Vietnam // The Mekong Delta //

Tram Chim National Park

Of the 220 species of birds nesting at Tram Chim National Park (previously called the Tam Nong Bird Sanctuary), it’s the sarus cranes, with their distinctive red heads, that most visitors come to see, though numbers have sadly declined drastically in recent years, and there’s not much to be seen outside the months of December to May. In flight above the marshland of the sanctuary, the slender grey birds reveal spectacular black-tipped wings. Cranes feed not from the water but from the land, so when the spate season (July–Nov) waterlogs the delta, they migrate to Cambodia. Visiting the park, however, can be very expensive (over $100 per day for a small group), so this is a trip for committed bird enthusiasts only: if you’re keen, ask at the office of Dong Thap Tourist in Cao Lanh for details.

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