With almost 1300 species of butterfly Thailand certainly has impressive variety, but it is the numbers of the more beautiful species that have particularly attracted us. The sight of large groups of albatrosses, grass yellows and emigrants tightly packed on a mud bank with Nawabs and shivering groups of swallowtails is memorable indeed and something we’ll encounter a number of times on this tour.
Practically within the northern city of Chiang Mai is a place that will get all butterfly lovers hearts a-fluttering. Two small waterfalls attract numbers of beautiful insects, amongst them swallowtails such as abundant Bluebottles, Golden Birdwings, Fourbar Swordtails, elegant Five Bar Swordtails, Great Zebras, Darjeeling Veined Jays and gorgeous Common Windmills. Yellow, blue and black False Tiger Moths sip the salts as do gorgeous Buttler Moths; this ‘windmill’ mimic has a startling red body and black wings shot with white and turquoise!
As we watch Silver-breasted Broadbills and Green Magpies, the feisty little White Dragontail poses on the track. A paved road winds its way up through dry dipterocarp forests to the evergreen top of Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest mountain. Shimmering Green-tailed Sunbirds are abundant and there’s a range of laughing-thrushes, sibias, and beautiful minlas. We’ll see the Purple Leaf Blue and Blue Admiral. Here is the lovely Red Lacewing, whilst the orange Cruiser zips back and forth along tumultuous streams, home to White-capped and Plumbeous Redstarts as well as elegant Slaty-backed Forktails. Small groups of Great Nawabs and Spotted Sawtooths, one of a number of Jezebels we’ll see, are a remarkable sight. A chorus of White-handed Gibbon whoops echo through the evergreen forests of Kaeng Krachang, three thousand square kilometres national park that is also home to Red-headed Trogon, Blue Pitta, beautiful Long-tailed Broadbill, Green Magpie and Indian Pied, Wreathed and Great Hornbills. We’ll see Orange-winged Flying Lizards, mud-puddling Stately Nawabs, intricate Common Maps, and Lantern Bugs with fabulously-patterned wings. This is a butterfly place par excellence – Green Dragontail is sure to be a highlight, so too Red-spot Marquis, Larger Harlequin and swallowtails such as Adamson’s Rose and Paris Peacock. Further south on the peninsula we’ll be in the tropical heaven that is the Khao Sok National Park where we can enjoy butterflies such as Yellow-tail Owl, the leaf butterfly Kallima limborgii, jewel-like Cigaritis syama, Blue Posy, many Arhopala blues, Spotted Jay and the Spangle. Blue-banded and Rufous-collared Kingfishers can be seen here as well as Chestnut-naped Forktail, Helmeted Hornbill and creatures as diverse and wonderful as the Atlas Moth and the extraordinary Parachute Gecko.
Dates and Prices
3rd December - 18th December 2024 (16 days)
* doesn't apply if you're willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged
Butterflies. Also Dragonflies, Mammals and Birds.
The minimum is 4 and the maximum is 9.
All flights. Accommodation, transport and meals in Thailand. Services of your leaders. Entrance fees. Please note; items of a personal nature including travel insurance, drinks and tips are not included.
Butterfly, bird and mammal checklists are available.
On arrival in Chiang Mai, we’ll head straight to the Rachamankha for a two-night stay. This boutique hotel is in the classic Lanna architectural style and has finely furnished comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, library, and very helpful staff. Next we move to the Doi Inthanon Highland Resort where the lovely rooms look out on to gardens full of wildlife as we explore Thailand’s highest mountain. Close by Erawan we’ll stay in the colonial style Dheva Mantra Resort & Spa with our balcony rooms overlooking the River Kwai. The Kaengkrachan Boathouse Paradise Resort overlooks the national park and has modern fully-equipped rooms and a fantastic swimming pool! At Khao Sok we’ll stay at the Rainforest Lodge, a clean and comfortable jungle lodge right inside the national park. All rooms on this tour have en-suite facilities.
Quite easy. Usually three or four miles in a day, sometimes up to six. Always at a relaxed pace.
UK return direct flights are available from London Heathrow to Bangkok. Add-ons are available from various UK airports*. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* may be available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
Warm to quite hot in the south, though evenings and mornings are pleasantly cool. Pleasant and even a little cool at times in the hills around Chiang Mai. Some rain can be expected, with some short-lived heavy rain expected in the south.
Contact us to check if there is availability for the number of places you require. Click on the ‘Book this Tour’ button on this page to be taken to the online booking form or contact us and we will send one to you which you can complete and send back to us. You will receive confirmation of your place, and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. This will contain up-to-date health information.