Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri)

The Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri) is among the more widespread species of the genus and is the species which has the most geographical variations. It is easily identified by the large reddish patch on its breast. An alternative name is the Moustached Parakeet depending on subspecies.  The subspecies found in Thailand is Psittacula alexandri fasciata.

My long-distance shots don’t do this beauty justice so here’s the Wikipedia shot.

rbp wiki

Here’s a couple of my shots from the Khao Yai area.

IMG_0526 IMG_0586 Red-breasted Parakeets have a huge range from South and South-East Asia, from northern and eastern India (including the Andaman Islands), Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, ranging through Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and southern China (Guangxi, Guangdong and Hainan), with populations in Indonesia, on Java, Bali Karimunjawa, Kangean, Simeulue, Nias and Banyak, and in Kalimantan (where probably introduced from Java) (Juniper and Parr 1998).  For travel logistical purposes, the easiest place to see them would be in Thailand where there is a city-based flock in the Dusit area and a large population in the Khao Yai area seen easily near the Balios Resort.  Your ears will find them!




World Parrot Trust



This video was taken in Thailand and you can clearly hear the bird’s call.

Here’s a nesting pair.


Beautiful close-up!


Long Bangkok Layover Pictorial – Khao Yai Area

As described here, these are the photos from our long Bangkok layover between Chiang Mai and Koh Samui.

Bangkok Airways has a nice livery!


Always inspect your rental car and take photos.

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Up early in Khao Yai (outside the park proper) birding the grounds of the Balios Resort and nearby.  Nothing that would excite most birders – no rare birds but I was thrilled to get a better look at Red-breasted Parakeets (aka Moustache Parrots).

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This is where we chased the Red-breasted Parakeets – the empty lot next to the Palio Shopping Centre.  They make enough noise!

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We had a bit of drama with the car, at one point it wouldn’t start and I was freaking out!  We pushed it into a car park and after several tries, thankfully it started but I wouldn’t turn it off all the rest of the way to Bangkok.  It was nice to see how pretty the area is since we arrived in the dark.  My review of Balios Resort.

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This is what you can expect if you drive a rental car.  The roads are pretty well marked in both Thai and English.  We had no trouble finding the airport although it took a while to find a petrol station to refuel at.  It was a public holiday the day we drove back so there were no tolls which was nice!

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Closest petrol station to the airport – they take credit cards.


The airport traffic is always crazy!

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Car back safe and sound – return inspection.


Car rental kiosks at BKK domestic terminal.


Short Bangkok Layover Pictorial – Dusit Area & Khao San Road

As described here, these are the photos from our short Bangkok layover between a flight from ADD-BKK on ET and BKK-BNE on TG.

Bangkok traffic enroute to Dusit and some temples.

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Dusit Zoo – don’t come here for the caged animals, come here for the beautiful grounds that attract wild birds!

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I want these for my backyard!

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Waiting outside for a tuktuk, we finally sighted a flock of Red-breasted Parakeets!

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It was mostly nostalgia for my younger backpacker days that made me want to spend the evening here.  It’s gotten out of control – seriously, KFC & Maccas?

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I just had to buy a couple bags, they had birds on them!

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We had to get a massage after all that walking!

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They STILL sell fake IDs!  I can remember getting a fake press pass here in the mid 90’s that got me into Afghanistan as a journalist!

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Tailor shops are everywhere but this one specializing in wedding gowns was pretty cool!


A Bittersweet Farewell To Thai’s Business Class

The last few years have been great not only for the places we have been but the way we got there.  Although in normal circumstances, we would never aspire to business class the US Airways promos and Chase credit cards meant that we had plenty of miles.  This luxury will soon be coming to an end for several reasons.  I’m running out of credit cards to churn.  US Airways is gone.  And airlines are getting stingier about releasing premium award seats.  So knowing that these would likely be our last business class flights for several years at least I wanted to really enjoy them.


This was the first of a complicated USDM award to Israel returning from Barcelona.  We settled in, got comfortable and had champagne.

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This flight leaves at 2pm and arrives at 8pm Thai time so it really isn’t necessary to sleep.  I watched Bollywood films with English subtitles through dinner, then lay down for a nap just because I could!

