Animal Club – South East Asia tour.


January 2023

This research trip was booked with a company called Explore ( This company specialises in trips across various countries and also provides an opportunity to see the local wildlife. This blog is a diary of the animals that were encountered on this trip.

There were many opportunities to observe more common animals on a daily basis such as fish, insects and bird life. However, this blog focusses on the more unexpected sightings of animals that we encountered. This blog also mentions animals that were living in certain areas but we may not have actually observed them.

South East Asia is a wonderful place for observing and learning about animal. Often an animal would appear when we were not expecting it which made it all the more exciting and interesting.

Sat 7 Jan. 

Species observed – Finlayson’s squirrel

Walk in Chatuchak Park Bangkok. Spotted a Finlayson’s squirrel. Very common across SE Asia. Not endangered. Named after Scottish naturalist George Finlayson.

These squirrels were quite common to see across this park. There was also an opportunity to feed them.

Finlayson's squirrel

Sun 8 Jan

Species observed – Water Monitor Lizards

Trip to Big Buddha temple in Bangkok. This Buddha is located in the south of Bangkok and is a very impressive site. Near the Buddha there are a range of  canals which have paths running along side them. We saw two giant water monitor lizards. One was living under a small bridge the other came out of the water and disappeared into a tunnel. These were very impressive animals and certainly worth making this trip to view them


water monitor lizards

Mon 9 Jan

Species observed – Butterflies, Great Eastern Egret, White Throated Kingfisher, Black Winged Stilt

In the morning we cycled around Phra Pradaeng which is an island located inside the river in Southern Bangkok. A really great place to either walk or cycle around as you are do not feel like you are in a city at all! This proved to be a haven for wildlife and we spotted Spotted butterflies and Great eastern Egret, white throated Kingfisher, Black winged Stilt.


Tues 10 Jan

Species observed – Macaques Monkeys

Cycle ride through Khao Yao National Park. We saw Macaques Monkeys on the side of the road.

It is also possible to see in this park over 1000 species of animals including tigers, pythons, elephants, gaur (wild cattle), Great pied hornbill, cobras, jungle fowl, sambar deer, wild boar, Asiatic black bears, eagles, grebes, bitterns, and silver pheasants.

Macaques Monkeys

Wed 11 Jan

Species observed – Kingfisher, Great Eastern Egret

Today’s cycling in Thailand involved a stop at Non Mac Mun lake. Which is a huge, beautiful lake which was completely empty of people. We were lucky to observe Kingfisher and Great Eastern Egret

Fri 13 Jan

Species observed – red squirrel, monkey, turtle, butterflies, water buffalo, working cow, cicada insects, parakeets 

After crossing the border into Cambodia the next leg of our tour involved a bike ride around Angkor Watt, which is a truly wonderful series of ancient buildings that are surrounded by jungle. 

Ankor Watt

Due to the vastness of the complex and also the mix of jungle and water there were a wide range of animals to be observed.

Mon 16

Species observed – Great Hornbill

This was an extremely rewarding walk around Phnom Penh in Cambodia. As we were walking along the river in this capital city we spotted a Great Hornbill which flew practically over our heads and landed in a near by tree. After doing some research we discovered that there are several pairs of these Hornbills now living in the city! This is a link to to the local news site explaining more about it.