Thailand Adventures: Ko Samui Snakes

Ko Samui Snakes: Cobra

My Cobra Experience on Ko Samui Island

One of the coolest things about living in a foreign country is that you experience things that you’d never get to in your own country. There are simple everyday things… and then there are “other” things.

My g/f and I were blowing around Samui on our Mio – we like to check out every road and place we can access the beach. I like the exploration feeling.

I also like wildlife. Now, there are bugs that bite me wildlife – and that all DIES.

And, there is wildlife that is fascinating and that I can avoid if I take some precautions. Enter Koh Samui snake farm.

I’ve always been fascinated by snakes. I used to catch them in my grandma’s back yard. When I was 11 my friend brought a snake that he caught to my mom’s house. It was a baby, but feisty. It bit him as he let it out in the yard and we had to chase it to catch him. He had little pinpricks of blood, but it was a very quick bite.

My friend’s hand swelled up to the size of my knee cap and turned black. Little did we know, he had caught a little copperhead – a poisonous snake. He went to the hospital and was OK. But, on that day I learned a little about poisonous snakes.

Here are some photos of a bad snake bite… they get bad QUICKLY. Extremely graphic photos.

Anyway, so I’m fascinated with wildlife especially poisonous things and things that can really hurt or kill me. Sometimes I go snake hunting… here are some pics of snakes I’ve seen here on some snake-hunting trips. These are not my photos, but I’ve seen some of these in the wild!

Snakes and other Poisonous animals in Thailand>

So I see this “Koh Samui Snake Show” sign. And I think – ah, it’s like any other zoo I’ve been to. See some snakes through the glass… they are doing NOTHING… and I’m bored, but still a little fascinated. I figure, what the heck – see what time the show starts.

It starts anytime I want because there wasn’t anyone there – and the woman – “Scorpion Lady” (who is in the Guinness book of world records) told me that if I pay 200 baht I can see the snakes. I told her – oh, I don’t want to just look at them through the cages – I want to see them up close – out of the cages… and take pictures. She said, OH, YES, CAN, CAN… and this guy came out of the back and said he would take the cobras out to play.

Hmmm… OK. Still, I was skeptical and told my g/f to stay outside so we didn’t pay 400 baht for anything at all. Well, the guy took me in – and reached into this tank with 2 king cobras that were each a couple of meters long – and pulled one out. That thing was BITING AND TRYING TO KILL ME FROM THE TIME HE SAW ME through the glass. In fact, he repeatedly struck with his open mouth at the glass upon just SEEING me.

Well, the guy pulled it out and told me – take pictures, take pictures… so I snapped and snapped, occasionally pulling the camera away from my face to experience that rush of a cobra lunging at my face – but just at a distance that was too far to score.

At one point after 20 seconds of just watching face to face this venomous monster – the guy told me – TAKE PICTURES TAKE PICTURES! Apparently, my role was to keep the beast occupied with moving around taking pictures so it didn’t focus on him and turn around to bite him. He WAS within reach if the thing only turned around to see that.

So – that’s my Koh Samui Snake story. I paid for my g/f to come in and we toured the outdoor zoo. They had huge monitors, Malaysian Vipers, Kraits, and lots of cobras. There was a dead cobra about 1.5 meters in one of the cages. They were leaving it there because they said one of the bigger ones would eat it soon. There were a couple in those cages that were HUGE – I’m guessing 4 meters or more. Unbelievable creatures.

So – come to Thailand to experience new things – and stop to see things that you might be skeptical about. Laws are different here. You CAN get close to dangerous things. I gave the guy an extra 100 baht. So, we paid 500 baht total and I got an experience that I won’t ever forget.

Oh, it’s worth mentioning… while this guy is giving us the tour… I look at his arm and there is a SERIOUS problem there on the top of his forearm.

I asked him what bit him. He said it was a large centipede that got him during the show. I looked at his arm closely, and he was shy about it – he didn’t want to talk about it much. But you know what? I saw at least 5 bites – five sets of pincers from the centipede that got him all on the arm in that same area.

Now, I’m big on probability.

I apply it to EVERYTHING. I was thinking about how that could POSSIBLY happen with a rational human being… Get bit once, yes. Twice, OK. 5 times on same arm in SAME SPOT by SAME animal???

No. His arm was grossly swollen up and discolored – red and blackish skin under the swelling. There was some fresh swelling, but it appeared that maybe this was the natural state of his arm.

Why would that be? I’m guessing that he LET the centipede bite him during the show… WHY would he do that? He is not making much money – and can you imagine the sympathy felt by folks in the audience when they see this 25 centimeter thick as your ring-finger poisonous reddish-orange centipede hanging off his arm, writhing like a snake but it’s pincers LOCKED ON…?

I could… and sadly I’m guessing with a probability of 98% that this is the only explanation that makes sense.

This photo is not taken at the right angle. As I said he was a little shy about the whole issue and this is the only angle I could get. The swelling was more exaggerated than what the picture shows…

Thailand Snakes FAQ >

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