Top 5 Birdwatching Tips

1. Get up early– The sunrises between 6 and 7 am and this is when birds are the most active. At dusk, (2-3 hrs before sunset) birds are also active but not as intense as the morning hours. The best thing is to not miss the morning rush.

2. Pick a good location – National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries are places to start. Rural areas, such as farms, temple and areas of secondary growth, will provide another setting for birdwatching.

3. Be silent and patient – Tread lightly and look around slowly as you search for small movements. Another strategy is to stop often and wait for birds to come into view, especially if you are near a food or water source.

4. Stake out fruiting and flowering trees – Food sources are an excellent place to sit and watch many species as they visit the trees and feed. You will also be able to observe different feeding behaviors and social interactions.

5. Wear appropriate clothing – Comfortable and protective clothing will keep you better able to stand your time birding in the elements. Long-sleeved cotton shirts provide sun cover, protection from insects and sweat control. Leech socks are needed is the rainy season to keep you safe from the nasty bloodsuckers.

Gloomy weather in the City of Angels

The sun has been avoiding our fair city of Bangkok lately. It’s hard to wake up in the morning when you’re use to the sunlight busting through the curtains and forcing you to wake up. Clouds have been a more common site with a sprinkling of rain now and again.

Last night I saw an errie glow of the moon behind a veil of clouds. The moisture in the air was all around me and I could feel the weight of the air around me. Of course, with that amount of water in the air, the humidity is very high and rain is always emminent. It’s been raining practically ever night and sometimes in the afternoons as well.

The only good thing about all this gloom is that it’s not so damn hot at the momment. Muggy? Yes! Stuffy? Yes! Rainy? Yes. But, it seems that we are having a bit of that rain that is implied of when we say “It’s the rainy season.”

I can’t say that gloomy, cloudy humid weather is any better than hot, sunny humid weather but it is a change from the normal sun, sun and more sun that characterizes Thailand, especially the city of Bangkok. Cheers to you fellow Bangkokians and here’s to sleeping in late on the upcoming weekend and cloudy morning skies.

Too much sun can make you dizzy

Thailand is a humid, tropical country situated near the equator. The midday sun is very intense, even if it is a cloudy day. The humidity makes everything even worse as it makes your body work even harder to stay cool. The best way to keep yourself healthy during your trip is to make sure you drink plenty of fluids. It is recommended that you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day under normal circumstances. In Thailand, you’ll probably need to drink at least 10 glass a day, especially if the climate is different from your home country. Wearing a hat and trying to stay in the shade during the hottest parts of the day will also help you lose less water.

One nice thing about Thailand is that small vendors are everywhere. You don’t have to carry lots of water with you as you can easily buy a drink when you feel thirsty at a price of 10-20 baht. Unlike some touristy places, Thais rarely charge high prices for water. The exception is when it is in a location that is difficult to reach and therefore the transportation cost of the drink is higher. This is the case on most islands and similarly remote places. If you are hiking or will be away from vendors, buy water before you leave and take it with you.

After being in the sun all day sightseeing, it’s a good idea to make sure you rehydrate yourself.  Be careful of drinking too many caffeinated drinks like cola, coffee and tea as these are all diuretics and only help your body get rid of the fluid that it needs. Make sure you drink bottled water as tap water is not intended for drinking. I recommend the water that comes in clear plastic bottles that come in 500 ml – 1.5L sizes. The water in the opaque plastic bottles don’t have the same filtration standards. If it is the only thing available, it is better than drinking tap water.

If you have headaches or dizziness after being out in the sun,  this can signal that you are dehydrated. Drinking plain water might not be enough at this point. I generally drink a few glasses of water and wait to see if the symptoms go away. If they don’t, I will drink an electroylte powder mixed with water. Pharmacies and most convenience stores like 7-11 should carry it. You can also buy a sport drink and get an isotonic mixture that way. However, you may also be drinking lots of sugar at the same time. Generally, if your dehydration is not severe, your symptoms should disappear. If your symptoms persist or worsen, it is time to see a doctor.