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The onward flight was on Turkish Airlines so we couldn’t use the Thai Airways Spa.  We used the public spa upstairs for a half hour massage, then went to the lounge to relax, check emails and have some snacks before the next flight left.

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I’ve blogged about this route before so I’ll just supplement it a bit here.  There was no way we were going to pass up one last massage in the spa, even though it was a tight squeeze before our flight.


Purple is one of my favourite colours so I love the TG cabin decor.  The smiling crew were lovely as usual.


I had to have my champagne!


We were pretty tired so we rushed through dinner so we could get some sleep.  The lie-flat beds were very comfortable and had some fancy controls.  I love the quilts they use, so soft and comfy!

IMG_7380 IMG_7381 IMG_7382 IMG_7383 IMG_7384I slept like a log and didn’t even have time to see a full movie before arriving at BNE.  I don’t know if the future holds more mileage earning activities that would get us in business class again so we are on economy for at least the next 3 trips.  But this one sure was nice while it lasted!

Ethiopian Airlines Kilimanjaro – Addis Ababa – Bangkok

This was a United Airlines award and for this homeward bound leg we had Ethiopian Airlines from Kilimanjaro JRO to Addis Ababa ADD in economy (no business class available), then business class the rest of the way to Bangkok ending with Thai to Brisbane BNE.

Although the first leg was in economy, we did pay for a business class ticket with miles so I tried to get us into the lounge at JRO.  No dice.  The lady did try, she went and asked her supervisor if they could let us in and he said no.  It wasn’t a fantastic lounge anyways but would have been better than the gate.


So off to the gate we went to mingle with the “hoi palloi” and show off my new braid.


Mt Kilimanjaro was shy and didn’t come out to say goodbye.


Same mediocre business section as before on the 737.  The flight to Bangkok was on a 767 which was marginally better but no lie-flat seats.  We were still tired enough to get some sleep.

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Breakfast – they did bring eggs but I forgot to get a photo.


So Ethiopian Airlines left me less than impressed.  I would have liked it much better if we had been in economy paying less for the award as my expectations would have been lower.  Their economy is OK if that’s what you pay for.  But I don’t recommend paying extra to fly business on this airline.

Why Bangkok Is My Favourite Airport For Transit

While some people prefer Singapore Airlines, I usually prefer Thai, especially if it is a business class award because of the fantastic ground service. There’s nothing like a relaxing massage sooth those aching muscles!  We had about 3 hours between flights on our India & Sri Lanka adventure so took full advantage!

The spa is in terminal C and a free 30 minute neck & shoulders or feet & calves massage is offered to anyone who is departing on Thai Airways in business class.  You do not get this benefit if you are on a Star Alliance carrier, even in business or first class.  If you are in Thai first class, you get a full body massage lasting an hour!

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They will offer you some juice while you wait your turn.  We only waited about 10 minutes.

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This is the room for the neck & shoulder massage.


This room is for the foot massage.


Exotic snacks in the lounge.

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Even the ladies’ room has a very “zen” feel to it!

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I was really glad the massage relaxed me enough to sleep as the planes on the Bangkok-Bangalore route weren’t nearly as nice as the ones on the Brisbane-Bangkok route (see previous review).

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Bangkok Tree House

Who would have thought you would find this gem in the thriving metropolis of Bangkok?  Away from the bustle of Sukhumvit & Patpong, this gorgeous eco-friendly lodge offers peace and serenity rather than city hustle and bustle yet it is still easily accessible from the airport and city.

Bangkok Treehouse

The accommodations are amazing!  I’m not sure I would go for a floating mattress (what if you have to get up in the night) but I love the “View with a room” one!

River Nest

View With A Room

The rates are surprisingly reasonable considering the uniqueness of this place.

The best things in life should be free, that is why the room tariffs at the Bangkok Tree House already include:

  • Free delicious ice-cream 24/7
  • Free Bicycle Rental to explore the “Green lungs of Bangkok”
  • Free WI-FI
  • Free cell-phone rental with local Thai number during your entire stay
  • All taxes included in room tariffs, so no nasty surprises during check-out
  • Complimentary full-service a la carte breakfast

I don’t have any upcoming stays in Thailand unfortunately but I’m keeping the Bangkok Treehouse on my wish list!

HT:  Very Good Points