"I am now back in Sapporo. I really enjoyed the birds and food in Central Vietnam. Thank you for your excellent arrangement and guide."
Usui Shunji, Sapporo, Japan (June 2017)
"I just wanted to say thank you for setting us up with such a wonderful trip with Minh. He is a great companion and a true master birder and he was very patient with the questions of an ignorant novice like myself. We had a thoroughly successful trip."
George Black, New York, NY, USA (May 2017)
"We had a nice trip at Cat Tien with Duyen. The organization was perfect and the lodge was typical. We will recommend you to friends. Maybe another year for birding Dalat or the north."
Jacinthe & Michel Brossard, Québec, Canada (March 2017)
"With regard to the tour's organisation all I can say it was first class. Everything went very smoothly and could not have been bettered. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and the mix of birding and culture was perfect. Once again thank you for your excellent organisation and in particular please thank Minh. He was the best bird guide I have been with anywhere in the world."
John Brooks, Ronda, Malaga, Spain (March 2017)
"Great trip, excellent logistics, very committed and professional birding guide. Some 160 species photographed, of which some 100 were new to us. All who took care of us during this trip were pleasant company. Thanks for organizing a wonderful trip!"
Frans Buiter & Marleen Luijke Roskott, Netherlands (March 2017)
"Hi Richard, we had a great trip. Bay is a great guide and the park is beautiful. The driver was excellent, too. Important since driving in Vietnam is so crazy!"
Amy Shumann, Seattle, WA, USA (February 2017)
“We had a great time and thanks for arranging it. Nhan was excellent, knowing where to find the difficult species and very good at spotting the birds and an amazing ability to pinpoint the sounds. We managed pretty much all of the targets. Even though we were not after a big list, we still managed about 190 species, and were pretty happy with that."
Tony & Celia Sawbridge, Yorkshire, UK (February 2017)
“Bay is a delightful young man and I have enjoyed every minute with him. He is so quick to spot and has taught me so much about the birds and flora at Cuc Phuong."
Carol Holm-Hansen, Norway (December 2016)
"We had a good trip with Duyen in Vietnam and we will gladly recommend Vietnam Birding to other birders here. Duyen is an excellent guide and we enjoyed our time with him. He kept after the birds and he was flexible enough that we did some non-birding things towards the end. Our connections both coming in and coming back were excellent. We thank you for your efforts, always prompt response to questions and always reliable logistics. "
Don & Cindy Burns, Portland, OR, USA (November 2016)
"Thank you very much for arranging the trip – it was fantastic. With the help of Mr Duyen, I was able to see 80 species of birds, including the Germain’s Peacock-pheasant, the Green Peafowl, Siamese Fireback, Scaly-breasted Partridge, several species of Barbet, Woodpecker, Broadbills, and two species of bee-eaters. Overall a great trip – everything was wonderful!"
William Hohenstein, Director, Climate Change Program Office, United States Department of Agriculture, USA (June 2016)
"We greatly enjoyed Vietnam and its people. The organisation was perfect, we were seamlessly handed from one guide/driver team to the next. Your company has done very well in organising this. We got along well with all guides and drivers. We especially liked Duyen. He was not only very knowledgeable, completely at home in the forest, but also had a good sense of humour, was very understanding and was very flexible with the timing of activities."
Michael & Janette Lenz, Canberra, ACT, Australia (April 2016)
"The trip was well organised by you, as we would have expected. We very much appreciate your efforts on our behalf. Highlights were brilliant views of Germain's Peacock-Pheasant, which walked by in the open 10 metres from us; the White-eared night-Heron; Green Peafowl; great views of 3 pitta species in one hour on the first afternoon at Cat Tien; multiple good views of Pale-headed Woodpecker; excellent looks at all the laughing-thrushes; heaps of woodpeckers; and lots of other things. We also saw a few very good mammals, including Gaur in Cat Tien and some excellent primates. We really enjoyed Dalat for the quality of the food, wine and accommodation, as well as the good birding. We also really enjoyed Cat Tien for the great birding as well as Bach Ma and Yok Don. Minh was very good, both with the birds and looking after us. We found him very good company."
Chris & Rosemary Lester, Melbourne, VIC, Australia (April 2016)
“Everything went really well. I really enjoyed finally getting to see more of Vietnam."
Rob Tizard, Wildlife Conservation Society, Yangon, Myanmar (April 2016)
"Thank you so much for the hospitality and for putting together this wonderful adventure. The accommodations, travel schedule, guides, drivers and cuisine were great. We enjoyed learning about the natural history, food, customs and culture of exotic Vietnam and Cambodia."
Sandi Spivey, Cathy Kerl & Pam Leander, California, USA (March 2016)
"The planning and communication beforehand was excellent, as were the driver and our guide Nhan. I would have no hesitation recommending Vietnam Birding."
Stephen Hey, Sydney, NSW, Australia (March 2016)
“Thank you very much Minh for getting me on to some really difficult birds and making our tour comfortable, enjoyable and trouble-free. Hope to bird with you again in the future."
Derrick Wilby, South Africa (March 2016)
“We had a really good trip, with all the arrangements working well. We couldn’t have had a better driver, in terms of reliability, safety and knowledge of the birding spots. We loved the birding and Cat Tien in particular.”
David Bowman, Liverpool, UK (March 2016)
“The tour went very well – got 32 lifers out of some 35 possibles. Duyen is a nice man and he knows almost all important calls and places."
Mikael Kaell, Goteborg, Sweden (March 2016)
“Thank you for organising such a wonderful trip. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Duyen was excellent and he made us work very hard and found most of the difficult birds he was searching for. The number of new birds I saw exceeded my expectations so I was very happy with the birding. We may be back at some other date to explore further."
Alec Empson, UK (March 2016)
"We had a great time with Minh, he is not only a great and knowledgeable bird and wildlife guide, but also a personable and amusing companion too. The trip was very well organized and we got to see almost all of the birds we wanted to see. Thanks for all your help organizing our trip and I will no doubt be in touch when I have to plans to return …"
David Beadle, Toronto, Canada (February 2016)
"Thanks for your kind attention to us during our stay in Vietnam. Duyen is a very passionate bird guide and showed us many interesting species of bird at Cat Tien and Dalat."
