2017 End of Year Re-Cap and 2018 Thailand Snakes Outlook

King cobra hatchling from Southern Thailand near Malaysia.

The last day of 2017 is here already, and I thought it would be appropriate to do an end of year re-cap of some of what went on.

Once again the year was FILLED with snakes. I have never herped more than in 2017, mainly due to one guy’s dogged determinism to get me out there every night while he was going. Thanks Alex Gillard – you, and Vince Vega made the year the best ever in a number of ways.

Though I didn’t get to see a couple of my favorite people in 2017, I did meet a lot of new friends who enjoy herping for snakes and other wildlife, and that will set the stage for an amazing 2018 coming up.

So, in 2017 I caught more snakes, and saw more snakes caught, than in any other year ever. Probably in any two years put together. It was really a ridiculously good year. Finally, in December, the cool and dry winds came and cooled off the action considerably, but that didn’t stop me from finding a king cobra in early December!

That made it 4 king cobras for 2017. I don’t have to tell you, if I didn’t see anything else the entire year, that alone would make for a very good year. As it was, Alex found two of them, and I found one in February in nearly the same spot Tom Charlton and I found his first exactly a year before. Different snakes entirely. I couldn’t get to that one before it ducked down into holes in some big rocks, but I estimated it at 3-4 m.

Alex caught a couple of juveniles – one just weeks old – and one a couple of months old. The one I found in December was a year plus. All of them SO beautiful – my favorite snake by far.

In 2017, I made an effort to look more closely for wildlife other than snakes. I’ve been in the same area for ten years and I’ve pretty much seen what I’m going to see in the way of snakes. There are plenty of other opportunities to see other wildlife here that I haven’t been paying attention to.

As a result, I found more lizards, frogs, toads, insects, and mammals than ever before – and I have a newfound appreciation for bugs and spiders especially. I still won’t hold a spider, but I do like to look at them!

In 2017 I didn’t take as many people out on field-trips as I have in previous years. I have got a lot to do with my online projects, and that is cutting into my herping time. So, when I do have a free night, I prefer to go by myself or with one of my buddies who are here at the time instead of take strangers out which I may, or may not, enjoy.

I’ve also found it less fun each year, trying to keep people safe from a Malayan Pit Viper bite.  Hasn’t happened yet, but man, the probability of it happening eventually keeps eating at me!

So, as 2017 comes to a close, I’m really looking forward to 2018. I anticipate it will be better in many respects than 2017. I’ll see a lot of the same people this coming year, many people return after their first trip, and I’ll hopefully see some people who weren’t able to make it in 2017.

We may or may not have a 2018 SnakeStalk event, I’m still considering it. I’ll announce it in email, on the Facebook.com/thailandsnakes group, and on this website – so keep watching for it if you’re interested.

Thanks to everyone who visited and made the year special. Come back in 2018 and let’s do it again!




  1. Hi Vern,
    I wonder if you could identify a snake for me. We saw it while in a bird hide just outside Kaeng Krachan NP. It came past the hide, in the low vegetation, then turned and reared up towards us. It stayed like that for over four minutes, completely still; not even flicking its tongue. I guess it was about 2 metres long, plain olive-brown above, creamy coloured below. The rear half of the dorsal surface was paler with each scale edged with black. It had no hood, so I guess it wasn’t a cobra. I think it may have been an Indo-chinese Rat Snake (Ptyas korros). I have video and photos (screen shots), either of which I could send you. Any help would be much appreciated.

  2. I have a nice picture of a banded Krait I would like to share….
    How do I send it to you?

  3. Hi Vern, could you please let me know how I can send a photo to you that I had taken of a small snake in my house here in Hua Hin.
    I have also sent a request to join the group on your Facebook.com
    Thanks Callum

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