birdwatching in Ruili Ruili:
It is one of the more interesting towns in South-west China. It's just a few kilometers from Myanmar and has a real border-town feel to it. The main reason tourists come to Ruili is to visit the border villages and to experience the lives of the area's different minorities. Few tourists, other than birders, are interested in visiting the area's the forest and rain forest.
Birds in the Ruili area include �C Chinese Francolin, Rufous-throated Partridge, Stripe-breasted Woodpecker, Red-headed Trogon, Hodgson's Frogmouth, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Black-tailed Crake, Rusty-naped Pitta, Jerdon's Baza, Silver-breasted and Long-tailed Broadbills, Burmese Shrike, Black-breasted Thrush, Large Niltava, White-gorgeted Hainan and Hill Blue Flycatchers, White-vented Myna, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, Striated Swallow, Rufous-necked, Black-throated, Moustached and Red-tailed Laughingthrushes, Red-faced Liocichla, Lesser and Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbills. Its likely that Green Peafowl maintains a precarious foothold in the region and in recent years a number of additions to the Chinese bird list have been made in the Ruili area �C Alexandrine Parakeet, Wire-tailed Swallow, Black-backed Forktail and Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush. Particularly productive areas to go birding around Ruili include �C
a. Mengxiu road 30 minutes drive north of Ruili. Turn right off the main Ruili to Longchuan road immediately before the large road tunnel 18 kms from Ruili. Drive up this side road for about four kilometers to an abandonned old church. There are decent birding trails to the left and right of the ridge road here.
b. Sheng Tai Yuan Ecological Gardens �C a locally well-known tourist 40 minutes drive from Ruili towards Mangshi. Park is open from 0008:00 �C 19:00 (though the cage with numerous captive Green Peafowl closes one hour earlier).
c. Moil Park 40 minutes drive northeast of Ruili. Also known as Zha Duo after the large waterfall in the center of the park.
d. Jiele Reservoir.
e. Trail in the Tong Bi Guan Forest near Nei Duo. An area of decent forest almost 1.5 hours drive west of Ruili. Accessed by driving west on route S321 from Ruili to Dengxiu. In Dengxiu, about 30.5 kms from Ruili, turn right off the main Ruili to Nongdaozhen road, on to minor road XN05. This, essentially cobbled, road leads to the small border village of Tu You Ba and takes you away from the floodplain of the Ruili river & up in to the hills. Drive past Banling (note that there are at least three settlements called Banling in this area!) to the crest of the ridge. This site is quite obvious & there's even a small shrine, or something similar, on the right hand side of the road here. You reach the crest after driving about km 18.5 on this road and there's a trail in to the forest on the right side of the road here.
f. Ruili riverside park (Jiang Bian Guang). Ruili River at the Jiang Bian Guang (riverside park) �C between Ruili city & the border crossing settlement of Jie Gao. This site is just over three kilometers south-west of Ruili town center.