If you stay any length of time in Thailand, you will no doubt hear the Tokay gecko making his distinctive call. First time visitors to Thailand often mistake the Tokay’s call for that of a bird. The sound a Tokay makes when it is calling sounds very much like “tok kay” or “toh kay”, some people liken it to the sound of a cuckoo.
Tokay geckos are received with mixed blessing in Thailand, many people regard them as a pest, while some have a fear of them, but I would say the majority of people in Thailand have a fondness for the Tokay gecko, some of the more superstitious Thais believe having a Tokay around, (preferably outside) can bring good luck.
Tokay’s are the second largest lizard in the gecko family, fully grown Tokay’s can reach 11 to 15 inches in length, in appearance they look like the smaller geckos which are very common around just about every house or dwelling in Thailand, except they are much bigger in size. As well as the Tokay’s distinctive sound, it also has a distinctive appearance, usually the body is olive green with brightly colored spots of yellow, red or orange.
The Tokay’s natural habitat is in the rain forests, but it has adapted very well to urban surroundings. Tokay’s mainly eat insects, but they will tackle scorpions, mice and smaller lizards. Their average lifespan is about 7 years. Tokay’s are territorial and can bite quite hard, they lock their jaws and might hang on for an hour or more. If a Tokay bites you, best just to let it calm down or submerse it in water, another little tip is to dab vinegar on its nose.