herping snake hunting

What Is the Most Common Snake in Thailand?

The Golden Tree Snake is the most commonly found snake in Thailand according to our scientific poll surveying over 1,400 residents. This green tree snake with the species name, Chrysopelea ornata, is found all over the country and in many residential areas. You can find them in your yard, on the sidewalk, at the park, or literally just about anywhere. They seem to have no preference as to whether people are commonly present or not.

In Thailand the golden tree snakes typically have this coloration and pattern.
In Thailand, golden tree snakes typically have this coloration and pattern.

These are very fast moving snakes that are completely harmless for people, but they have a light venom that acts on small vertebrates like lizards, geckos, and frogs.

Golden Tree Snakes are found mostly in trees and bushes low to the ground, and only up to about 2-3 meters high. They can also be found on the ground chasing lizards and skinks and frogs, but they prefer to live in the trees up off the ground.

This is one of the fastest snakes I’ve ever seen move. They can be difficult to catch.

What Is the Most Common Venomous Snake in Thailand?

The Red-Necked Keelback is the most common venomous snake in Thailand. Many people don’t realize they are venomous. For many years they were part of the snake trade and children kept them as pets and played with them often. Their reluctance to bite is legendary, and for years nobody realized just how toxic their venom was!

The very common Red Necked Keelback Snake, venomous, found in Thailand and southeast Asia.
A beautiful snake, under 1 meter, not very aggressive, but potentially capable of deadly bites.

Recently it has come to light that the red-necked keelback (Rhabdophis subminiatus) has extremely strong venom, but a very inefficient venom-delivery system. They have small teeth and no fangs, so they must bite and chew the wound to infect it with venom. This takes time. Bites of 10-20 seconds and more, and repeated bites, can envenomate a person.

I know two young boys who were bitten by this snake and spent long days in the intensive care units of hospitals in Thailand. Please be careful NOT to pick them up.

This snake is often found in grassy areas that border some thicker vegetation they can hide and sleep in. They are always smaller than 1 meter in length and a couple of fingers thick.

What is the Most Common Water Snake in Thailand?

The common keelback is the most common water snake in Thailand. The species name is, Fowlea flavipunctatus. These snakes are not shy about coming onto residential or business property and eating fish and frogs in ponds or puddles.

A common keelback snake in the grass - harmless and not going to hurt anyone, even if you step on it.

The largest common keelback can reach a size of nearly a meter long and a couple of fingers thick. These are non-venomous snakes that are capable of some bad bites. They have very sharp kukri-shaped teeth in the rear of the jaw that can cut through human skin easily.

What Thailand Snake Enters Homes and Hotel Rooms Most Frequently?

After answering identification requests from over 4,700 Thailand residents and visitors over the last 15 years I can say that the most common snake found in a house or hotel is the common wolf snake (Lycodon capucinus).

Lycodon capucinus. Wolf Snake in Ko Samet, Thailand. Harmless snake.
Wolf snakes love the inside of bungalows. I’ve found them in Ko Samui, Krabi, Trang, and near Don Sak Pier in Surat Thani.

What Snake Bites Most Often in Thailand?


The venomous snake responsible for the most snake bites in Thailand is the white-lipped pit viper (Trimeresurus albolabris). These vipers are notorious for living in gardens, even around Bangkok. One friend I know went herping to look for snakes around the canals of Bangkok and found over 70 green vipers like this in a couple hours. They are very common and they bite quickly if you are close by, like you would be doing garden work.

The snake that bites most often in Thailand is the white-lipped pit viper.
Bitey and fast, these snakes love gardens.


The snake the bites the most often that isn’t venomous is the golden tree snake, as mentioned above. They are very common and quick to bite if annoyed.

Night tours for finding wildlife in Krabi, Thailand.
Click to find out more information about some night nature tours to find snakes, frogs, mammals, insects, and all kinds of wildlife at night.

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