Many of you don’t know, but I’ve been running the ThailandSnakes.com site for 7 years or so. I’ve had many emails and some calls about people experiencing snakebite in the country, and I just wanted to outline some cautions to help you all avoid snakes whenever possible.
Snakes can be anywhere. You’ve seen the photos of the guy with the reticulated python attached to his groin and blood everywhere. It came out of his toilet. Snakes are in trees, on the ground, in the water, under the ground, under your house, and in the engine compartment of your car or motorbike. They can literally be anywhere.
The best way to avoid them is to be alert.
Daytime venomous snakes you may encounter are few… King Cobra, Monocled Cobra, one of the Spitting Cobras, and possibly the Malayan Pit Viper. That’s really it for common venomous snakes which are active during the daytime. Most people have good eyes and can see snakes in the daytime, so, it’s not a bit problem.
Most people are bitten at night. I see it so often, Thais let their children run through the grass at night time without headlamps or flashlights. The Malayan Pit Viper is really the nastiest thing in the grass at night, and I think the entire country needs to be more aware of it. I find them dead on the road here around our house a dozen times a year or more. I’ll count this year. I’ve already seen one.
If you’re walking at night on the street, in the grass, or in the rainforest, you really need to have a great headlamp or flashlight. I use headlamps because they’re just so much easier to wear – plus, it frees up your hands. There are dozens of cheap headlamps and flashlights you can find on Amazon, and some Amazon sellers ship to Thailand.
If you have a yard where you walk around at night – make sure you have adequate lighting installed. Replace burned out light bulbs! As I say that, I’m going to replace ours out in the back today so wifey can see when she goes out there in the back area at night.
The Malayan Pit Viper is found anywhere rodents might be. That means around homes and businesses. Even if you think it’s an area where you might not have to worry about snakes, there could be a snake there. I found a Malayan Pit Viper on my porch the first day we moved in. Middle of the day. Just waiting for my daughter to step out of the car as we arrived. These snakes just don’t move. It sat there as I backed in – within 2 feet of it.
Anyway, do be careful and install and wear proper lighting to keep safe. A bite by one of the snakes mentioned can be catastrophic. Would be a shame to look back and say, “damn, if I’d only taken a flashlight with me…”