Simon Huang, Shanghai, China (February 2016)
"The trip with Duyen was wonderful and we hope to visit the country again one day. The birding on the trip was fantastic!"
Andreas Bennetsen Boe, Denmark (January 2016)
"Our visit to Vietnam was an extremely good experience. First of all, we liked the country very much (as far as one can judge it by a two week visit). Please tell Minh and Nhan that we had such a good time with them. The experience really made us think of coming back to Vietnam to 'do' the southern part. What is there more to say? The organisation was perfect. So, thanks a lot, and who knows, till the next time in Vietnam. We will surely recommend you to birders in the Netherlands who plan to go to Vietnam/SE Asia."
Frank van den Bosch & Maria Chardon, Amsterdam, Netherlands (January 2016)
“I want to thank you very much for the extremely professional way you had in every aspect of this tour. From the first e-mails to the walks in the field we felt safe and in good hands all the time."
Jean-Philippe Gagnon & Anne-Marie Plante, Ornitrotteur, Quebec, Canada (December 2015)
“A word of thanks for all the arrangements for our New Year trip to Cat Tien. Everything worked well. Outward and return drivers were both steady and safe. Duyen was a great guide: knowledgeable and patient. The accommodation was better than expected, stable power, well-lit and there was WiFi and a kettle! We managed 102 bird species either seen or heard and we loved seeing and hearing the gibbons first thing in the morning."
Jane Storey & John Tovey, UK (December 2015)
“We had a great time with Duyen. He was really enthusiastic and made lots of effort to take us to the various habitats and found us some great birds. After two days of near-misses we finally managed views of Bar-bellied Pitta and were are also rewarded with sightings among others of many barbets, woodpeckers, drongos, minivets, leafbirds, broadbills, Germains-Peacock-pheasant and a splendid male Green Peafowl. Cat Tien certainly has a lot of potential and we really enjoyed our time there. Thanks for the opportunity and we would certainly like to return to Vietnam for more birding."
Stuart McKernan & Andrea Farrell, South Africa (December 2015)
“We had a great time at Cat Tien with Mr Duyen. He was absolutely fantastic. His knowledge of the local birds is truly outstanding. We felt fortunate to be with him and learn from his wisdom. I didn’t go expecting much as it was a last minute decision, but the birding density was amazing. Thank you for operating such a great organisation and we hope to return and head to Dalat with Duyen.”
Michael, Caterina and Eamon Sanders, Canada (December 2015)
"In November 2015 two friends and I visited Vietnam, mainly to search for woodpeckers. Our arrangements – transport, drivers, accommodation, etc – were well thought out and expertly organised by Richard Craik at Vietnam Birding. Our local guides were excellent, too. We were very satisfied with everything."
Gerard Gorman, author of “ Woodpeckers of the World” (November 2015)
"We really enjoyed our time at Cat Tien and also enjoyed seeing some of the countryside coming and going. The birds and mammals we saw were great and our guide was very competent and sweet. All in all a very good trip."
Karen Johnson, Gainesville, FL, USA (October 2015)
“I wanted to let you know we had the BEST time with Minh who we have decided we adore. We haven’t put together our list yet but we believe we got between 80 and 100 life birds in the nearly fifteen hours spent with Minh. We were utterly exhausted and happy on the drive home.”
Sally & Bill Blauvelt, Portland, ME, USA (July 2015)
“The organisation was terrific, everything followed on without any problems. The accommodation was better than we expected. Mr. Duyen was an excellent guide, very experienced, carried his 'scope at all times and proved to be good company.”
John Plampin & Patrick Houlden, UK (April 2015)
“I arrived safely and on time two days ago, having had a great trip with Minh. I very much enjoyed talking with Minh and learned a large amount about life in Vietnam and how things have changed over the course of his life. As you know, we did quite well birdwise, recording 375 species by my count, with 53 new ones for me in Vietnam. Plus 37 in Cambodia and 8 in Laos, for a total of 98 new species. So I had a great time. Thanks again for the trip.”
Jan Smith, Boston, MA, USA (April 2015)
“The Cat Tien trip was the highlight of my S.E. Asian birding trips and one of the highlights of my entire 2 months there! While I enjoyed both trips I took in Cambodia and one in northern Thailand, the trip with Duyen in Vietnam was the best. Duyen was so patient with me! I know he's guided many others who were far better birders than I, but he made me feel so good about each bird that we saw. Besides the birds, I really enjoyed just being in the jungle with someone so knowledgeable about their surroundings. My birding friends here in NYC were so jealous when I told them how much fun I'd had there. I will definitely recommend Vietnam Birding to anyone who is headed to Vietnam. And if I ever get back there, and I hope I do, I will be sure to get in touch for another tour.”
Melissa McClure, New York, NY, USA (March 2015)
“Hi Richard, thanks for the logistics - seamless and all round excellent, as usual - many thanks, very much appreciated. Of course Minh was as excellent as usual also.”
James Eaton, Birdtour Asia, UK (March 2015)
“Many thanks for organising the trip, everything went very smoothly and the drivers and guides were all very helpful and friendly. It was really nice to meet you in person and I know Ray enjoyed birding with you. We would be more than happy to recommend Vietnam Birding to anyone planning a birding trip to Vietnam.”
Ray & Sheila Murray, Edinburgh, UK (March 2015)
“Ross and I both want to thank you for such a super run trip with no little problems. It was such a pleasure to work with you. We have never had one go that smooth. Minh has got to be the best or one of the best guides that we have ever had the pleasure to bird with. Thanks again Richard for everything.”
Ross & Sandy Mackintosh, Point Pelee, Ontario, Canada (February 2015)
“Thank you for giving us a wonderful trip. We succeeded watching both pittas, Green Peafowl, Orange-necked Partridge, Heart-spotted Woodpecker and so on.”
Shota Kimoto, Komatsu, Ishikawa, Japan (February 2015)
“The trip succeeded very well in Vietnam and we enjoyed it very much. The whole arrangement was very exact and the logistics were good. The guides and drivers were excellent! The hotels were clean and their staff were very friendly . The trip was a positive surprise and we had a good insight to Vietnamese nature/birds and history/culture. We have recommended the trip to our friends. Many thanks and greetings to you and all our guides and drivers!”
