Aural Mountains Cambodian Laughingthrush Birdwatching Tour
This 4-day Cambodian Laughingthrush birding tour take you deep in the Aural Mountains in Southern Cambodia. This tour will include an accent of Phnom Aural, Cambodia's highest peak (1813m elevation), covered in the thick evergreen forest. This is as far off the beaten track that is possible in Cambodia as you will be sleeping in hammocks in make-shift forest camps while enjoying simple local cuisine.
This birdwatching tour in pursuit of Cambodia's true endemic species, Cambodian Laughingthrush, is not for the faint of heart. We recommend you be in good physical condition because of the humid weather and steep inclines.
If you accept the challenge, this is one of our most rewarding birding trips in Cambodia that you won't forget in a hurry.
Cambodian Laughingthrush Tour Highlights include:
- Cambodian Laughingthrush. View one of Cambodia's truly endemic species seen nowhere else on the planet. Cambodian Laughingthrush can only be seen between 900 and 1500 meters on Aural Mountain. Observing this species is certainly one of the most rewarding birding opportunities in Cambodia.
- Search for the elusive and unique species of Aural including Chestnut-headed Partridge, Silver Pheasant, and Blue Pitta
- Experience a raw Cambodian birding experience. Our SVC guides established the birding sites at Aural. You will get to share their experience- the Cambodian way! This includes sleeping in hammocks, setting up camp in forest clearings, and preparing local food on makeshift campfires.
If you'd like to try an alternative tour, look at what this one has to offer - Critical Birding Cambodia Tour
Alternative Tour Name: Aural Mountains Cambodian Laughingthrush Tour
4:00- Leave Phnom Penh for Aural Mountain: We will drive around 2 and half hours through Kompong Spue town then we turn to Aural District.
6:30- Arrive at Mr Chhim’s house (the lead porter): He will arrange us the breakfast, lunch, porters, tractor (Kor Yon) or the off-road car the real one. The client can use the facility before we start riding the truck to the foot hill. After sorting out the equipment, water, and food, then we begin to climb. Usually it will take us around four to five hours to get to the camp. We can see some birds such as Bamboo Woodpecker, Banded Kingfisher, Silver breasted Broadbill, or Cambodian Laughingthrush as it sometimes moving around the camp. This late afternoon, after resting a bit, then we will check the Cambodian Laughingthrush which is not far from our camp because it is usually moving before 6 PM. Tonight, we will sleep in a hammock which is set up by our porter. Overnight on the mountain.
Starting early, we drive to the base of the mountain before travelling the remainder of the way on foot. On the climb up the highest mountain in the Cardamom range we hope to see the Cambodian Laughingthrush.
We spent two nights and three days on the mountain. With no camps or villages on the mountain, we set up our own simple campsite. Porters will bring all the necessary gear: hammocks, stools, food, water, and other basic necessities (only). They can carry some of your personal gear as well if requested.
WARNING: Climbing a mountain in Cambodia can be tough due to the hot climate. Even though you can have your bags carried up the mountain you should still have a good level of fitness and be prepared to sweat! At night the temperature drops down to 10-14 degree Celsius so a sleeping bag or warm clothes is recommended. We will make a special effort to see White-tailed Robin and Blue-winged Minla, both of which are represented here by a decidedly distinctive subspecies that are endemic to higher elevations in the Cardamoms and are likely future splits. Coral-billed Ground-Cuckoo and Bay Owl are regularly heard around our campsite.
Overnight at camp.
8:00- Begin out decent of Aural Mountain: After breakfast, we will climb down to the village, but if we miss some birds, we can spend one to two hours look for the species. We will pack our lunch because at some points there are some good birds around, Great Hornbill, Wreath Hornbill, Chestnut-headed Partridge etc. It usually takes around 2 to 3 hours before we meet our off-road truck driver.
12:00- Depart for Phnom Penh: We will get back to Mr. Chhim’s house and repack again and departure to Phnom Penh. We will arrive in Phnom Penh and drop you off at your hotel between 3 to 4PM.
Wildlife species expected to see:
Chinese Grassbird (Rufous-rumped Grass-babbler), Manchurian Reed-Warbler, Asian Golden Weaver, Yellow-breasted Bunting, Cambodian Laughingthrush, Chestnut-headed Partridge, Silver Pheasant, Mountain Scops Owl, Moustached Barbet, Blue, Blue-rumped and possibly Rusty-naped Pitta at highest elevations. Blyth’s Shrike-babbler, Mountain Bulbul, Large Niltava, Slaty-backed, Little Pied, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Green Cochoa, Buff-breasted Flowerpecker, Black-headed Munia, Red Avadavet, Blue-breasted Quail, Australasian Bushlark, Small Buttonquail
What is included?
