Vietnam, a country that for a generation was associated with suffering, has risen phoenix-like from the ashes of war to become one of Asia’s dynamic rising tigers. Vietnam’s economy is booming and travellers from around the world are discovering its ancient culture, picturesque countryside, deserted beaches, delicious cuisine and its friendly, smiling people.
But what may come as the real surprise to many birders is that Vietnam has the highest number of endemic bird species on mainland South-East Asia. There are currently twelve species of bird that are found only in Vietnam, though this figure is liable to change at any time as taxonomic changes are made and species are ‘split’. In addition to these twelve endemics there are many more near endemics, bird species restricted to Vietnam and a few neighbouring countries.
Since the 1990s the number of birders discovering Vietnam has risen steadily and its unique and exotic avifauna of over 850 species make it an enticing destination for the travelling birder.