Birding in China and Malaysia

This item appears on page 54 of the August 2011 issue.
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I went on a birding trip to China called “Birds and Culture,” April 16-May 1, 2011, with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, or VENT (Austin, TX; 800/328-8368). The land price was $7,175 per person, all inclusive.

Our tour included the crane migration at Xianghai Nature Reserve in Baicheng, Inner Mongolia, as well as reserves at Tumuge (wetlands) and Momoge (grasslands).

During our visit to Baicheng, April 26-29, I was very impressed with our birding guide, Li Xiao Ping. He is an excellent birder and knew where to find the cranes (hundreds of them!) and the great bustard.

Our local translator there was “Sally” Zhang (Zhang Xin) (phone +86 133 2146 0042 or e-mail z_xing@yahoo.com.cn). Always cheerful and enthusiastic, Sally was eager to share about local culture, food and sights. She and Mr. Li made our stay pleasant and memorable.

Mr. Li is an administrator for water conservation and management for that area of Inner Mongolia. He is interested in having more birding trips to the area to help justify his conservation efforts.

Someone traveling independently would have to contact him directly (phone +86 138 4364 6887) to arrange a trip. Because we were traveling in a tour group, I do not know his fees. (We did tip both him and Sally.)

• Back in August ’10, we took the “Best of Borneo” birding trip to Malaysia and Borneo ($5,995 per person, land only), also arranged by VENT, and added days on our own before and after that planned trip.

For the two days we were in Kuala Lumpur, Patrick Nunis (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; cell 601 2333 9039 or e-mail patrick nunis@yahoo.com) acted as our driver, guide and restaurant expert. He also transported us to Malacca, stopping at the Batu Caves on the way.

My partner and I learned about Patrick in the letter from ITN subscriber June Diehl (April ’10, pg. 15). His price was $25 an hour for up to four people.

He was cheerful, pleasant and reliable and gave us many insights into modern life in Malaysia. I would recommend Patrick to anyone traveling to Kuala Lumpur.

BILL KEE
Charleston, SC

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

I went on a birding trip to China called “Birds and Culture,” April 16-May 1, 2011, with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, or VENT (Austin, TX; 800/328-8368). The land price was $7,175 per person, all inclusive.

Our tour included the crane migration at Xianghai Nature Reserve in Baicheng, Inner Mongolia, as well as reserves at Tumuge (wetlands) and Momoge (grasslands).

During our visit to Baicheng, April 26-29, I was very impressed with our birding guide, Li Xiao Ping. He is an excellent birder and knew where to find the cranes (hundreds of them!) and the great bustard.

Our local translator there was “Sally” Zhang (Zhang Xin) (phone +86 133 2146 0042 or e-mail z_xing@yahoo.com.cn). Always cheerful and enthusiastic, Sally was eager to share about local culture, food and sights. She and Mr. Li made our stay pleasant and memorable.

Mr. Li is an administrator for water conservation and management for that area of Inner Mongolia. He is interested in having more birding trips to the area to help justify his conservation efforts.

Someone traveling independently would have to contact him directly (phone +86 138 4364 6887) to arrange a trip. Because we were traveling in a tour group, I do not know his fees. (We did tip both him and Sally.)

• Back in August ’10, we took the “Best of Borneo” birding trip to Malaysia and Borneo ($5,995 per person, land only), also arranged by VENT, and added days on our own before and after that planned trip.

For the two days we were in Kuala Lumpur, Patrick Nunis (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; cell 601 2333 9039 or e-mail patrick nunis@yahoo.com) acted as our driver, guide and restaurant expert. He also transported us to Malacca, stopping at the Batu Caves on the way.

My partner and I learned about Patrick in the letter from ITN subscriber June Diehl (April ’10, pg. 15). His price was $25 an hour for up to four people.

He was cheerful, pleasant and reliable and gave us many insights into modern life in Malaysia. I would recommend Patrick to anyone traveling to Kuala Lumpur.

BILL KEE
Charleston, SC