The chances of seeing a snake slither down the street or soi whilst you are holidaying in Pattaya are very slim, you might only ever see a snake at one of the Pattaya tourist attractions such as Nong Nooch or khao Kheow Zoo, but it does happen. During my 10 years of living in Pattaya I have had 3 or 4 snakes in the house, seen several dead snakes in the road and just a few days days ago I spotted the snake in the photo below, it eventually made its way to a house which has been empty for months so I left it alone, hoping it would not decide to take up residence in my garden at some other time.
It’s certainly not an everyday occurrence but when you live in Thailand you are bound to encounter a snake at some time, there are something like 170 different species of snake in Thailand, of which 40 – 50 are venomous, unless you are a herpetologist or otherwise know your snakes it is impossible to know which snakes are venomous, this is probably why people seem to have a fear of snakes, simply not knowing if their possible adversary is deadly.
The snakes of Thailand come in a multitude of colors, brown, black, green, red, yellow, black and yellow and various color combinations, they can stand out like a sore thumb when they are outside their natural environment. On the other hand most snakes are hard to see because they are so well camouflaged, Malaysian pit vipers and Russel’s vipers blend in to forest or garden areas, often taking refuge in piles of dead leaves, and they are not always inclined to move when they see an unwitting person approach, both are highly venomous snakes, the Russel’s viper has claimed more lives globally than any other snake.
I believe the snake in the photo is a Keelback of some description and mildly venomous, but beware, many of the venomous snakes of Thailand are deadly and the venom from these snakes can kill you in hours or even minutes. Fortunately, as I said, most visitors will only see King cobras, pythons and the many other snakes of Thailand at the tourist attractions or the Pattaya Snake Farm.
If you do happen to encounter a snake during your stay in Thailand, it is best to slowly walk away, most snakes are not aggressive unless they have no means of escape. Should you be unfortunate enough to be bitten by a snake you should get to hospital as soon as you can, any of the hospitals in Pattaya should be prepared to deal with snake bites. Try to remember what the snake looks like, what color, size, length, pattern, take a photo if possible but avoid wasting too much time.
According to various articles I have read on the internet, the best way to stop the spread of venom after being bitten by a snake is to place a compress, constrictive bandage over the wound, any more qualified information on the treatment of snake bites is welcome in the comments section.
- Thailand has about 170 species of snake, of which 40 – 50 are venomous.
- There are approximately 2,700 species of snake in the world.
- India has the most cases of fatality from snake bites, as many 35,000 every year.
- Around 600 species of snake are venomous, and approximately 300 species are deadly.
- All snakes are carnivorous, they eat insects, mice, rats and various small mammals, lizards, birds, eggs and other snakes.
- The study of snakes and other reptiles and amphibians is called “Herpetology”.
- The spitting cobra can spray its venom up to 3 meters distance, usually aimed towards its victims eyes.
- The Russel’s viper annually kills more people than any other snake in the world.
- The longest recorded snake in the world is a reticulated python measuring 33 feet.
- A python currently holds the record for longest snake in captivity, 24 feet long and weighing 300 pounds.
- The worlds largest and heaviest snake is the anaconda.
- Most venomous snake in the world is the Belcher’s Sea Snake, rarely bites and rarely releases poison when it does bite.
- The Australian inland Taipan is the most venomous land snake.
- King Cobra is the largest venomous snake in the world.
- In 2008 the fossils of a snake were discovered in Columbia, the snake was estimated to be 43 feet long and weigh as much as 2,500 pounds.
- The fastest snake is the black mamba.
- Smallest snake in the world is the Barbados thread snake, just 4 inches long.
- The smallest snake in Thailand is the brahminy blind snake, 6 inches long.
- Because of its docile nature the Burmese python is the most popular domesticated ‘pet snake’.
- Large snakes such as pythons, boa constrictors and anacondas can live as long as 25 years.
- Thailand’s king cobra can live for 20 years.