Marketta & Heikki Virtanen, Helsinki, Finland (February 2015)
“Great trip indeed! Lots of good birding, good food and a very well organized trip. I will surely recommend you to all my friends planning a trip to Vietnam”
Marc Ameels, Arlon, Belgium (February 2015)
“Your guides and drivers were very good. All three guides worked very hard to get my target species. Each was different and I learned a lot about Vietnamese life and customs. I would recommend them to anyone visiting Vietnam. Thanks for preparing a good trip. I will be happy to give a recommendation for you.”
Bob Walton, Indiana, USA (January 2015)
“Cambodia was absolutely excellent. I got 22 new birds in Cambodia. Thanks for the evening in Saigon, it was fun. If you ever get over to Darwin happy to help you out birding.”
Clive Garland, Darwin, Australia (January 2015)
“We are now back in France. The trip was perfectly organized and the guide was excellent and very helpful. Thank you very much for your organization and help, and I shall give your references to friends interested in Vietnam birding trips.”
Jean Marc Thiollay, France (January 2015)
“Just wanted to say thank you so much for organizing the Vietnam and Cambodia trip. The whole trip was amazing. One that I will never forget.”
Pat England, New Jersey, USA (January 2015)
“Thank you and all at Vietnam Birding for organising an absolutely superlative trip. My clients and I were very happy (more than happy) with the excellence of all the arrangements you made for us; all the booking wherever we stayed went without a hitch; the vehicles were perfect and the drivers some of the best I have ever had on tour. Our delightful guide Mr Tam was wonderful to travel with and my clients and I really enjoyed his company. We especially liked the fact that he always expanded on answers which added immeasurably to the quality of our experience. All in all a fabulous experience.”
David Bishop, David Bishop Bird Tours, Armidale, NSW, Australia (December 2014)
“My visit to Vietnam was very good. The logistics of the trip were very smooth, transport, accommodation, etc. For me at the right level.”
Peter Salmon, Sweden (November 2014)
“Minh was very good company and a splendid guide. We were constantly amazed at how Minh saw birds we were so slow to spot and then was able to pinpoint their location for us. Without Minh we doubt if we would have seen half as many species! We were very impressed with Vietnam and its people.”
David & Elizabeth Winterbottom, NSW, Australia (November 2014)
“We had a great time on our trip. The mix of activities was great. Lots of great birds; we each added ~150 species to life lists. The guides were great. Both of them were experts with the spotting scopes. In addition to birding the day on the Mekong and the visit to Angkor were great. The food was wonderful throughout, perhaps best, remarkably, on our little boat on the river. Overall, it was a great trip. Thanks for your help with it.”
Phil Rosenthal & Candace Swimmer, San Francisco, CA, USA (November 2014)
“We had a wonderful time in Vietnam. Thank you once again for organising the tour so very well for us. It was really great fun and for us very successful!”
Rupert Hafner, Vienna, Austria (November 2014)
“Your plan for our trip was perfect. Your drivers are excellent and reliable. Both Quang and Duc were nice to chat with, they told us much about Vietnam, its culture and people. They drive very carefully and there was never a dangerous moment on the road. Duyen is a very charming and knowledgeable guide. He is incredibly skillful at finding the local birds. The most memorable moment for Pia and me was hearing the Buff-cheeked Gibbon song early in the morning at Cat Tien and observing them in a treetop. Our trip to Vietnam has been so pleasant that we really would like to return and perhaps also visit Cambodia.”
Mikko Pyhälä & Pia Sovio-Pyhälä, Helsinki, Finland (November 2014)
“Richard was extraordinarily helpful in devising our itinerary. Undoubtedly, the major highlight was a very clear view of a Blue-naped Pitta, sitting most surprisingly three metres above the ground in the front of a shrub. I have not counted how many birds we saw in total, but ignoring how many, it was a memorable trip. I would recommend a visit.”
John Barkla & Alison Street, Melbourne, Australia (October 2014)
“I enjoyed the trip with Minh very much. He’s an excellent guide in all ways - he spots birds and animals extremely well, and tells you where to look, etc. All the logistics went very well, too, and I enjoyed his company. He also explains choices of where to go looking for birds / mammals, accommodation, places to eat, etc. He made a great effort to find what I wanted to see. Overall, it was a fabulous trip, thanks! I have 8 more primate species on my life-list now, and I really enjoyed Vietnam.”
Dr Joanna Setchell, Durham, UK (August 2014)
“The time with Minh was indeed a very special one and opened the door into the last small remaining spots of nature in Vietnam.”
Dr Hans-Otto Thomasshof, Germany (August 2014)
“The guides were all excellent and Carolyn really enjoyed all the culture sections especially the Mekong cruise plus additional tours we did such as the water puppets and cooking class in Ho Chi Minh City. Re birds, overall I was very happy with the birds. I did really well on the Dalat endemics, woodpeckers, babblers and pittas. At Cuc Phuong I was really happy with all the birds and primates we saw.”
Richard and Carolyn Donaghey, Tasmania, Australia (April 2014)
“We had a cracking time in Cat Tien, birding was great, Duyen excellent and on the whole a super experience. Lots of birds (and mammals) seen and some good photos taken. I particularly enjoyed the boat trip on the last morning, great for photographing Kingfishers, Blue Bearded Bee-eater and others.”
Steve & Elena Powell, Andalucia, Spain (April 2014)
“It was a great trip and enjoyed the country and the birds. The guides and the drivers were great.”
Clive Garland & Kylie Tune, Darwin, Australia (April 2014)
“It was a great trip and everything went like clockwork. We found the Vietnamese people very welcoming and loved the country and the people. All hotels were good. All drivers were excellent and we felt confident with them all. Once again many thanks for a great holiday.”
Philip and Gill Marlow, UK (March 2014)
“I really enjoyed my birding adventure in Cat Tien. Duyen was a wonderful host and knowledgeable guide, and I saw many lifer birds. I also thought the park lodge was very nice. Thanks again. Vietnam is a beautiful country.”
