Thailand: Dangerous Animals

Let's face it, there is always a downside and it's always a good idea to be prepared for the bad things that might happen health and safety-wise.

The creatures described below certainly shouldn't discourage you from visiting one of the world's great holiday destinations. The sun, coral seas, welcoming people, spectacular landscapes and fantastic food more than compensate for the small risk of encountering something nasty.

Dangerous Animals on this Page

  • Poisonous Snakes
  • Giant Centipedes
  • Jellyfish
  • Coral
  • Mosquitoes
  • Scorpions
  • Spiders
  • Ants
  • Lion Fish
  • Poisonous Caterpillars
  • Dogs
  • Monkeys
  • Leeches

King Cobra. Snakes are common in Thailand, be wary of any grassed areas or undergrowth
King Cobra. Snakes are common in Thailand, be wary of any grassed areas or undergrowth


In Thailand, these are always scary and often dangerous.

If there is grass or undergrowth, there is a chance there are snakes, even in city parks or hotel gardens. The good news is most will run (or slither) away if they see you coming. The bad news comes if you stand on one. Beating the grass with a stick might look silly, but if you have to cross open country it’s not a bad idea for your personal safety.

Kraits are especially to be avoided!
Kraits are especially to be avoided! | Source

Spitting Cobras are capable of spraying venom into a persons' eyes from three meters, so if you see a snake, give it a wide berth. Trying to kill a snake is an especially dangerous activity. The genuinely dangerous varieties, especially cobras and pit vipers, will not try to escape, they will attack.

If the worst comes to the worst and you are bitten, don’t worry about identifying the snake, go straight to a hospital. Thailand has an excellent health system that is well used to snake bites. If you you receive care within an hour or two you should be fine. Roughly 7000 snake bites occur every year (rather less than occur in the US) but there are only thirty or so deaths. In Thailand, travel insurance is recommended since treatment can be costly- around 200 dollars a night, depending on location.

First Aid for Venomous Snake Bites

First aid for snake bites involves washing the wound with soap and water, immobilizing the bitten area and keeping the wound lower than the heart. If a hospital is more than half an hour away a bandage can be used a few inches above the wound to reduce the spread of venom. The bandage should be loose enough to work a finger beneath or restriction of blood flow can cause injury.

Some grisly photos can be found buried away in this pdf: snake bite photos pdf

Scolopendra. Can grow to the size of a man's forearm.
Scolopendra. Can grow to the size of a man's forearm.

Giant Centipedes

Giant centipedes are found all over Thailand, in urban areas as well as forests and can grow to the size of a man's forearm. Like a lot of insects in the tropics, if it rains heavily, giant centipedes like to come indoors to avoid drowning. A shoe or bag can provide a handy place for the creatures to hide and if they are surprised and can't escape they will bite.

Their bite does not kill but for three or four days the victim will be in serious pain- even a shot of morphine from the local hospital will only take the edge off.

The bite marks are similar to those of a small snake and centipede bites can be mistaken for snake bites in the dark. The victim requires anti-tetanus, painkillers and rest. In the case of allergic reaction, breathing support may be necessary,

They are plenty big enough to notice in the day but for your own safety never walk around without shoes in the dark, even indoors!

Jellyfish can be a menace after storms.
Jellyfish can be a menace after storms.


Sharks are not a problem in Thai waters, so jellyfish are the most dangerous animal you are likely to encounter while swimming. They can cause a lot of pain and leave injuries that take weeks to heal. In extreme cases, ugly scars remain.

Avoid swimming during overcast periods or after storms. Strong sun is dangerous to jellyfish and they won’t come close to shore in good weather,. If stung, remove any jelly from the skin carefully and bathe with vinegar if available. Freshwater will make the pain worse.

If stings cover a large area of your body or the pain is severe, a trip to hospital is worthwhile. A single fatality was reported recently in Phuket.


Dead coral can be razor sharp and cause nasty cuts. Living coral can cause stings similar to jellyfish. Divers and snorkelers should be aware.

Mosquito feeding on a human arm.
Mosquito feeding on a human arm.


Mosquitoes can be a serious threat to health in Thailand, transmitting Malaria, Dengue Fever or Japanese Encephalitis, but even if these dire diseases did not exist, these insects can spoil a holiday purely by their irritation factor.

Mosquitoes avoid sunlight and are mostly a problem at night. Even so, during daylight hours they can be about their business in shady places- under trees, under restaurant tables and in poorly lit interiors. Covering up at night with long sleeves and trousers is a good option but be aware that the larger varieties can pierce cotton to reach a meal.

Most bites will only cause minor irritation but If you are allergic to them, the reaction can lead to large maddening swellings that take days to subside.

Most local pharmacies have English speakers who can recommend a range of preparations to reduce annoyance. ‘Tiger Balm' ointment contains a natural anesthetic and is a favorite with Thais. 'Clobet cream' is a widely available anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, cortisone cream.

