Cobra – King of My Fears

If I ever had the misfortune to take a choice between being caught in an uncompromising position with Mike Tyson’s lover or coming face to face with a King Cobra, my answer would be ” Don’t hit me Mike, you’re out all night drinking, playing cards and ….”

I’m absolutely terrified of snakes.


The King Cobra grows to an average length of three to four metres and with a single bite its venom can kill an elephant within three hours. If a person is not given a  shot of antivenom, they can die as soon as five minutes after the Ophiophagus hannah (King Cobra) has applied their nastier version of the Glasgow kiss.

When I first met Wonderful Wi’s sister-in-law Maeo I couldn’t help but notice the swollen and weeping puss filled wound on one of her feet. I asked how it had happened and Wi explained.

Her brother and sister-in-law live on the outskirts of a village about five kilometres from Udon Thani city. Early one morning Maeo went into the bathroom and unaware to her a spitting cobra was resting on the tiled floor. The cobra immediately struck, biting Maeo on the side of her foot, her screams alerted her husband who bravely disposed of the snake. Thankfully the wound has been a long time healed but the story is always fresh in my mind when I enter a bathroom in Thailand.

Our village home in Ban Norn Chad has rice fields backing on to it and spitting cobra’s have been seen not too far from the back of our land. I have been assured that the last sighting was a long time before. Very much like myself, Wilai is prone to a nibble on her fingernails at the thought of even the smallest of snakes.

The King Cobra is the largest venomous snake in the world although not every bite given is fatal, with one test suggesting that around 33% of cobra bites analysed showed no sign of envenomation. Having read all the above, you’re probably thinking the King Cobra should be avoided at all costs. I am in total agreement with you, however there are some people who actively seek the King Cobra and welcome it into their everyday life.

King Cobra Village

Ban Khok Sa-Nga in Khon Kaen Province is known throughout Thailand as King Cobra Village. Most of the households in this village keep cobras in wooden boxes next to their homes. Sightings of King Cobras crossing the village roads are common.


The villagers put on regular King Cobra shows for the visiting tourists, teasing and prodding, even putting the snake’s head into their mouth in an attempt to agitate the King Cobra into striking. The showmen and women like to prove their mastery of these deadly snakes by avoiding the strike. Some children even participate in the famous King Cobra Village shows.

Their skills, honed from childhood sometimes let them down, though rarely resulting in death there is no antivenom stocked in the village. The villagers use a more alternative remedy for the venomous King Cobra bite. They use an herbal leaf which they crush and mix with lemon juice and then rub over the punctured skin to counteract the deadly toxin. They also put the herb into their tea so as the herbal remedy is consumed on a daily basis. I’ll certainly drink to that.

To view a five minute YouTube video of the King Cobra Village click here.


Cobra home” by PrashanthnsOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

10 Responses

  1. Malcolm says:

    Martyn, I did’nt think there was anyone that hated or was more scared of snakes any more than me. I am always on the look out for them around the yard. And one morning while she was sweeping the side porch, Cie jay called and hollered, to me that there was a snake in one of my flower pots , so I am use to on occasion seeing and killing ( the only good snake is a dead one ) small green snakes on the porch, well as I came around , up popped this head and scared the living sh– out of me and it was a 2 mete long Corba staring me right in the face and not in the least bit scared of me.well,I was scared of him alright , so I went and got a long stick and came back and he was ready to fight I waved the stick in front of him and he stuck his head out to strike and I quickly and really hard popped him on the head and broke his neck , while he was rolling around on the ground I got my hoe and chopped his head off. I hope that PETA is not reading this,I called my brother – in -law and he and a buddy of his, came and got him and was going to eat him for dinner , I didn’t go down , but heard that him and a couple of his Thai buddies had a few LEOs and some grilled Cobra for a snack before and after dinner. And would you believe in all the excitement I did not take a picture , before or after . I’m sure my boys at home in America would have loved to have seen a picture of ole Dad killing a King Corba snake.
    I don’t think that village, will make it to my Bucket List , which , by the way thanks for the suggestion and I will be doing a post on my Bucket list very soon.

    Keep your eyes open and keep looking down.thats were the devils live,on their bellies , just like the Bible said they would.(once a preacher always a preacher).