Bethany Foshée, Houston, TX, USA (March 2014)
“The trip was excellent and we are glad that we decided to go to Vietnam. The cultural portion was great and as we have never birded in Asia, our exposure to a multitude of birds such as bulbuls, babblers, minivets, etc., was an experience. Thank you for organizing the trip and for all your help.”
Kristin & John Laing, Ontario, Canada (February 2014)
“We had a Brilliant time! We were really impressed with your company. Everything went so smoothly and we couldn't believe that the drivers were all on time (or before!) and were so pleasant and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble for them. The guides also were very knowledgeable and we managed to get a good number of new species. Vietnam Birding is the best we have been with and we would highly recommend the organisation. We wish you well and maybe will return to Vietnam sometime, who knows.”
Richard & Lynda Hewson, UK (February 2014)
“Thank you Richard we did enjoy our trip to Vietnam. The birding was good, especially in Cat Tien and Dalat where we did quite well for specialities, including two laughingthrushes and the Indochinese Green Magpie. Barbets and woodpeckers were a strong feature in both sites. We enjoyed the non-birding section in the middle, with Hoi An and the cookery lesson being most memorable. The hotels were all very comfortable, with service at Dreams, Orchid and Joseph's being top quality."
Brian and Julie Kings, Dursley, Gloucestershire, UK (February 2014)
“Now that the jet lag is over, we wanted to write to you to express our thanks for the wonderful trip you have arranged for us. Everyone was kind, punctual and organized. We enjoyed both the birding and the touring components of the trip, and hit the bird list that we were hoping for!”
Gabriel & Tova Hauser, Rockville, MD, USA (February 2014)
“Thank you for organising an excellent trip. All the transfers and accommodation worked well and Mr Duyen was excellent. We saw 77 different birds, the grasslands and Crocodile Lake proving most interesting.”
Bill & Elaine Tamkin, Cheshire, UK (January 2014)
“I’d just like to thank you for all the arrangements on my holiday. The guides were really good allowing me to get the best out of the trip. I’d have no hesitation in recommending your company to others and perhaps coming over again.”
Raymond Klarik, UK (December 2013)
“Many thanks for those wonderful photos to remind us both of a memorable time exploring the bird life of your country. I will always be grateful for the patience you constantly showed when I was so slow to see a bird! It was a great pleasure and privilege to spend those days together. I hope we can repeat the exercise one day, and will certainly know who to recommend to any friends visiting Vietnam. With very best wishes to you and all at Vietnam Birding, and thanks again”.
Richard & Kathleen Ashford, Cheshire, UK (October 2013)
“In a word, the trip was excellent. We did well with the local specialities - Germain's Peacock Pheasant, Orange-necked Partridge, Green Peafowl (gorgeous male) and Bar-bellied Pitta. Plus I saw a number of other wonderful birds (have not yet had a chance to total up the list)”.
Paul Pisano, Arlington, VA, USA (October 2013)
“We had a thoroughly enjoyable trip, thank you. Everything ran very smoothly, accommodation was excellent and even the weather was kind to us - only a brief downpour one afternoon in Dalat, otherwise sunny and surprisingly bearable conditions. Birdingwise, we did well in Dalat - 6 endemics seen well. All in all, a successful and very enjoyable trip - 27 new birds out of 180 seen, several of which were birds I'd missed on numerous previous trips. Thanks again for the excellent organization of the trip.”
Mark & Louise Smiles, Dubai (October 2013)
“Thanks for the arrangements, all went very smoothly. The two drivers we used were both highly responsible, always punctual, and drove very safely - this is obviously extremely important. Our guide, who you arranged at short notice, appreciated our situation, we were very target focussed, and he persisted with these and it resulted in us seeing all. Thanks again and looking forward to seeing the specialities further north with your help in the near future.
Martin Kennewell & Simon Cockayne, Singapore (February 2013)
“We have had a very good trip. Everyone was very professional. Our guide Duyen was exceptional. He was enthusiastic, patient and very accommodating. The organization was superb throughout. Vietnam is an interesting place. It seems at first glance completely chaotic, but everything seems to work out well in the end. I congratulate you on your company. We were very pleased.”
Laurence Green & Suzanne Dube, Montreal, QC, Canada (March 2013)
“Our tour through Vietnam and Cambodia was organized by Vietnam Birding, owned and operated by Richard Craik. From the moment we started to communicate Richard was professional in every way and always prompt in his correspondence. The logistics of our journey were handled to perfection and we have nothing but the highest praise for his organization.”
David Gascoigne & Miriam Bauman, Waterloo, ON, Canada (February 2013)
“Now back in Sweden I look back on the trip. Logistics worked fine with no problems at all. The driver in Dalat was very nice and also the hotel was good. Re birding I managed to see almost all my targets and I really enjoyed the birding especially in Dalat. So, in all a very successful trip and I look forward to coming back to visit other parts of the country.
Max Jensen, Sweden (February 2013)
“My friends and I have now returned to Thailand with happy memories of our birding trip in Vietnam. We managed to see almost all our target birds and we enjoyed staying and birding in Vietnam very much. Thank you very much again for your excellent arrangement of the trip for us. Please also give our thanks and best regards to our guides Mr Duyen and Mr Dung for their kind and professional service.”
Chairatna Nilnond, Bangkok, Thailand (February 2013)
“Dear Richard, thank you very much indeed for organising an absolutely fantastic Grand Vietnam birding tour. The birding and national parks were way beyond our expectations and our guide, Minh was a real pleasure to travel with, not to mention his outstanding birding skills, organisation, local knowledge and international standard driving safety. We are already planning a follow up visit.”
Doug and Ulai Kirwin, Thailand (February 2013)
“Thanks for the arrangements, all went very smoothly. The two drivers we used were both highly responsible, always punctual, and drove very safely - this is obviously extremely important. Our guide, who you arranged at short notice, appreciated our situation, we were very target focussed, and he persisted with these and it resulted in us seeing all. Thanks again and looking forward to seeing the specialities further north with your help in the near future.
Martin Kennewell & Simon Cockayne, Singapore (February 2013)
“It was a very successful trip. You are an excellent organiser, worth recommending to others. In particular we have good memories from the first week, when we could be in your presence. You gave us a lot of interesting information, not only about birds.”
