Thuy National Park
first Ramsar Site in Vietnam, Xuan Thuy is situated in Nam
Dinh province and covers an area of 7,100 ha. The major
habitats are estuaries, mangroves, mudflats, sandy flats
and shrimp ponds.
Bird watching, sightseeing… Contact
us for more information
To date, more than 200 bird species have been recorded at
Xuan Thuy. The site is the most important staging and wintering
area for migratory waterbirds in the coastal zone of the
Red River Delta. It regularly supports large numbers of
commoner migratory waterbird species, including Black-tailed
Godwit, Spotted Redshank and Eurasian Curlew. Many rare
species can also be found at Xuan Thuy, including the largest
wintering population of Black-faced Spoonbill in Vietnam,
with around 60 birds each winter in recent years. Other
rare species that regularly occur at the site include Saunders's
Gull, Spotted Greenshank, Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Asian
Dowitcher. In addition to its importance for waterbirds,
Xuan Thuy is also an important migratory stop-over for non-waterbirds,
with large numbers of passerines and cuckoos passing through
the site during the spring and autumn migrations. During
the summer months, small numbers of Painted Stork and Spot-billed
Pelican occur as non-breeding visitors.
Other features : Estuarine habitats and
traditional aquaculture activities.
Transportation : Car and boat. Xuan Thuy is about 150 km
by road from Hanoi or three and half hours by car. The site
is not well known and, for this reason, may be difficult
to find. From the national park headquarters, the site can
be visited by boat or by foot. It is important to take account
of tide times when planning a trip to Xuan Thuy, as some
of the best birdwatching areas can only be reached at high
Accommodation : At the moment, accommodation
at Xuan Thuy is basic. The park has only one four-bed guestroom
with no hot water or electricity. However, a new guesthouse
with 10 standard rooms is currently under construction.
In addition, there are two guesthouses in Ngo Dong town
(20 km from Xuan Thuy) and a resort area in Quat Lam (40
km from Xuan Thuy), where there are many hotels and restaurants.
Permission : An entrance fee system has
not yet been established; visitors should contact the park
authorities in advance to arrange permission. Both Vietnamese
and foreign visitors can visit the park, providing they
secure the approval of the park staff and the local border
Birding routes :
As a staging and wintering site on the East Asian-Australian
flyway, the best time to visit Xuan Thuy is September to
April. In August and September, it is still possible to
see non-breeding Painted Stork, as well as early migrants,
such as Black-winged Stilt. Later, from October onwards,
it relatively easy to find wintering Black-faced Spoonbills,
particularly at their roost sites in the shrimp ponds.
Visitors can ask for assistance from the national park
staff, who know the site well, and can advise on places
to look for particular species. Hiring a guide from the
park is recommended.
Birding routes: Visitors can travel by foot to some places
of interest; others can only be reached by boat at high
Walking routes: Walking through the shrimp ponds on Con
Ngan island, where the park headquarters is located, can
be rewarding, especially at high tide when Black-faced Spoonbills
and various gulls, ducks and waders come to roost and feed
in the shrimp ponds.
Boating routes: At high tide, boats can
be chartered to reach the offshore mudflats and sandy flats,
where Spoon-billed Sandpiper can be found among large flocks
of waders. Saunders's Gull can also be found here during
December and January, as well as other gulls and ducks.
An alternative boat route involves visiting Con Xanh island,
which is planted with Casuarina, which shelters migrating
passerines, including pittas, and the outer edge of Con
Ngan island, where waders, ducks and herons feed in the
Tra river mouth.