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Xuan Thuy National Park

Alternative site name(s)
Xuan Thuy
Nam Dinh

The 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.
From Hanoi
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 tide.

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 army station.

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 tide.

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.



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