Stanislaw & Aldona Czyz, Poland (January 2013)
“We have just got back from Cat Tien National Park. It was a nice place with lots of birds and a good guide. Hope we can come back again some time!”
Jouko & Tuija Högmander, Finland (December 2012)
“It has been several weeks since our birding trip to Vietnam, but we want to thank you for the arrangements that you made for us. We saw lots of new species (101 for Karen, 103 for Larry) and our birding guides were excellent. Drivers were excellent too. All in all it was a worthwhile trip that went very smoothly. Thanks again.”
Larry & Karen Lee, Long Beach, CA, USA (December 2012)
“What a marvelous tour you planned for me. Minh & Nhan took care of my every need and were fun to be with. Both were fantastic spotters and Minh's competence outstanding. You offer an unusual opportunity for clients interested in primates. I am most impressed and appreciative of the help you and Minh generously have given me. Minh is not only an excellent birding leader, but also most helpful in explaining Vietnam culture and history, environmental conditions, and national priorities. He is a delight to be with. Many thanks!!!”
Dave Redfield, Tallahassee, FL, USA (December 2012)
“We enjoyed very much Vietnam and the visit to Cuc Phuong. The guide was very nice and expert and we overcame the language difficulty quite easily, and he made me able to see the very shy Limestone Wren-babbler near the prehistoric cave. That was a great day! Van Lang Nature Reserve was simply wonderful. The driving service to and from the place was perfect. Thank you very much for the excellent organisation.”
Giovanni Gianelli & Carol Peters, Pisa, Italy (November 2012)
“We all enjoyed our trip very much. Minh is a very knowledgeable, professional and sympathetic guide, who spared no effort to show the birds to six persons in sometimes very difficult conditions. We really appreciated his company. We ended up with a good list, quite representative of Indochina's varied avifauna. The trip was a very positive experience overall, thanks to Vietnam Birding, and the fascinating culture, the wonderful scenery, the delicious cuisine and the friendly, honest and industrious Vietnamese people everywhere.”
Philippe Blain, Québec, Canada (April 2012)
“I really had a great trip to Cat Tien. Everything went as planned and the guide was excellent. I saw some outstanding birds. Thank you for setting it up and I will be in touch for my next visit. You and your people did an excellent job.”
Bryan Concannon, Portland, OR, USA (April 2012)
“Just sitting here at the farm stay, finising up an amazingly productive trip! Twenty-six mammals in all! Both Cokie and Som love Vietnam so this will be an easy trip to do again. And Som even got us an amazing view of a second Pygmy Slow Loris last night during an outstanding night drive through Phong Nha. And this time I got great images. Thanks again for an outstanding trip! Your guides and staff were extremely professional and definitely went the extra mile for us!”
Coke, Som & Cokie Smith, www.cokesmithphototravel.com, Shanghai, China (April 2012)
“Just like to say a very big thank you for the tour – it went very smoothly and excellent – 5/5, many thanks for the organisation, obviously Minh was excellent, but basic handlings of tour were very good. Thanks again.”
James Eaton, www.birdtourasia.com, Tour Leader, Birdtour Asia, UK (March 2012)
“Thank you Vietnam Birding. The trip was a great success! No problems at all. I would like to commend Thuy, our driver for his performance. He was always punctual and a pleasant and knowledgeable driver. Accommodation was good all round. Thanks again!”
Giles Daubeney & Aidan Sudbury, Melbourne, Australia (March 2012)
“We both enjoyed our trip very much and everything went very well. The quality of your birdwatching guides was very high everywhere. We would have no hesitation recommending using your company to our friends.”
Iain Harper & Joy Burdall, UK (February 2012)
“Tom and I would like to thank you very much for leading us on such an interesting and varied birding trip in Vietnam. We enjoyed visiting the many different places and habitats though the rate of development and habitat destruction in Vietnam is rather disheartening though not surprising. Thank you also for organising for us to have such great food – not usually a highlight of birding trips.”
Elisabeth Hodson & Tom Karplus, Sydney, Australia (February 2012)
“Thank you for a wonderful trip that was better than anything we could have imagined. Your expertise, patience and humor made this the best trip ever! It’s been a pleasure to spend this time with you.”
Pat Balko & Pat Dufort, New Jersey, USA (January 2012)
“Last day in the field today and travelling back tomorrow. Many thanks for the great trip and organisation. The trip worked out very well.”
Dave Sargeant, Chiang Mai, Thailand (January 2012)
“Our trip to Vietnam and Cambodia was a great success and a vacation-of-a lifetime experience, far exceeding our expectations. The success of our trip was due in a large part to the suggestions and recommendations you gave to us. We were especially impressed with the quality of service everywhere we visited, from the hotels and restaurant to the guides and drivers. I have travelled to 18 countries in the pursuit of birds and have never enjoyed more the food, culture, and people, as I did in Vietnam and Cambodia.”
Peter Metropulos, San Mateo, CA, USA (December 2011)
“We really appreciate what you were able to do for us and would recommend Vietnam Birding to anybody over here that wishes to go birding in Vietnam. Thanks again.”
Mike Woodworth, Nanaimo, BC, Canada (December 2011)
“It was a great trip despite the rain and thank you again for the excellent organisation.”
Jon Hall, www.mammalwatching.com, New York, NY, USA (December 2011)
“Thanks once again for such a marvellous time (both birding and in general) at Cat Tien, and thanks also for helping me out with the flying visit to Cuc Phuong. Hopefully I will come back some time to explore Dalat and maybe Cat Tien again, at a better time of year perhaps, as well as possibly exploring the shorebird sites you mentioned. You certainly got me interested in visiting Dalat. Needless to say I will contact you if this ever turns into reality. So thanks again and have an excellent 2012! ”
Peter Humphrey, San Francisco, CA, USA (December 2011)
“Our Vietnam Birding trip was a great success! Everything went smoothly from the beginning to the end. Guides and drivers were all in the right places at the right time. Accomodation was very good in all places. Birding was even better than our very high expectations, with only two "misses", Orange-necked Partridge and Pale-capped Pigeon. Guides/rangers/drivers were very competent, nice and helpful all over, as were all people we met both in Vietnam and Cambodia. Once again, the trip was a success! Thank you very much for making this trip possible.”
