s Swift, Himalayan Cutia, Rusty-naped Pitta, and many more.


Later in the afternoon, you will drive back to your accommodation to eat a delicious and well-deserved hot meal.

Day 10

Birding in Chiang Saen Area

You will leave our base in Fang and head towards the mountains for the final morning birding session. You will check in on a mountain site with good migrant thrushes and various species of birds like the Scaly Thrush, Grey-winged Blackbird, Grey-sided Thrush, Dusky Thrush, White-tailed Robin, Blue-fronted Redstart, Rusty-naped Pitta, etc.


Later, you will arrive at your hotel near Chiang Saen and have lunch. Post-lunch, you will visit Chiang Saen Lake. You will find an interesting range of wildfowl, including Baer’s Pochard, Mandarin Duck, Baikal Teal, Ferruginous Duck, Common Pochard, Garganey, Northern Pintail, Eurasian Teal, Striated Grassbird, Burmese Shrike, and many more.


You will conclude the day by watching the magnificent harrier roost, which is made up of hundreds of Eastern Marsh Harriers and Pied Harriers.

Day 11

Fly Back Home

You will have your final morning birding around the Chiang Saen Lake area, where you will look for the Bronze-winged Jacana, Grey-headed Swamphen, Marsh Sandpiper, Grey-headed Lapwing, Yellow Bittern, Baikal Bush Warbler, Eurasian Wryneck, and other species of birds.


Post-birding, you will drive back to the city and arrive in Chiang Mai by midafternoon. You will then be transferred to the airport for your flight back home!