Chiangmai and Doi Suthep

Chiangmai & Doi Suthep

When:  August 2016     Weather :  Cool 25C

Leica Q   Nikon P900

In Chiangmai for a recce trip and we visited the Wat Pra Singh temple in town and I took a morning off to go birdng in Doi Suthep, the mountain range to the west of Chiangmai City, a majestic backdrop.


Doi Suthep Mountain, the backdrop to Chiangmai City

The first afternoon we paid a visit to a 900 year old temple in the heart of town called Wat Phra Singh…



Wat Pra Singh



Wat PRa Singh has this intriguing elephant…




Wat Pra Singh temple main entrance



many buddha effigies inside


But the place I really wanted to visit was the Doi Suthep National Park which is on Doi Suthep mountain.  The mountain itself is more famous for a temple half way up. I’d read other blogs which had said that the two main birding locations near Chiangmai were the Mae Hia Agricultural College about 20min away and Doi Suthep NP about an hour away.   I’d birded at the more famous location of Doi Inthanon about 3 hours away previously so was keen to try something else this time.

So I hired a car and driver for 2500bht and we set off at 0545am…..



Wat Phra Doi Suthep temple on the slopes of Doi Suthep National Park…visible from the main road leading to the mountain



Halfway up the mountain there is a viewpoint of the sunrise over Chiangmai



Interestingly facing the other direction at the viewpoinr, the moon was still easily seen…



lovely moon detail at daybreak on Doi Suthep



I’d read that there was good birding the last 4 km of the mountain road leading up to the campsite so we headed there…it was actually about 1.5 hours to get to this point on a winding narrow road….



The campsite was well kept but that morning the birds were really rather few…



so I set off on a trail towards the summit…



the foliage was heavy and the birds distant…birdsong aplenty but difficult to see



the sun started breaking through



and there were a number of little brown jobs zipping about…



a bulbul






the lichen provided interesting colours



the reason why you don’t reach out blindly and grip any branch



Crested jay?



and again



after an hour at the top and when it was evident there weren’t many birds there, we descended…



we found a beautiful viewpoint



which was really quite spectacular…



since I had some time, I stopped off at the Wat Phra Doi Suthep temple itself for a brief visit…



Doi Suthep temple



there were so few birds around that I even snapped this pigeon at the temple!


I’ve had a bit of a dry run recently with my birding exploits and this was a similarly disappointing one…the mountain, temple and all its views were worth seeing but the birding was poor.



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