Wildlife Sanctuary really is one of the best birding
locations in Thailand. I was lucky enough to go there for 5 days
in 2003 when I saw 7 species of hornbill; Great, Rhinoceros, Wreathed,
Wrinkled, Bushy-crested, White-crowned and Helmeted. Many of these
species were seen every day.
I am asked quite
frequently whether it is currently safe to visit Hala-Bala; the
answer at the time of writing is NO! Although not widely covered
by the media, the violence in the southern provinces of Narathiwat,
Yala and Satun shows no sign of abating with deaths reported in
the Thai newspapers almost daily. Well over 3000 people have been
killed in the current bout of violence (since 2004) and the recent
death of a Chinese man proves that foreigners are certainly not
immune to being attacked, indeed they may make a very newsworthy
Chinese man was found shot dead in Thailand's Muslim-majority
south on Sunday, police said, blaming separatist rebels for the
rare killing of a foreigner in the insurgency-hit region.
a 55-year-old carpet vendor, was found at a local teashop in Narathiwat
province with two bullet wounds to the head.
police said Wensheng and two Chinese colleagues were in the area
to sell carpets, but were fired upon by two suspected militants
on a motorcycle who were posing as clients.
other men escaped without injury, police added."
Channel News Asia.
Full article here: Chinese
man shot dead in Thai south.
The advice is
not to attempt to go to Hala-Bala in the current situation and don't
be tempted to try and find the same species on the other side of
the border; a quick look at the google earth image for the area
will reveal that almost all the forest has been converted into plantations.
Taman Negara further into Malaysia would probably be the best place
to find many of the species that one could wish for at Hala-Bala.