Birding/ Bird watching on Doi Suthep/ Doi Pui, Chiang Mai


Friday 9th of June 2017 and we left the hotel at 6 thirty driving towards Doi Suthep. We drove through a “light trafficed” Chiang Mai. We could see that it was foggy/ cloudy in the mountains when we approached. Fog and cloud makes it a wee bit trickier with bird photography.
Goggle map
We left Chiang Mai behind and we started to climb the mountain on road # 1004 and it was quite step. But we didn't had to drive for long before we made our first stop. And I continue with my bird-watching in Chiang Mai map. Can come in handy next time I go for birding in Chang Mai.

Click HERE to view the map in a full window

Birding/ Bird watching on Doi Suthep/ Doi Pui, Chiang Mai
Driving towards Doi Suthep

Birding/ Bird watching on Doi Suthep/ Doi Pui, Chiang Mai
Driving towards Doi Suthep

Birding/ Bird watching on Doi Suthep/ Doi Pui, Chiang Mai
We make our first stop

Birding/ Bird watching on Doi Suthep/ Doi Pui, Chiang Mai

Birding/ Bird watching on Doi Suthep/ Doi Pui, Chiang Mai

Birding/ Bird watching on Doi Suthep/ Doi Pui, Chiang Mai
White-rumped munia

Birding/ Bird watching on Doi Suthep/ Doi Pui, Chiang Mai
Walking around looking for birds

We stopped and we got out of the van. My driver spotted a White-rumped Shama in the forest and we took off down the step to see if we could see the bird. It was pretty step to walk down Porky the lard assthe mountain, but it is not impossible. If I can do it y can do it. A cubic tone of bird watcher plunging down the mountain.

My driver was impressed, when he saw me he thought that I would sit in the car all the time. But he was soon to be impressed when Porky Porky the lard assthe Human Balloon took off on foot looking for birds.

We spent 20 to 30 minutes looking around. I saw 2 Greater Cucoals flying by. They landed in a tree not far away but I never managed to get any photo. We saw many bulbuls and walking back to the van we spotted two White-rumped munias in the tree. Definitely worth a stop when going up Doi Suthep. We got in to the van and we were soon driving up towards the top.

We had been driving for a few minutes when we passed a Viewpoint. I asked the driver to stop and I went out to see if I could see any birds. But it was only a viewing platform and no stairs so I could not walk around to look for birds. And it was close to the road.

Birding/ Bird watching on Doi Suthep/ Doi Pui, Chiang Mai
Stop at the viewing platform

Birding/ Bird watching on Doi Suthep/ Doi Pui, Chiang Mai
Stop at the viewing platform

Next stop was at the Sirindhorn Observatory further up the mountain. We parked next to the road and we walked up towards the observatory. About halfway up there was a path going in to the Birding/ Bird watching on Doi Suthep/ Doi Pui, Sirindhorn Observatory, Chiang Maibushes. My driver found mushrooms that he picked. But no birds to be seen even though we could hear plenty of them. We continued up towards the observatory but angry dogs made us turn around.

All the barking and roaring made it impossible to hear any birds. The road was covered in green moss and it was kind of slippery walking back to the van. We made it down the hill without any incidents, but if you ever come here you might have to be careful when walking on the pavement.

Birding/ Bird watching on Doi Suthep/ Doi Pui, Sirindhorn Observatory, Chiang Mai
We make another stop to look for birds

Birding/ Bird watching on Doi Suthep/ Doi Pui, Sirindhorn Observatory, Chiang Mai
We make another stop to look for birds

Birding/ Bird watching on Doi Suthep/ Doi Pui, Sirindhorn Observatory, Chiang Mai
We make another stop to look for birds

Birding/ Bird watching on Doi Suthep/ Doi Pui, Sirindhorn Observatory, Chiang Mai
Angry dogs makes us turn around

We left Sirindhorn Observatory and we continued up the mountain. We passed the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep and sweet Jesus. When I was here there was nothing. We walked down the stairs and we took the van back to Chiang Mai. The van was waiting for us and we took off immediately as there was nothing else to do (Back then I was not in to bird watching)

I was shocked when we approached Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, it was like they had built a whole town at the foot of the stairs. This had really changed since I was here last time. I really didn't feel like stopping and we just drove by.

Further up the mountain towards Doi Suthep - Pui National Park and after a few minutes we passed the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park Lodging on our right hand side. We left road # 1004 and we drove up a hill to the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park Lodging. We parked the van next to the restaurant and we started to walk around to look for birds.

