Laos is a Southeast Asian country traversed by the Mekong River and known for mountainous terrain, French colonial architecture, hill tribe settlements and Buddhist monasteries. Although little-visited, rather reclusive and completely off the birding map until very recently, Laos is in fact a very relaxed and comfortable place to visit, a fact which is gradually attracting more and more visitors to this beautiful part of Southeast Asia.

Here you can be amongst the birding pioneers as you visit beautiful karst limestone hills, where the interesting endemic Bare-faced Bulbul was only recently discovered for science in the remnant forests on their slopes. Several other interesting species occur in this little-known area, including Pale-headed Woodpecker, White-tailed Flycatcher, the restricted-range Sooty Babbler, Black-browed Fulvetta and the recently-described Limestone Leaf Warbler.

Laos also harbours a population of Jerdon’s Bushchat along the Mekong River near the capital city of Vientiane.

Few birdwatching sites in Asia can match what Na Hin Forest in Laos has on offer. Three completely different types of excellent and easy accessible forest which supports sought-after bird species, with good accommodation and food nearby, all set in superb scenery and reachable on good, new roads. The star attraction at Na Hin is no less than the recently discovered Bare-faced Bulbul. Na Hin Forest so far, is the only known place in the world with confirmed sightings and where birders can go look for it safely, as the type locality remains littered with unexploded ordnance left from the Vietnam war. This Bulbul is the only bald songbird of mainland SE-Asia and Laos’ only endemic bird species.

Red-collared Woodpecker is another superb species found at Na Hin Forest, it’s a near-endemic for which very few sightings exist. Sooty Babbler is easily found at Na Hin. Also the recently described Limestone Leaf Warbler has now been confirmed to be present at Na Hin Forest.

Some of the very best species also recently found at Na Hin Forest now include Blue-naped Pitta, Yellow-vented and White-bellied Green Pigeons, Red-vented Barbet, Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl, Rufous-tailed Robin, Pale-headed Woodpecker, Green Cochoa, Pale-capped Pigeon and Woolly-necked Stork.

Other sought-after species include Eared Pitta, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, White-browed Piculet, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Ruddy Kingfisher, Oriental Hobby, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Nepal House-Martin, Silver-backed Needletail, Limestone Wren Babbler, Green-backed Tit, Silver Pheasant, Spot-necked Babbler, Fork-tailed Sunbird, Rufous-throated Fulvetta, Wreathed Hornbill, Rufous-winged Buzzard and White-tailed Flycatcher.

Na Hin Forest text courtesy

Blue-bearded Bee-eater

Blue-bearded Bee-eater, copyright Angus Hogg

Showing the 9 Most Recent Trip Reports Posted

Lao PDR - 4th - 7th September 2009 (Up close with the Bare-faced Bulbuls), author John Gregory (added September 20, 2009)
(Bare-faced Bulbul, Sooty Babbler)

Laos - 30 days birding from 11th December 2011 - 8th January 2012, author Tom Wheatley (added September 10, 2012)

Laos and Thailand - 6th - 22nd October 2005, author Steve Barrett (added October 28, 2005)
(Mekong, river lapwing, island of Ko Samet)

Northern and Central Laos, author Charles Hamel (added November 18, 2006)
(Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Phou Kao Khuay, Black-Capped Kingfisher)

Birding and Travelling in Laos - January 26th - February 22nd 2008 - a short report on an under-reported country, author Paul Mollatt (added March 9, 2008)
(Limestone Wren Babbler)

Khammouane, Central Laos - December 2008, author Stijn De Win (added July 14, 2009)
(A species new to science discovered on a trip to Kammouane, Laos.)

Central and Southern Laos - 3rd-16th December 2009, author George Wagner (added January 22, 2010)
(Na Hin Forest, Kong Lor Cave, Islands in Mekong River, Bare-faced Bulbul, Sooty Babbler, Red-collared Woodpecker)

Lao PDR: The "Baldbul" Twitch (1st - 4th December 2009), author Low Bing Wen Albert (added January 13, 2010)
(Na Hin Village & Environs, Bare-faced Bulbul, Sooty Babbler, Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl, Blue-naped Pitta)

Laos - 19th – 24th October 2012, author Graham Talbot (link created December 12, 2012)
(Laos only hit the birders’ radar in 2009 with the discovery of a new species to science, the Bare-faced Bulbul.)

No Sightings Have Been Posted for this Region Yet.