Lars Göran Nilsson, Lars Gezelius & Ann-Christine Wiklander, Sweden (December 2011)
“Many thanks for the birding weekend. All arrangements worked fine and Luyen was very good. The trip list for the one and a half days was 82, including 68 that I saw myself, 9 heard and 5 leader birds. Good but fleeting views of Grey-crowned Crocias, Collared Laughingthrush and Slaty-backed Forktail. The weather and time of year weren’t ideal, so I’m hoping to come back later in the winter or spring”
Geoff Bennett, Singapore (November 2011)
“I would like to thank you for the tour you organized for us. We had 17 great days. Even the long journey from Hanoi to Hue was not a problem, as this 500 km drive was a photographer’s paradise for us. Minh was super, Tu in Hanoi and Nam in Saigon were very helpful and of course you, personally, were present, through mobile phone, during all the tour, taking care of details. Thank you for everything”
Petros & Loukia Triantafillis, Athens, Greece (October 2011)
“Just a short note to say we had a great 2 day birding trip to Bach Ma with Minh. It was lovely to have a guide who knew the park and its history so well – it was one of the highlights of our trip. Thanks for organising it at such short notice.”
Kate Adams, UK (September 2011)
“I would just like to thank you for arranging for Luyen to take my wife and I out birding this week. During the day we spotted 49 species and heard another three, which I think was pretty good for a day! We got three of the endemics - Vietnamese Cutia, Vietnamese Greenfinch and Grey-crowned Crocias. We found Luyen a very able guide who knows all the tricks of the trade to boost our chances of seeing good birds.”
Simon Phillips, UK (August 2011)
“It was a very nice tour well organized. The weather was good and the hotels were clean and comfortable. Minh was the perfect guide, friendly and helpful and we spent three nice weeks with him. Thank you for your perfect organization.”
Thierry & Marie-Andrée Bécret, France (July 2011)
“Dalat was excellent, many thanks for sorting once again”
Chris Gooddie, www.pittasworld.com, UK (June 2011)
“A big thank you for your organization and company”
Nigel Marven, www.nigelmarven.com, UK (April 2011)
“We really enjoyed the experience. Everything worked – we were collected everywhere as promised, fed housed and watered also as promised and were taken to all of the appropriate sites. I wouldn’t have the slightest hesitation in recommending the services of Vietnam Birding to anyone wishing to organise a birding trip to Vietnam. In fact, other than for the most hardy, determined and highly skilled birder (i.e. most of us) such organisation is vital if any birding success is to be achieved, and we did achieve a fair amount.”
Alf & Jeannine King, UK (April 2011)
“Just a quick line to thank you for an excellent tour of your adopted country. Everything went fine and we had a very enjoyable time seeing some very good birds. Your company (and stories) were much appreciated as were those of Minh and Luyen. Keep up the good work and hopefully our paths will cross again in the not too distant future.”
Graham Speight, Barnsley, Yorkshire, UK (March 2011)
“We had a marvelous trip and are now mostly recovered from our jet lag. Thanks again for all you and Minh did to make our time in Vietnam memorable, pleasant, and educational. It’s an amazing country with some pretty cool birds.”
Greg & Sandy Mico, Portland, OR, USA (March 2011)
“Sandra and I are back in Sweden some weeks now. We just want to take the opportunity to thank you for nice days in Cat Tien. It was a fantastic trip and the guide was actually brilliant. And not only in birds - although not a biologist, he knew a lot about the plants and insects, etc.”
Leif & Sandra Andersson, Töreboda, Sweden (March 2011)
“The main VENT Vietnam tour concluded on a high with a magnificent farewell dinner at the Metropole. I can't recall a happier ending to a tour. Everyone was thrilled with their time in your adopted country; in fact most of us were moved to tears. In good part this was thanks to you and Dong and Minh and the outstanding drivers. Thanks a million for all your patience and help. As you may have guessed I am completely enamoured of Vietnam and look forward to leading this tour again next year.”
David Bishop, www.ventbird.com, Tour Leader, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, Austin, TX, USA (March 2011)
“Dear Richard, at last a big thank you for organising our trip to Vietnam and Laos. It was brilliant and I really appreciated the efficient organisation from all the guides and drivers. For me it was a wonderful country to travel in. I loved the food and some beautiful hotels with very good service. The combination of birding and a chance to see Hoi An, Hue and Hanoi and have cultural and city tours included was great. We saw some wonderful birds and it is very hard to pick out the highlights as there were so many. I wore my Vietnam Birding cap with the Grey-crowned Crocias throughout and will be proud to wear it again. With very many thanks for a great trip.”
Tony & Celia Sawbridge, Yorkshire, UK (February 2011)
“I would just like to say a 'big thank you' for your company and expert guiding during our two week stay. We really appreciated your birding expertise and knowledge of the country's politics, history and culture which was fascinating.”
Mike & Stephanie Brown, Reading, Berkshire, UK (February 2011)
“First of all, thank you, everything went really well and was well organised! I saw all the target species, Blue-rumped and Bar-bellied Pitta, White-rumped Falcon, the 2 ibises, Pied Harrier, Bengal Florican, Siamese Fireback, Germain’s Peacock-pheasant etc., 56 lifers in total! As for the mammals, we did better then expected. We saw 27 species including Black-shanked Douc Langur, Buff-cheeked Gibbon, Irrawaddy Dolphin, Eld’s Deer and a bag of squirrels and bats.
I am sure I’ll be back soon, hopefully with a group.”
Gerald Broddelez, Eke, Belgium (January 2011)
“The trip was immaculately organised - all the guides, pick-ups, internal flights etc., worked perfectly. We were very pleased with the package Vietnam Birding put together for us - you clearly understand Vietnam, and were able to construct an itinerary which matched our requirements, making sensible use of internal flights and road transport while helping us avoid some of the pitfalls we didn't know about.
We were really pleased with your choice of hotels where the welcome added to our enjoyment. Your choice of non-birding excursions was spot on. The Bassac cruise was well worth it - a really peaceful way of seeing the Mekong. We also very much enjoyed the cookery class in Hoi An - and judging by the popularity, we're confident we had the best available course. We'd not realised just how diverse, culturally, climatically and scenically, Vietnam is. There is just tons to see, and we clearly missed a lot, but I think we saw most of the best bits, thank you.”
