Birding in Chiang Mai is one of the best experiences a birder could have. This was the second time we went there this year, lasting was in February and then we can’t wait for December, we decided to go for the Firethroat in Chiang Rai, at Nam Kham Nature Reserve and then head for Doi Lang, Doi San Ju, Doi Ang Kang, and the town Fang. We had five days to find our target birds and also see beautiful places. We left in April 13, 2007 at 6:00 o’ clock in the evening and we took turns driving to Chiang Rai to catch up with the Firethroat before heading to Chiang Mai and climb Doi San Ju.
BIRDING WITH KARLO AND AYEN
We have been going with this couple several times fishing, camping, charity works, hiking, shooting arrows, and just about any adventure we can do together.
Birding was another story; it was the first time for them and they just have to learn everything without proper equipment and yet the managed with great fun. Five days of pure birding adventure, every moment was just so beautiful and packed with activities that we will never forget.
DOI SAN JU
Arpha and I had been there last February of 2017 and we hired a truck to bring us up the mountain. We left very early in the morning and we we in and out of our sleep as we were driving up the mountain. We were awaken by our driver in front of the Mrs. Hume’s location, it was quite easy that day.
April 14, in the afternoon after the Firethroat, we headed for Doi San Ju. It was different when I was the one driving up the mountain last April. It was not was not easy and crazy. Our GPS led us through an orange orchard and the road was unforgiving. It was very dark and we were uncertain of anything on the road and it took us almost an hour on that difficult road. We finally found the pavement and it was driving up and up and up.
We thought it was easy but the road was steep and the curves and turns were also insane, at one point, I had to ask everyone to get off and walk up the hill for a couple of meters in order for the truck to breathe a little as it carried our heavy adventure equipment up.
We camped on the road side, it was raining and cold, we were the only people on that part of the mountain. We had the Mrs. Hume’s in the morning, Bamboo Partridge, a Shrike and some other birds. We moved on to another location where we had more beautiful resident birds and our difficulties paid up.
After birding in the morning of April 15, 2007, we decided to leave at 2:00 o’ clock in the afternoon to get on Doi Lang as it more difficult to climb with all the off-road obstacles and it would also be a long drive up.
This drive up Doi Lang was the most difficult and the adventure was pure as it was. We crossed the first long bridge in between two mountains after a difficult drive down a mountain. The second bridge was very short and easy and it was just made for a small creek. Rice paddies surrounded the place as it was a valley. We stopped there for watching a Long-tailed Shrike, White-throated Kingfisher, Mainas, Herons, the landscape, and some farm animals.
It was getting dark and the rain was coming, we had to roll and the road up this times was again steep and it was just going up and up and up. I came prepared this time, engine was at its best, cooling system was the best I could afford, fluids maintained and monitored; courage was what we had then to just go on.
We reached the camp site two kilometers below the last police checkpoint and we took some photographs there as we had our engine cool down for awhile. The view was fantastic, we captured some moments there and then it rained. It was windy and also cold already so we had to put on our jackets and leave.