For bargain-hunters, Myanmar may be one of the best birding values around -- in dollars and in birds to view. Stretching from the Chinese border on the north to the Andaman Sea on the south, Thailand and Laos to the east and India and the Indian Ocean to the west, habitats run the gamut of mountains, forests, plains, dry zones, river deltas. I have visited Myanmar for the past two years and plan to go again as soon as my schedule will allow.
During my time there, I sighted burmese shrike, brown shrike, sapphire flycatcher, forest wgtail, white-throated rock thrush, red-wattled lapwing, ground cuckoo, collared kingfisher, plumbeous redstart, pied bushchat, Demoiselle crane, collared falconet, Chinese pond heron, wooly-necked stork, greater green leafbird, white-bellied minivet, redwhiskered bulbul, pied triller, button quail, hoopoe, blue-tailed bee-eater, scarlet-backed flowerpecker, little pied flycatcher and many, many more. And the purpose of my trip to Myanmar was not strictly for birding. These sightings were made when I had time to go into nature between other activities.
Myanmar is ruled by a military government, and many areas are restricted. However, with proper contacts, it is relatively easy to get permission to enter almost any zone. Accommodations are not always as up-scale as Western hotels, but except for minor inconveniences, lodging is adequate. It is, by our standards, a real bargain. Meals are inexpensive and good, even in the more modest establishments. Infrastructure is iffy, and getting from one location to another (especially in the country side) isnt always easy. Having a guide with a reliable vehicle eliminates transportation worries. Tay Za and Nyein Chan of SST Tourism, Yangon (formerly Rangoon) served me well.
SST has the contacts to secure necessary government permissions and has an efficient, reliable staff for a hassle-free experience. More importantly, they have the cooperation of Myint Shwe, a Burmese Forest Warden who is probably the most knowledgeable birder in Myanmar and willing to share his time and expertise with SST and their clients. Johnny Min Lin, an Ayeyarwady River Delta resident, is also available for guide service and works in cooperation with SST Tourism. He is intimately familiar with the delta area, the whole of the Ayeyarwady River, and outlying areas. All are English speaking. SST will tailor a trip to your specific requirements and give you a detailed itinerary with cost in advance. Thai Air flies from LA to Yangon, with one change in Bangkok. Anyone interested in learning more about birding Myanmar is welcome to contact me at [email protected] or write to me at PO. Box 90507, San Antonio TX 78209-2172. ' will be happy to share other species of birds I saw in Myanmar, locations of sightings, prices, health concerns, or whatever question you may have.
Animals abound in Myanmar's parks and Sanctuaries. Deer, Wild cows, Monkeys, Jungle cats, Leopards, Wild boars, many small mammals, and even elephants and tigers still exist in Myanmar's natural areas.
Birds are abundant in sanctuaries, on farm land, in villages, and in natural areas and towns throughout the country. The Delta Region is abundant with water fowl. Lake Inle, the Ayeyarwady River and other waterways support hundreds of species of birds. The hills and mountains provide habitat for everything from hornbills to nuthatches. Myanmar is a birder's paradise.
Diversity is the key word for Myanmar's natural world. Hills, Mountains, Dry Zones, Wetlands, Rivers, Lakes, Flowing streams, Valleys, Plains, Woodlands, Fields. Myanmar has them all. Bees make their home in the center of Myitkyina(Kachin State) where they are unmolested by people, despite population density. The Dry Zone is rich in bird life. The forests support teak, hlinge, and myriad trees. Over 100 species of bamboo grow naturally in this fertile land. Endemic birds and animals are not uncommon.
Hkakaborazi(Kachin State,nothern part of Myanmar), the Shan Hills, Rakhine Yoma, Mt. Victoria(Chin State), Hlawgar Wildlife Park(Near Yangon), Nagaland, Ngapali Beach-- majestic mountains, sandy beaches, ancient rivers, animal and bird erserves, wetlands. No area is too remote, no challenge unanswered. We make all necessary arrangements for your comfort and to give you an unforgettable nature experience.
Groups or individual arrangements are tailored to fit the needs of our clients. We work within your budget.
Guides and staff are trained in the most meticulous care of our clients. We match guides to clients speaking English, French, Spanish. Italian, or German.
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