Whilst modern buildings are generally well screened from mosquitoes, picturesque beach cottages made from bamboo often are not. If a mosquito net is provided for sleeping, it really is a good idea to use it. Outdoors, insect repellents based on DEET offer genuinely effective protection. The first evening that you forget, you will realize just how effective!

Thailand Scorpions

These can the size of your hand and they are surprisingly quick. Strangely, the smaller they are the more painful the sting since the poison in their bulbous tails is usually more concentrated. The legend is they are attracted by the smell of stale beer so get rid of empty bottles swiftly.

Black Scorpions, the most common variety in Thailand, very rarely deliver a fatal sting and aren't thought of as a serious health risk. In fact, compared to their lethal cousins in Mexico and the Middle East the sting is said to be mild.

Prompt hospital treatment is recommended, however, as some people suffer severe allergic reactions. In a recent case, a Welsh man died in his home country many weeks after being stung in Thailand.

Treatment consists of anti-venom administration, support for breathing if necessary, antibiotics and anti-tetanus injections. Application of ice packs can reduce pain.

Tarantulas live mainly in underground burrows in forests.
Tarantulas live mainly in underground burrows in forests.


Thailand has plenty of big scary-looking spiders but only a few species will bite a human being. This still means thousands of bites every year.

Luckily, deaths from spider bites are very rare- less than 3 per year across the whole world and these are generally a result of allergic reactions.

The most dangerous spiders in Thailand are mainly forest dwellers. Some Tarantula species have a reputation for aggression and the bites are painful and best treated in hospital with anti-venom. Symptoms can include swelling, exhaustion, muscle cramping, difficulty breathing and fever. Sometimes, these occur days after the bite.

For your safety, empty out shoes and shake clothes before wearing, especially in rural areas!

Even the smallest ants have ways to make you suffer.
Even the smallest ants have ways to make you suffer.


There are more species of ants in Thailand than anyone has had the time to count. They do not run away if they chance on you. They attack! The larger varieties usually rely on brute strength to vanquish their insect enemies. These will only give you a nip with their powerful jaws. The smaller ones- and some are so small they are barely visible- have all sorts of poisons and allergens to inject into your skin. After a day or so, the worst bites can feel as if someone is slowly driving a spear through your body. Watch out for ants at all times!

The best defense is hygiene: any food residues in a house or hotel will quickly attract columns of ants, as will food stains on clothes. Cortisone creams will reduce inflammation and pain effectively if you are bitten. Local remedies like Tiger Balm are less effective.

Caterpillars of this kind can eject a cloud of poisonous hairs which will drive you crazy on contact.
Caterpillars of this kind can eject a cloud of poisonous hairs which will drive you crazy on contact.

Poisonous Caterpillars

Brightly colored insects are often poisonous. Bright colours advertise danger and discourage other animals from attacking, Caterpillars are no exception. The creatures pictured have poisonous hairs which they can eject into the air. Any that land on your skin will drive you crazy. Some species are reputed to be capable of killing a small dog. Thai people call them Buung Haan.

Lion Fish. Photo: Christian Mehlführer
Lion Fish. Photo: Christian Mehlführer

Lion Fish

Lion Fish are one of the most venomous fish in the open sea. The spines are actively used to inject toxins into any living thing that approaches too closely. In human beings, the result is acute pain with the possibility of breathing problems and vomiting. Hospital treatment is strongly recommended although the poison is almost never lethal.

It is very rarely found near sandy beaches so is not dangerous to swimmers. Divers and snorkelers should be aware of the safety issue.


Dogs are a big part of life in Thailand. People keep increasing numbers as pets. There is also a massive stray population which can have significant health implications..

In towns, many dogs wander free, often sleeping on major roads whilst the traffic carefully winds around them. Eradication programs are out of the question because of the Buddhist respect for life. Sterilization programs have proved ineffective.

Stray dogs in Thailand are generally docile but they can be intimidating in large packs at night and some will bite if they feel threatened.

One of the best ways of dealing with aggressive dogs is to back away whilst maintaining eye contact and being willing to defend yourself. Thais will not hesitate to a use a stick or stone in self defense, neither should you.

If you are bitten, it is essential to get treatment immediately because of the widespread problem of rabies in Thailand. Again, travel insurance is highly recommended.

Monkeys running Wild


Genuinely wild monkeys are wary of human beings and won't approach people too closely. In some tourist locations, however, and around certain temples where they are tolerated, many monkeys have lost their natural fear and beg for food. They are cute when they are getting what they want but can sometimes be a menace, especially in large numbers.