    The pictures are great , but most of all I just really like the way you tell a story, keep them coming ,they make my day. Malcolm

    Malcolm’s last blog post..FENCES

  2. Hoo Don says:

    Malcolm – There ain’t a stick long enough for me to poke a Cobra with, you’re one brave man. I’ve read many times that if you come across a Cobra then quite simply put, run like hell. The only bucket list I’ll be putting the King Cobra village in is a bucket with a bloody big hole in the bottom.

    I see you’ve got your last post under your comment, that’s made it easy for anyone to go directly to your site. That’s good. Thanks for the comment.

    In case you didn’t know, a Glasgow kiss is a headbutt.

  3. Mike says:

    HD-thanks I already live in morbid fear of the things. I always check the garden first thing in the morning just in case! I also have special excluder’s on the screen doors.

    Fortunately my “two kills” did not involve cobras. However I don’t like killing snakes since they are good pest controllers but I can’t tell a harmless rat snake from a krait.

    Mike’s last blog post..Consider Making Your Blog Comments Do Follow.

  4. Talen says:

    Nice reminder that I’ll be up country in a little more than a month. Last year we were walking in the fields behind my girls house and she told me to watch the ground for snakes…didn’t bother me too much till I found out about the cobra’s and a couple other nasty poisonous snakes around.

    Talen’s last blog post..Ka Prao Moo (Stir-Fry Pork with Basil)

  5. martin in bulgaria says:

    Martyn, quite enlighting info on the cobra. I must admit I never had had a problem with snakes, Galia and manyh of my Bulagrian neighbours are pertrified of them and there are two types of vipers around, but they tend to shy away from humans. In the winter they hibernate in many houses here unbeknown to the owners.

    You lot are a bit more scary, not a lot of time to get treated, but the herb based medicines sound useful.

    Sleep well!

    martin in bulgaria’s last blog post..Jogging From Scratch in Bulgaria

  6. No way, So, I’m guessing you get these king cobra in all parts of Thailand, right? but more in the North, right?

    I would take to having wellies glued to my feet.

    Ben Shingleton’s last blog post..The Thai Pirate becomes a Tokyo Crusader (for the weekend)

  7. Hoo Don says:

    Mike – Two kills, you sound like a proper snake hunter. They do seem to implant a very big fear into the minds of most Brits.

    Talen – I don’t tend to walk on any grass unless I can’t help it. Fields are definitely out. I’m still searching for a pair of Nike trainers with bells on them.

    Martin – I didn’t realize Bulgaria had vipers. As for them hibernating in houses then that would freak me out big time.

    Ben – I guess Cobra’s are all over Thailand, not totally sure on that one although I know Bangkok has them. Good idea with the wellies, may have to invest in some myself.

  8. lala says:

    Hmmmm, just last night I found myself on a golf course situated on the Banana River for a sunset photo shoot. The cart-keeper told us that there are many alligators that lurk within the water-hazard ponds. As we passed one of the ponds, he told us “A big one lives in there.” When he dropped us off for our photo shoot on the banks of the river, he told us to wait there or in the nearby restrooms and he’d be back to pick us up after dark. All during the shoot I was nervous. But especially after the sun sank behind the horizon and only gentle hues of pink remained, my nerves began to get the best of me. I couldn’t stop fidgeting, pacing and scanning every area of the golf course, especially the nearby water hazard. I mean it is not uncommon in Florida for alligators to attack both pets and humans.

    My boyfriend made a comment that he hoped the old man didn’t forget to come pick us up because he had no stick, no weapon of any kind and didn’t want to go walking in the dark on the golf course without something. This made me even more nervous. I told him, “Some people have an irrational fear of spiders, some snakes, but me? I have an irrational fear of alligators.”

    The old man did finally come and get us. It was a harrowing golf cart ride back, with him driving insanely fast, through sprinklers, across the greens (instead of following the paths) and nearly driving us into one of those water hazards.

    The point of the story? When it come to especially snakes and gators, there is no such thing as an irrational fear.

    lala’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: Waiting for Scraps

  9. Hoo Don says:

    Lala, thank you for the wonderful story and penned to such perfection. The first time I was persuaded to go fishing in Thailand I was very wary of the rough ground around me and what was lurking in it. Snakes and alligators now that is frightening. Thanks Lala.

  10. They taste good though 😀

    Pete – FrogBlogger’s last blog post..That old chestnut… farang men, Thai girls

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