This winter I have experienced changes in some of the most popular places for birdwatching around Dalat. Some of you will know this already, but I give here a short summary of the changes, as I believe it will be news to some:
Ta Nung Valley: Part of the area is privatly owned, and they have started the construction of a resort. For the time being they are constructing the road (picture) down to the site where there will be a restaurant. A new fence and locked gate have been put up half way down the road leading from the main road. Since it is privat property I guess the owner is in his rights. The first time I came there (in January), a young student took me on his motorbike, but the manager did not let us in, and we simply had to return. Fortunately a new manager arrived in February, and he and his wife are very friendly. They let people in if you call down to them. I give them a small amount of money to smooth things.
Tuyen Lam lake: As mentioned previously on this blog, they are constructing a road up the slope from Da Tien restaurant to Pinhatt. This has ruined the whole scenery along the shortest trail from Da Tien to the top. However, one can of course take advantage of this, and use the road to get quick and easy access to the top.
Datanla: Some people visit this area for birdwatching. I am among those. It is a very short drive from Dalat, and surprisingly many species can be seen by walking a few metres and sitting comfortably on benches. However, it is a must to be there early in the morning, before people have scared away most of the birds! The facility has expanded, so the full "service" is now the following: Entrance fee VND 10 000, which I normally pay on my way out again, because I come in (without problems) before they open. The best area for birds is by walking slowly down to the first, big waterfall. Alternatively one can go on the rollercoaster (VND 40 000) down to the first waterfall. Recently they have constructed a cable-car (VND 40 000) that continues down a gully, and then you can go even further in an elevator (free) that takes you down to the bottom of the valley. I have not investigated the area in the bottom of the valley, because the cable-car did not run when I was there. However, this area may be good for birdwatching in the morning.