Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cave Bird Nest Centers in Southeast Asia

Bird nests are only available in Hainan Island, Vietnam, Thailand, Myannmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines where swiftlets are thriving.

In Hainan Island, due to uncontrolled harvesting of bird nests, the swiftlets are almost extinguished. Most of the caves are now under very stringent control by the state.

Cave bird nest are exported through some coastal towns in Southeast Asia. Most of them are quite interesting and untouched by the international tourists.

Chumphon of Southern Thailand is one good example. Some exclusive resorts there do not even have brochures in English or some other international languages. You may have to converse in Thai to register for a room. A nearby town called Hat Sai Ri has pristine beaches visited by the locals in the weekend. When the weather is clear, you may see some houses built on top of the hills on the offshore islands. These houses belong to the cave bird nest harvestors/farmers. Most of the islands are under the state concessions for bird nest harvesting.

In Hat Sai Ri, there is a popular shrine named after a Prince Admiral. It is situated by the seaside. The Thai Navy entrusted an old ship to the shrine. It is berthed in the sea just opposite the road of the shrine. The shrine is frequented by plenty of local visitors. The worshippers burn fire crackers intermittently the whole day long.

You may visit my website for more information on other bird nest towns.