- All accommodation or lodgings based on double occupancy
- Single occupancy available for an additional charge/cost
- You will have a dedicated tour guide for the entire trip
- All of your transport throughout the trip including transfers
- All entry and admission fees to parks
- You will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Water will be provided to you throughout the trip
- Reusable Bottle - SVC refill reusable water bottle throughout the tour
- SVC will contribute part of the trip cost towards conservation
- Personalised checklists
- All Applicable Taxes
- All activities as specified within the tour itinerary
What is not included?
- All international or domestic airfares
- Visa Fees (if applicable)
- Travel & medical insurance (incl. personal equipment and repatriation)
- Accommodation and dinner in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sen Malorum. SVC can organise this if requested.
- Airport departure taxes
- Items of personal nature (incl. binoculars and telescopes)
- A hand wash laundry service can be provided with additional charges, depending on availability
- Optional tour extensions where applicable
- Wifi not available outside of major cities and towns
- Tips & gratuities
- Alcoholic beverages or bottled drinks
- Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”
Sam Veasna Conservation Tour has been in operation since 2016 and have guided some of the top international birding companies in the world across Cambodia. We only employ the best bird guides in Cambodia who have over 12 years of birding and guiding experience. Our tours are designed to give you the best opportunity to view your target species in a relaxing, stress-free environment.
Accommodation will be hammocks. We use air-conditioned 4x4 cars for the entirety of the trip to travel from site to site.
We mostly use 4x4 air-conditioned vehicles to get from site-to-site.
Group size can be from 1 to 10 people.
Yes, we do.
We do not include internal flights on this trip.
We can change the itinerary based on extraordinary circumstances. We will let all clients know if this happens immediately. Changes to the itinerary will not change the trip duration.
We do not have a single supplement option for this tour.
Yes, we include all meals.
We can do this trip anytime between November to May.
You need a high level of fitness to do this tour.
This is not a tour for someone with limited mobility.
We would recommend ages 18 to 65.
Wifi only available in hotels in cities and towns.
Each visit to remote sites that have endangered species include a ‘Conservation Contribution’ that goes towards the local community to build critical infrastructure. We also employ local guides to monitor endangered species year round to ensure you the best opportunity to see key species. Cooks and housekeepers from the local community also provide services for your trip. All community members are trained by SVC. To find out more, please visit: https://samveasna.com/the-svc-model/ Can you book accommodation for us prior to the start of the trip/tour/safari? All accommodation is included in the package. We can organise accommodation in Phnom Penh before and after the conclusions of this tour if needed.
No, this should be organised by you.
This tour is designed for enthusiastic birders.
- Please include your normal payment terms in the reply to this FAQ, as if a traveller will make direct payment and therefore activate the booking agreement directly with yourselves. A. MULTIPLE SITE ITINERARIES - A 15% non-refundable deposit for the minimum group size is required 60 days before the tour departure date for multiple site itineraries of 3 nights and more - Full payment has required a minimum of 30 days before the tour date departure - These payments are non-refundable though may be used as payment for alternative SVC tours for up to 12 months from originally planned tour date. Bank transfers: SVC account and routing details will be provided at the time of booking. Bank transfer charges must be met by the client.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
We will inform you immediately if this happens. If you have made payments contributing to this trip, we will give you a full refund with 60 days of informing you of SVC’s closure. Include items they must bring, specify footwear if this is important, also medical items that might be needed if the location is remote. Sun hat Sun cream Appropriate closed-toe shoes. Walking boots are best Light clothing covering shoulders and knees- this is especially relevant when visiting temples and religious sites. Clothing should not be bright when birding Insect repellent Waterproof coat Small denominations of money. This is especially relevant when entering Northern Cambodia. $20 is the maximum denomination of money that should be taken Binoculars. SVC charge $5 per person per day to use our Swarovski Optik binoculars Earplugs are recommended for multi-day tours. The sound of nature at night in remote areas can be loud
We provide breakfast, lunch and dinner and drinking water throughout the tour. Snacks, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can be bought in Cambodia.
Yes, we can cater for any special dietary requirements.
Yes. ATM’s are common in cities and towns. In rural areas, small denominations of money are best. $20 is the maximum denomination of money that should be taken to rural areas. The local currency is Riel and the exchange rate is roughly 4,000 Cambodian Riel to 1 United Sates Dollar ($).