Like monkeys anywhere, these creatures will steal anything, especially if it is edible. They can unzip bags and tear through the contents. They can rip mirrors from cars and motor cycles. They may even try to bully you out of a snack. This can be scary for children and sometimes a threat to their safety. Stand up to them-use sticks and stones if you have to- and they back off.

If you are bitten go to a hospital immediately as there is a risk of rabies.

Razor sharp teeth and a head that burrows for blood.
Razor sharp teeth and a head that burrows for blood.


Leeches are common amongst wet vegetation and in still waters.

In water, they actively swim towards any disturbance.

On land, if they detect the presence of a human being or an animal they stand up and wave from side to side in a searching motion. If they find contact with skin, they quickly attach themselves with their lower sucker and the head probes the skin for a good place to penetrate.

Minute, razor sharp teeth slice an opening and the head enters. They gorge themselves on up to seven times their own body weight in blood before dropping off.

An anti-coagulant is used to keep the blood flowing during feeding and the wound may bleed for several hours afterwards.

Leeches pose the greatest threat to health in Thailand during flooding in towns and cities. The flood water brings sewage to the surface from drains. Leeches swept in from country areas cause wounds which become infected. During a series of recent floods across Thailand, many thousands of people became ill in this way. The government recommended wearing jeans and tying plastic bags around the feet to keep the leeches at bay- a low tech solution that would probably help.

Comments 179 comments

Sam Shepards profile image

Sam Shepards 6 months ago from Europe

Cool article. Travelled and hiked a lot there. Never think about the dangerous animals actually. Mosquito and malaria pills are annoying of course.

Tom Bristow 2 years ago

This is a fantastic article and certainly puts people in the picture and hopefully makes people mindful about some of the dangers, when visiting Thailand. I am an expat living in Thailand and I would say the main dangers, when visiting the major popular tourist destinations are mosquitoes, so always remember to wear repellent, Ants , these things are everywhere , it seems that if you leave food unattended for one or two minutes you will get an army of ants on it. And most of all centipedes, as a bite from one of these can be really nasty. snakes are also around in the cities and well built-up areas. Generally, you will not see them. Just remember always be on your gard and don't become complacent. To find more helpful information, take a look at

tastiger04 profile image

tastiger04 3 years ago

Great hub! Very interesting....during my years in Asia I was fortunate (or unfortunate!) to run into a cobra. Scary creatures...but reading about them is a pleasure :) Voted up and interesting

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 3 years ago Author

Thai people are remarkably accepting. They will certainly do everything that they can to make you feel welcome. If you can speak a little Thai they will like that a lot! Just learning to say 'thank you', is a great step. Thais are very, very polite.

RB 3 years ago

Thank you for the great information! As I've noticed in others' comments, it is difficult to find detailed, honest information such as this and I just wanted to tell you I am grateful for the effort you put into this page and the comments.

My brother is getting married in Thailand, to a Thai woman that he has been seeing for a long time. So I am going there in August, but I am really nervous. I 've lived my whole life in the Northwest Territories, Canada, and I'm afraid I'm about to get the shock of my life! I will be aware of my surroundings and keep your advice in mind!

One thing that concerns me is, I don't want my fear to come across as rude to the people I meet (particularly my new in-laws). I bought a self-teaching Thai language kit so I'm hoping if I try to express myself in their native language, they will not take offence. Or maybe they will find my worries amusing and I'm just overthinking it. Lol. Any thoughts?

Daniel kerr 3 years ago

anyone still use this fab page ?

Marco Strafrace 3 years ago

Hi Will,

thanks for this post, was really helpful. We will be spending our honeymoon in Thailand during the first two weeks of May 2013 and we'll be staying in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket. Was planning of doing jungle trekking in chiang mai and phuket whilst also island hopping, snorkeling and canoeing in phuket.

We were told that this is monsoon season, however, how bad is it, I mean, will we be stuck indoors due to heavy rains or will we still be able to enjoy our honeymoon? Furthermore, what are the dangers that we might have to look out for?

Thanks a lot for keeping this thread alive and informative.

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

Jellyfish are horrible. If you get stung it leaves long welts on your skin as if you have been lashed with barbed wire. They only come in shore after storms, though, so you need to very unlucky.

I have seen reports of box jellyfish being spotted but these usually get dismissed as cases of mistaken identity. I have only ever come across one incident in 7 years when someone died, possibly from a jellyfish encounter.

There is nothing that you can do to deter giant centipedes but as I said before, they will try to avoid you and they are very quick.

I reckon, once you are here you will just fall in love with it all and stop worrying...

fredericka 4 years ago

thank you for the page quite helpful , iam going to koh samui for 5 days and 3 days in bangkok and iam quite scared about jellyfish ( box jelly fish) and giant centipedes , snakes , ants and leeches !!!!!!! ASLO sharks :S we will buy DEET for mosquito bites but is there anything for any of the above like jelly fish , or centipedes !??