Andy & Sue Mendus, York, UK (January 2011)
“Thank you very much for arranging the trip. We really enjoyed the plan and the hotels and resorts were great. The Majestic had a wonderful feel and a lot of interesting history. The Meking Delta, Hoi An and Hue were brilliant and Hanoi is a really interesting place and the Halong boat trip was so worthwhile.”
Mark & Colleen Jagusch, Sydney, Australia (January 2011)
“Let me start by saying a big thank you for the excellent organisation and execution of our recent trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. Daphne and I had a really great time and saw some excellent birds. Minh was an excellent guide and great company and the fact that everything went to plan and we were met everywhere was really great. Again, many thanks for organising it for us.”
Dick and Daphne Yates, Gloucestershire, UK (January 2011)
”Thanks for the arrangements of our birding visit. Everything worked as was agreed and on time. In some countries timing is not so sharp. We saw 267 species of which 180 were new for me.”
Kim Söderling & Hilkka Lampen, Helsinki, Finland (December 2010)
“We had a wonderful time birding at Cat Tien National Park. Our guide was outstanding. We saw about 80 plus species of birds. One of our highlights was watching a male and female Siamese Fireback interacting in the jungle. I'm interested in bird photography and came home with numerous great pictures. We would highly recommend Vietnam Birding.”
Ron Schwadron & Debra Walther, Washington, DC, USA (December 2010)
“This was one of the best birding trips of my life, and I have been all over. You will not regret using his services. He knows all of the best wildlife reserves and parks like the back of his hand. This goes to the level of the best tree to wait under. One of his many specialities is the laughingthrush family. These are almost impossible to see by oneself, but Richard knows where they are and how to call them in. He is also superb on endemics, including the Grey-crowned Crocias, his logo bird. I saw many wonderful pittas, broadbills, and woodpeckers with his help. He can design a trip including very early rising, night trips for owls and nightjars (I missed a couple because I didn't get up!), and a wide variety of habitats. He is also great on suggesting Vietnamese food and restaurants.
I give Richard Craik very high marks on birding skills, travel skills, and people skills. My trip was a joy in every regard.”
Peter & Diane Vennema, Santa Fe, NM, USA (November 2010)
“Sean and I completed a 17-day birding trip with Vietnam Birding in November 2010. After a long flight we were greeted by Richard Craik in Ho Chi Minh City and as a relaxed introduction to Vietnam, moved to the Mekong Delta and stayed on the Bassac, a wooden rice barge which was a fabulous gastronomic experience (as featured on Rick Stein’s recent Far Eastern Odyssey series). We then moved to Cat Tien National Park, Dalat and Cuc Phuong National Park for birding and rounded our trip off with an overnight cruise on the Emeraude on Halong Bay for a wonderful and luxurious conclusion to our trip.
As a credit to Richard as organiser the logistics of this trip were spot on. The guides and chauffeurs were all extremely helpful and polite. The birding, food, hotels and culture and the whole experience of Vietnam is something we will never forget. We will be back!”
Joanna Greenwood & Sean Johnston, Yorkshire, UK (November 2010)
“I departed Vietnam last week after a fantastic week and a bit. I must thank you again for your pre-trip advice, sorting out my transport and stay at Cat Tien National Park, but particularly the leech socks!”
Clayton Burne, London, UK (November 2010)
“Just a quick note to thank you for arranging my birding trip to Cat Tien National Park. It was marvelous. My guide was just exceptional. The Forest Floor Lodge was wonderful and I would like to come back. I got to see 80 species, of which the majority are lifers, and many others were heard. The highlight was the Green Peafowl.”
José Cordero, Atlanta, GA, USA (December 2010)
“I was really happy with my trip, as far as the arrangements goes I have only good things to say. Mostly good weather and I am glad I had a guide in Dalat. Luyen did a great job and he is also very nice company. The hotel was nice too.”
Peter Schmidt, Uppsala, Sweden (November 2010)
"Just got back from two fine days of birding at Cat Tien. Thanks again for making the arrangements, all of which worked smoothly. Quan was very reliable and a good driver. Duyen certainly knows his birds and gave me a very full day and a half of guiding. I managed to see 76 species and heard many others. I think my favourite was the Heart-spotted Woodpecker, although the Orange-breasted Trogon was a “heart-stopper” too. I’ll look forward to returning in the not-too-distant future and perhaps take a bit more time, see Dalat and other places too."
Geoff Bennett, Singapore (September 2010)
"My wife and I have just completed an eight day birding trip to Cat Tien National Park, Di Linh, and to the Dalat area with Richard Craik, whose company Vietnam Birding, made all the arrangements. We were impressed by the professionalism shown. The pre-trip package gave us detailed information as to what we could expect in Vietnam, with reference to travel, birds, and to conditions generally.
Richard is a fluent speaker of the Vietnamese language. His knowledge of the country, and its birdlife and wildlife, is first class. Add to that his amiable nature, and his willingness to ensure that every effort was made to seek out "That Bird", meant good birding. To this one must add his skill at finding good food and beer. We had a great week."
Roger & Linley McGlashan, Melbourne, Australia (April 2010)
"We all must say thank you for organising and guiding such an excellent trip. You found us so many of the key species, your skill with calls and knowledge of habitat is incredible. Good hotels, good food and good company on top of excellent birding - it has been one of the best."
Chris & Mavis Hendley, Martin & Judy Sell, Hertfordshire/Berkshire, UK (March 2010)
"Thanks for the wonderful arrangements! My family really enjoyed the trip and had a wonderful experience. Duyen and Luyen were really good guides to have, showing us the many birds that can be found at their respective sites. Thanks to Luyen, we saw four out of five of the Dalat endemics and saw glimpses of the last one, Orange-breasted Laughingthrush, at Ta Nung Valley. There's really nothing more we could ask for, bird-wise. Once again, thanks for the trip and hope to use your service again in future!"
