[Updated: 15 December 2020]
Thailand Herping (Snake) Field Trips
You’d think Thailand would be inundated with educational snake, lizard, gecko, and slow loris field trips because the number and variety of snakes and other wildlife is so excellent. Truth is, there are very few places you can go for a snake field trip or snake tour. Currently, there is one place at Khao Yai in Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat), and there are tours at a wilderness resort in Krabi which focus on wildlife in general, but if you ask them, they can focus on snakes or other wildlife species’ for you.
There is one expert Thai tour guide who focuses on snakes in the whole country — “Herp Guide Parinya.” He’s based in Ranong, Thailand which is south of Hua Hin, and north of Surat Thani, north of Phang Nga. His knowledge of snakes is exceptional, and I think he has a tour guide license, or will have one soon. When he gives us a way to contact him, we’ll let you know.
Reptiles and Amphibian Tours in Thailand
There are small tour agencies around Thailand’s national parks that offer wildlife tours. Overwhelmingly, the feedback I get on these ‘tours’ is that the guides speak very little English; don’t know the proper names for the animals -common or latin; and they don’t know much or anything about the animals’ behavior and whether snakes are venomous or non-venomous. So in other words, the educational standards for tour guides like this are in a very poor state.
Reptiles and amphibians in Thailand are vast in number and species diversity. This year I’ve gone on more Thailand herping field trips than any of the previous years. I’ve caught hundreds of more snakes this year. Primarily, I’ve been looking for snakes, but of course, many other types of animals are found – lizards, geckos, and frogs being some of the most plentiful and interesting to me. In 2020 and 2021 I am looking at a number of solo herping trips around the country on short expeditions to see if I can find some of the snakes I haven’t seen yet. I’m also considering a few custom tours with friends and snake enthusiasts who are looking for something more than the ‘pack ’em in like sardines’ type snake herping tour in Thailand.
Currently I’m located north of Bangkok and convenient to Khao Yai National Park, but I’m not sure if we’ll be offering any sort of field trips over there. I think they are very restrictive and insist on one of their own guides going on the field trip.
Just in our little area in Southern Thailand, we’ve seen around 70 different snake species in ten years. We have a few places which are usually productive for snakes, and we stick to them when we can. Two of them are sometimes off-limits and we hope they will stay open, but if not, we’ll source other areas close-by.
What Is Found During a Thailand Herping Tour?
- snakes – cobras, kraits, vipers, rat snakes, kukri, wolf snakes, keelbacks, cat-eyed snakes, etc.
- frogs and toads
- lizards and geckos
- butterflies, moths
- spiders – tarantulas, Hunstman, etc.
- scorpions – small and large
- centipedes – the big ones from the Scolopendra genus
- birds, mostly sleeping, but ‘night jars’ are fairly common.
- slow lorises and civets
- stick insects
- leaf insects
- Many more kinds of reptiles, bugs, birds, mammals, and amphibians.
There is incredible diversity to the wildlife in Thailand, and more and more I’m meeting people through my Youtube channel and this website who are interested in going out to see what we can find. In 2017-2020 I’ve gone out with scores of people and found hundreds of snakes, many frogs, lizards, scorpions, spiders, etc. It’s great fun, and I think more people would enjoy it if they knew something like this was available.
If you would like to go out on the Krabi river in a long-tail boat and look for snakes during the day, see the contact info below. Long-tail boats can take maybe up to four people at a time (the small boat). You’ll bring a lunch, drinks, and stay out for about 4 hours – however long you book with the boat owner.
NOTE – We are always looking for a Thai guy or girl to help us with reptile, and amphibian herping tours here in Southern Thailand – but, finding a guide is proving very difficult. (Update – it seems to be impossible) There are few Thais not deathly afraid of snakes. Add to that the fact that many herping excursions will take place during the night time hours – and, well, fear of ghosts can factor in as well!
We would also like to have herping tours on the water, by kayak.
So, if anyone knows of a Thai that can swim, is not afraid of snakes, and can take tours through the forest in the middle of the night – please contact us. Rate of pay will depend on how many tours we do – but, it’s safe to say the person will do better than working in 7-11, and have a lot more fun.
If you’d like a custom package tour over a number of days – Contact us HERE >
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The video below was taken around 11 pm. as we watched a deadly Malayan krait try to eat a Sunbeam snake (harmless) – and the Sunbeam actually got away after 90 minutes of battle – and had no ill effects from the krait bites.
Here is a video of Al Coritz – VIPERKEEPER at YouTube – and us herping on a field trip. Al stayed with me for a week and we herped every night – a very cool experience.