I had just got out of the car when I saw a bird landing in a bush. It looked like a Paradise Flycatcher even if it looked strange. But I discovered a White-rumped munia with long straws to be used as building material for the nest. So it looked like a long tail when the bird was flying. I sat down to keep an eye on the tree and I saw the munias building their nest

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park Lodging, Chiang Mai
Leave road #1004 here

White-rumped munia or White-rumped mannikin, Lonchura striata, นกกระติ๊ดตะโพกขาว
White-rumped munia or White-rumped mannikin

White-rumped munia or White-rumped mannikin, Lonchura striata, นกกระติ๊ดตะโพกขาว
White-rumped munia or White-rumped mannikin
A White-rumped munia holding building material in the bill. They come with long straws 3 to 4 times longer than the bird. First I thought it was a strange paradise Flycatcher flying by.

But then I spotted the White-rumped munia with the building material in the bill. Now I realise that the Paradise Flycatcher I saw flying across the street in Bangkok might have been a Munia.

White-rumped munia or White-rumped mannikin, Lonchura striata, นกกระติ๊ดตะโพกขาว
White-rumped munia or White-rumped mannikin

White-rumped munia or White-rumped mannikin, Lonchura striata, นกกระติ๊ดตะโพกขาว
White-rumped munia or White-rumped mannikin

White-rumped munia or White-rumped mannikin, Lonchura striata, นกกระติ๊ดตะโพกขาว
White-rumped munia or White-rumped mannikin

It is a beautiful area and there were plenty birds. Park the car and walk past the viewing platform and you will soon reach a huge tree with some fruits. It is a tall tree but you can see Barbets and other birds in the top. You can continue the walk along a road in to the forest and here we have many birds.

I only carry a 200mm lens so I never got any pictures, but it is a beautiful walk and well worth the time spent here. We spent more than an hour in the area. Plenty Bulbuls and I really wanted to have some picture of the Sooty-headed and Black-crested Bulbul but I never managed to get any good pictures. So if you go up Doi Suthep it is recommended to make a stop here.

We continued up the mountain following road # 1004 passing Bhubing until we reach an intersection. Turn right here, if you go straight you will end up in something they call a Hmong Village.

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park Lodging, Chiang Mai
Doi Suthep-Pui National Park Lodging

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park Lodging, Chiang Mai
Viewing platform

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park Lodging, Chiang Mai
Walk in to the forest

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park Lodging, Chiang Mai
Walking in to the forest

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park Lodging, Chiang Mai
Walking in to the forest

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
We continued up Doi Suthep

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
We continued up Doi Suthep

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
Here we have to turn right going up the mountain on a very small road

Hmong village, Mhong people, hill tribe, all sounds very exciting. But stay well clear of this, nothing exciting, just another market selling the same, well, as they sell on all the other markets around Asia. I'm so happy they have removed these “markets” from the sidewalks in Bangkok

Anyway, we turned right and the road turned in to a very small road. We didn't saw any other cars on the road, maybe we were lucky because it would have been hard with 2 cars on this road. We drove until we reached a small parking space as we thought we had reached Doi Pui peak.

I got out of the car and I was soon to discover that we had not yet reached the peak. We had stopped at a place called San Ku. San Ku, the remains of an ancient chedi. Chedi is an alternative term for a Buddhist stupa, mainly used in Thailand.

I walked a wee bit further up the road and I discovered a sign saying that we should continue to reach peak of Doi Pui. But no indication on how far it was.

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
Narrow road towards Doi Pui Peak

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
Haze on the mountain

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
Narrow road towards Doi Pui Peak

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
Narrow road towards Doi Pui Peak

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
San Ku Chedi

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
We still haven't reached Doi Pui Peak

But it could not be very far. We had passed a sign when we left road #1004 saying 5km. And we had been driving for ages. I told my driver that I would walk and he would stay behind looking for birds around the San Ku Chedi.

Where is the darn peak? I was walking and walking and no sign of any peak. It was a beautiful walk, listening to frogs and birds, and only God know what else. I was whistling in order to scare away every snake around the road. I walked and walked and there was no sign of any end of the road. When I finally reached a sign saying turn left for to Doi Pui Peak and continue straight to the camp site.

Turned out that the road to the peak was just a small paved path. There was a map and it was a 2km bird watching route to the Doi Pui Peak.

