Hong Kong Lepidopterists' Society Events & Activities
Chiang Mai, Thailand Revisited – A Field Report
Dedicated to our Chinese friends on their first butterfly watching trip
outside of Mainland China, 12th to 17th August 2006
By James J.
Thailand is not new to me. I have been going to this northern province of
Thailand for many years. It is an ideal place to go for butterfly watching.
There are many national parks surrounding Chiang Mai that are accessible for a
day trip and which teem with a good number of beautiful butterflies. As an
added incentive, it is not an expensive place to go.
|The pumping Lamproptera meges virescens and Lamproptera curius curius|
|Pong Duet Hot Spring 13-8-06 and Pha Daeng Cave 14-8-06|
At the start of
the year, Cheni (Xi Chang Chen), my good friend from Guangzhou, China, asked
me to go with him to Thailand for butterfly watching, as they are now allowed
to go to Thailand on a tourist visa on their own. In the past recent years, the
Mainland Chinese had to join package tours in order to visit Thailand. I
happily agreed without a bit of hesitation and proposed Chiang Mai as our
destination. Chiang Mai has always been my favourite butterfly haven in
I asked Lam Sir (Yong
Ming Lin) to join as well. I have known both Cheni and Lam Sir since 1995 and
they are my good companions whenever I go to China for butterfly watching.
They may not have the qualifications of entomologists as per academic
standards, but in my more than 35 years of being a butterfly enthusiast, I can
say that these guys are the butterfly experts in Guangzhou. They spend more
hours and days in the field than most scientists who spend more time in
air-conditioned offices and laboratories after earning their doctorate degree.
I believe that to know butterflies and anything of nature can best be
accomplished in the field. A piece of paper does not make an expert.
Experience is truly the best teacher. It is interesting to note that most of
the acknowledged authorities in the butterfly world come from a non-scientific
background and had started only as hobbyists.
|Myself, Lam Sir and Cheni at Doi Inthanon 13-8-06|
Chiang Mai is
always a place to discover. The whole week was spent visiting five national
parks namely, Doi Inthanon, Doi Khuntan, Mae Takhrai, Huay Nam Dang and Chiang
Doi National Parks. We were blessed with good sunshine and colourful
butterflies during the day, with the rain cooperatively watering the
surrounding when it was time to go back to our hotel. Everyday was a
delightful routine of basking in sunshine and hibernating in our abodes, very
much like the butterflies.
Doi Khuntan surprisingly yielded many nice butterflies this time of the year. The skippers always stood out. Normally, Doi Inthanon would be the favourite place to linger about, especially during dry season, when scores of Arhopalas congregate around small bushes within close-up range. Surprisingly Mae Takhrai was not too bad either for this trip. There were scores of butterflies merrily hovering around a flowering tree close to the reservoir. They were high up in the tree’s canopy and were too difficult to photograph. We just watched with great excitement and awe the merriment of butterflies feasting on nectar.
|After a couple of hours, the strain on our neck became unbearable. It was time to move on and find low flying butterflies.||
|A couple of male Simiskina phalia binghami marking their territories at the summit trail at Doi Khuntan 15-8-06|
Mae Takhrai does not collect any fees to venture in the park. The other parks collect entrance fee of 200 baht per person. We were charged a very reasonable fee for our car and for the local driver as well.
|Delias descombesi descombesi ♀ and a mating pair at Mae Takhrai 16-8-06|
The trip went smoothly as planned and everyone had a wonderful time. Chiang Mai is a butterfly watcher’s paradise. Cheni and Lam Sir are great butterfly watching buddies. I would love to go with them again in the near future for another butterfly watching adventure.
PHOTO ALBUMS :-
13th August - Doi Inthanon
|Tagiades japetus ravi||Pseudocoladenia dan fabia||Tagiades litigiosus litigiosus|
Arhopala perimuta perimuta
Pirdana distanti distanti
Zeltus amasa amasa ♂
|Zeltus amasa amasa ♂|
14th August - Huay Nam Dang
|Aeromachus stigmatus shanda||Ochus subvittatus subvittatus||Sarangesa dasahara dasahara|
|Sarangesa dasahara dasahara||Arnetta atkinsoni||Koruthaialos rubecula hector|
|Ancistroides gemmifer gemmifer||Coladenia laxmi sobrina||Cheritra freja freja|
15th August - Doi Chiang Dao
|Celaenorrhinus aurivittatus aurivittatus||Iton semamora semamora ♂||Hyarotis adrastus prabha|
|Celaenorrhinus putra sanda ♂||Seseria affinis kirmana||Psolos fuligo subfasciatus|
|Arnetta atkinsoni||Sovia albipecta||Onryza siamica|
|Sovia albipecta||Sovia albipecta||Sovia albipecta|
16th August - Doi Khuntan
|Sebastonyma pudens||Thoressa cerata||Odontontoptilum angulatum|
|Iton watsonii||Halpe spp.||Tagiades litigiosus litigiosus|
|Arhopala hellenore hellenore ♂||Spindasis vulcanus tavoyanus||Halpe arcuata|
Polyura jalysus jalysus
17th August - Mae Takhrai
|Troides aeacus aeacus ♂||Arnetta atkinsoni||Arnetta atkinsoni|
|Loxura atymnus continentalis||Ariadne merione tapestrina||Hypolycaena erylus himavantus|
|Troides aeacus aeacus ♀||Doleschallia bisaltide siamensis||Polyura nepenthes nepenthes|
This page was created on 18th September 2006.
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© 2006, Hong Kong Lepidopterists' Society Limited