Sunday, October 26, 2014

Butterfly Paradise at Chiang Dao (Northern Thailand) Part 1

Many thanks to Antonio who planned, arranged and made  this butterfly outing and photography trip to Chiang Mai possible for three of us from Singapore and Les from Koh Samui. We checked into the Dome Residences at Chiang Mai city upon our arrival in the evening of 13 Oct by SilkAir.

The weather was not too bad in the morning of 14 Oct. After our breakfast at the hotel, we were heading towards the north - our destination is about 75 km away. About 10 am, we arrived at Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary - in fact, a butterfly paradise to me. We immediately sprang into actions, looking closely at the butterflies puddling on the wet gravel ground.

Behind a hut,  there was a cluster of puddling butterflies. The moment I saw an isolated individual, I quickly snapped a few shots but unsure of what I had actually shot. After checking my reference book, I think this is a Adamson's Rose (Atrophaneura adamsoni) which I didn't encounter during my last trip in early November last year. It was a pity that I could not get a clear shot due to the space constraint and the messy sandy ground.
On our second day at Chiang Dao, I managed to take another shot, perhaps of a different specimen.
I saw more large Papilionids puddling compared to my last visit. This is a male Redbreast (Papilio alcmenor alcmenor  f-leucocelis
 Here is another specimen exhibiting a similar pose.
My first shot of the morning on 16 Oct was this Burmese Batwing (Atrophaneura varuna zaleucus).
There were at least a couple of the Great Windmills (Atrophaneura dasarada barata) fluttering around and feeding on the ground.
A common, large and beautiful papilionid in Thailand, the Paris Peacocks (Papilio paris paris) is a magnificent butterfly, especially when it is in flights. They stayed on the ground for a long period of time for us to compose our shots.
I feel that the undersides are not as attractive as the uppersides.
There were many Dragontail butterflies on 16 Oct but not on 14 Oct. They usually congregated and puddled together on wet sandy ground.
It seemed that there was only one White Dragontail (Lamprotera curius curius) that morning so I was particularly interested in taking a shot of it.
I considered this was a luck shot for me when a Green Dragontail (Lamproptera meges virescens) opened its wings side-by-side with the White Dragontail.

To be continued.


  1. Wow, what magnificent butterflies. It is amazing to have so many species that are superficially similar-looking. The butterflies are all gone hear now, so I am really enjoying looking at your blog and I can't wait for the next installment!!

  2. Thanks for these encouraging comments.
    Yes, there are many look-alike butterfly species in South East Asia.