Jia Sheng & family, Singapore (January 2010)
"Very memorable and fruitful first trip to Vietnam and it’s all due to you. Many thanks for taking good care of us"
Yong Yik Shih, Ng Chay Tuan, Ang Seok Hian Samantha, Tan Ju Lin & Low Chaun Shwa, Singapore (Dec 2009)
"Many thanks for organizing this private birding trip to Cat Tien and the Da Lat area. Nollie and I had been birding in India, Thailand and Malaysia before but this trip still produced 55 lifers for us, many of them being of high quality. Like the peacock-pheasant and the bar-bellied pitta in Cat Tien, and the crocias, cutia, tesia, parrotbill and the four laughingthushes in the Da Lat area. This trip brought us over the 4000 mark on both our life lists.
Transport and accommodation were well organized so we could spend all our attention to finding the birds. Apart from the birds, we liked this country for the great people and the great food. Finally I understood why everybody who comes back from a holiday in Vietnam is so enthusiastic about this country.
We will certainly be back to ask you to arrange a similar trip to the North of Vietnam."
John & Nollie van der Woude, Amsterdam, Netherlands (December 2009)
"Thank you for everything during the trip. I really enjoyed it. I look forward to seeing you in southern Vietnam in the near future!"
Shunji Usui, Tokyo, Japan (December 2009)
"Thanks again for a great trip. I enjoyed it from all angles and came away with some great new birds. I look forward to the time when we can next get out there together again."
Simon de Albuquerque, Singapore (October 2009)
"Thanks very much for your guiding, we had a very good trip. I will tell all of our friends to contact you if ever they intend to bird in Vietnam."
Nicholas Barden & Lise Laflamme, Quebec City, Canada (October 2009)
"Back again for more. Great 3 days in Dalat. Despite the weather making seeing the birds difficult, we still managed to see lots of birds and the Grey-crowned Crocias were very special. Thanks again – as usual you were patient, cheerful, professional and everything was sorted. See you again."
Robyn Rayner, Sydney, Australia (September 2009)
"Thanks again for the Cat Tien arrangements. We really had a wonderful time and it is so far one of the highlights of the Vietnam part of our trip. We will definitely be recommending Vietnam Birding to our friends who come this way!"
Mary Kelly & Rick Lowerre, Austin, TX, USA (June 2009)
"We had a really wonderful four days with you and I particularly enjoyed myself - as you were probably aware. Though I'm not good at it all I do have enormous fun in my birding. It was great too to see the other side of Vietnam. I am already thinking of where to go next and am interested by lots on your website and your mention of northern Cambodia sounds very tempting."
Robyn & John Rayner, Sydney, Australia (June 2009)
“Many thanks for setting this trip up for me. I leave Vietnam with 50 new species, many of which are very hard to find anywhere. I had a great time, and would happily recommend your services.”
Philip Johnson, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA (May 2009)
“Just a quick note to say thanks for sorting all the logistics on my recent Cat Tien trip. All worked well. I found Bar-bellied Pittas without any trouble, saw 10 in total, but Blue-rumped was tougher, as expected. Thanks again for your assistance, I'll be in touch next time I head to Vietnam!”
Chris Gooddie, www.pittasworld.com, UK (March 2009)
“Richard, our guide and the owner of Vietnam Birding was just wonderful. Our trip was beautifully organized, weather was better than we expected, birds, although difficult to see, were seen in good numbers with stellar views of many of Vietnam's special birds.”
Nancy & Robert Dean, Bradenton, FL, USA (March 2009)
"The trip was extremely well organized with somebody always ready to lend a hand when it was needed, be it at airports, for transportation, at hotels. Although Richard himself was not available for our trip, we were very pleased with the local experts who accompanied us at Dalat and Cat Tien: great birding skills, good English, and good company.
Although I'm living in Vietnam, I had no idea there were easily accessible areas here with such great habitats and good birds. Vietnam Birding highly recommended to explore them!"
Douglas Graham, Hanoi, Vietnam (February 2009)
“This is quite late but I wanted to let you know that our trip to Vietnam was fantastic. In fact, it was my most enjoyable holiday in many a year. The hotels you set us up with were fabulous, especially the Majestic in Saigon and the Victoria Angkor in Siem Reap. Wow!! The transport was very good, with very good people as drivers. I wish we could travel with you every year and hope to do so again in the future. Thanks again for such a great trip!”
John Cooper & Suzanne Beauchesne, Errington, BC, Canada (February 2009)
“Thanks again for all of your help and kindness. It helped make my Vietnam experience very pleasant and frustration-free. There will always be fond memories. I will definitely send people your way if they need any help with a trip to Vietnam.”
Pete Loncar, Montrose, CO, USA (February 2009)
“Thanks for arranging the trip it was excellent, saw all my targets.”
Graeme Wright, London, UK (April 2008)
“Thanks for everything, really enjoyed the time. Will keep in touch and again thanks for a really excellent time.”
Mark Jagusch, Sydney, Australia (April 2008)
“Thanks for the great trip you put together for us. There is always a bit of risk when arranging travel to a place you do not know with firms you have no experience with but any concerns we had concerning your services were completely unfounded. The arrangements were everything you promised, your ability to help us find the birds wonderful and the demeanor with which you ran the trip delightful. Please feel free to use me as a reference to anyone who might have questions.”
David Hartwell, Minneapolis, MN, USA (March 2008)
“I have told birder friends that if they are looking for Vietnam specialties, they can find no one better than you to help them.”
William Riley, New York, NY, USA (February 2008)
“All in all, a splendid trip, and we'll try to send more business your way. Lots of birds, nobody got sick, fantastic food, a superb leader - one could hardly ask for more.”
“Thanks so much Richard. I realized – as did we all – just how much you did for us and how much you contributed to our group by being part of it and leading it. You rank way above – plus you know the birds.”
Julian & Kathy Donahue, Los Angeles, CA, USA (December 2007)
“A fantastic trip - with the temples of Angkor a high point (one of many) for me! Our guide at Angkor, Sophoan Rath, was especially good - we highly recommend him for future tours. He was able to show us a large temple some miles out in the country, which was much appreciated and a bit of an extra effort for him.
We are still amazed that everything, and I do mean everything, worked so well - right down to the flights home …Thanks again, Richard, for a wonderful adventure.”
Paul & Marcia Secord, Pasadena, CA, USA (December 2007)