There was a pick-up coming from the campsite direction, the first car I had seen since we got up on this small road back at the Hmong village. I stopped the pick-up and I mustered my most polite Thai. I asked if they could be so kind to ask the driver in the silver/ grey van to come here to pick me up.

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
I really enjoyed the walk

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
I really enjoyed the walk

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
I really enjoyed the walk

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
Map at the check point

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
I was happy to see the van coming

Oh yes! I was happy when I saw the van coming. We parked the van and we started to walk along the bird watching route towards Doi Pui peak. But we were soon giving up due to all the noise. We had all this noise on Sri Lanka as well and the birds were having a feast on the insects.

But here in Chiang Mai the birds seems to be gone when the insects start their noise. I have not seen any birds in any noisy area since I arrived to Chinag Mai. So we gave up, turned around to the car. We will look for another birding site. But this seems to be a perfect route during the “silent” seasson so I will be back again. Next winter?

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
Doi Pui Peak bird watching route

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
Doi Pui Peak bird watching route


We were soon in the van on our way back to the San Ku Chedi. My driver had seen some beautiful broadbills there. And he had also met a bird watcher, a lady from Singapore. So off we went. We parked the van at the same spot we had parked when we came here and we started to walk towards San Ku Chedi.

There is a dirt track going the hundred or so meters to the San Ku Chedi ruin. There is a very narrow walk path on the right hand side. So we decided to walk on the small walk path to the San Ku Chedi and walk on the dirt road back to the van.

Birding/ Bird watching at San Ku Chedi, Chiang Mai
Dirt track to San Ku Chedi

Birding/ Bird watching at San Ku Chedi, Chiang Mai
We chose the small walk path

Birding/ Bird watching at San Ku Chedi, Chiang Mai
We reach San Ku Chedi without having seen any bird

Birding/ Bird watching at San Ku Chedi, Chiang Mai
We leave San Ku Chedi behind

Birding/ Bird watching at San Ku Chedi, Chiang Mai
Walking back to the van on the dirt road

We met the lady from Singapore on the way to the San Ku Chedi. She had seen a bird but she never got any pictures. She joined us and we walked to the San Ku Chedi and by the time we reached San Ku Chedi we had seen zero birds. But it had been a wonderful walk through the forest. We heard birds but we never saw any birds.

We were soon on our way again and now we were starting to go down the mountain again. But we stopped after about 100 meters. We could hear a White-rumped Shama in the forest. We were sitting in the car listening. My driver got out and he dived in to the bushes. I asked about snakes.
- No
- Any leech?
He looked at his legs.
- No

Then I dove in to the bushes as well and it was quite a hard job to find the bird. The White-rumped Shama was far away in the forest so the pictures was nothing to write home about. So yes, you need to be a wee bit adventurous to be a bird watcher.

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
It was an adventure to get a glimpse of the bird

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
It was an adventure to get a glimpse of the bird

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
It was an adventure to get a glimpse of the bird

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai

We stopped at the lookout place above the Mhong Village. And yes, as I suspected, the Mhong Village looked like a shanty town from the lookout place. And I imagine the whole area under the roofs is nothing but a big market.

I walked around the lookout place and there is a dirt track going up behind the bushes. There was a grass covered plateau above the lookout place. No sign of any birds, most likely because of all the people coming to look out from the lookout.

It was hot so it was nice to get back in to the van. I told the driver to make a quick stop at Lanna Rama 9 Park in Chiang Mai. I will go for some birding there tomorrow and I can have a quick look so I know what to expect tomorrow morning.

So a quick stop and then back to my hotel, will be nice to have an early day for a change. Maybe even some time to enjoy a Pepsi MAX in my room.

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
Looking out over the Mhong Village

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
Looking out over the mountains

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
Looking out over the Mhong Village

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
I go to look for birds

Birding/ Bird watching at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai
I walked up to have a look for birds

We drove down the mountain and we were passing plenty tourists on motorcycles when we had passed the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. No helmets and most likely no driving license. You need a Thai driving license or it can be very expensive to be in an accident. The insurance companies won't pay for your hospital bill if you drive a bike without driving license.

Anyway, we approached Chiang Mai and Lanna Rama 9 Park. So if you want to know how the park look you just need to click HERE.

Sverigedemokraterna


       
                  
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ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.

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Flag of Skåne / Skånska flaggan Well, the flag of Skåne, just a BONUS flag.


                                       

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