Tiffany 4 years ago

Thanks for the awesome page. I am thinking a trip to southeast asia but I am horrified of snakes. Any countires and or places that I should steer clear of? I would imagine that most of our trip would consist of larger cities and less jungle trecking :)

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

Mosquitoes are everywhere but DEET sprays work. There are not many flies about. Bees and wasps are no more of a nuisance than they are in Europe.

I have only come across several scorpions and several giant centipedes in six years, so they are not that common, either.

Koh Phangan is pretty rural but I reckon you should be OK. Just don't sue me if you get bitten!

Rich 4 years ago

Hi, I'm fairly likely to be starting a course in Thailand in the Koh Pangan area, will be likely there for 5 months starting from August, and I have a big phobia of flying insects like mossies, snakes dont bother me, but scorpions and millipeded do as well, do you know how common these are in this area?

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

The trick with snakes is not to step on them! Blundering around in long grass after dark is a bit risky...

But that said, I am envious of your opportunity to work with elephants last time out and I hope you enjoy this new trip.

Rachel 4 years ago

Great page! I first visited Thailand last August/September and fell in love. I must admit the first time I went I never researched any dangerous animals. I saw quite a lot of centipedes and I'm very sure a cobra jumped out in front of me and quickly made it's way across the path and into the water, however it may have been another snake. I was working with elephants in Phetchaburi area so was fairly remote. What made me think it was a cobra that I saw was that my friend had been told by a local thai that she had found a baby cobra nearby to where I thought I saw a cobra. Scary stuff, but like you've said all along it certainly kept it's distance and fled from the scene. Going back to Thailand on wednesday, can't wait!

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

Allergic to ants and a non-drinker is a tough one. Most hotels and bars in Phuket keep the ants away. Once you get out into the natural world it is a bit more difficult.

I suppose it depends how allergic you are. I get a moderate allergic reaction to every bite and get by with betnovate cream or similar.

If you are life threateningly allergic to bites from ants or mosquitoes, I would have a word with a doctor.

big greg 4 years ago

hey great page, just booked up for thailand in september, i did not realise about the animals, im from scotland so the worst animal we deal with is the englishman lol joking. My thing is that im highley allergic to ant bites and having read this page it says ants are all over the place, so what's the chance of being bitten? also is there a lot of things to do in phuket for people that dont drink.

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

Thanks for that Hardy,

I was surprised to hear that bull sharks live around Koh Tao (an island about a hundred km North of Samui). I'm glad they have a peace and love kind of sub culture!

Curcurma longa is tumeric and I have heard of its use in Chinese medicine to treat low energy, stomach problems (very widely used in Thailand for this purpose) and even cancer. I hadn't heard of the use for snake bites.

I think I would try to get the hospital to give me anti venom first but it could be a useful back up!

Hardy 4 years ago

Great article, I concur with all the appreciation :) Mak, I was on the Khao San 2 weeks ago, that's given me food for thought!

Will, thought I'd mention a couple of oddities of interest in relation to your article.

I watched a program in the UK recently regarding Snake Boxers (particularly in the north) using Curcurma longa root mixed with alcohol as a treatment for king cobra bites. The program indicated that the root appears to work with many different neurotoxins, and as it is readily available in Thailand, could be a real miracle cure for all sorts of nasty bites. As it is 100% natural though, I don't see it being developed as there is no patent cash in it for pharma companies. Worth having a read though for those interested in all things venomous.

Also, you mention that there are no dangerous sharks in Thailand. There are I think three main naturally aggressive sharks in the oceans; Tiger, Bull and Great White. About 5 years ago marine biologists identified the sharks which many people had been diving with for years, believing to be grey reef sharks at Chumon Pinnacle, as Bull Sharks.

Your statement holds true though; while Bull Sharks are usually considered aggressive, the ones around Koh Tao seem to have adopted the Thai lifestyle and to my knowledge have never had a pop at anyone.

More info for the googleshy:

MAK 4 years ago

The tourists in bkk have far greater things to worry about than snakes and spiders. I'm sure your chances of getting hit by a tuk tuk or automobile crossing the road are far greater than being bit by a snake. In visiting bkk for 25 years, and living here full time for the last three years, it's the only snake I have ever seen. Like I said, it had zero interest in me and went about its business.

When I told my neighbors, who have lived in bkk all their life, they asked how much I had to drink. The answer was nothing. Fortunately my wife was with me and she could back up my story. My wife called the Red Cross snake farm and they told her more than likely the snake was someone's pet that escaped.

Regardless, it was trueley an amazing thing to witness.

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

It is amazing how the wildlife in Thailand finds a way of hanging on in the cities.

One thing you get in many towns are very narrow spaces between some of the buildings (6 inches or so). These make great havens for all kinds of creatures. Then there are the railways and klongs that act as corridors in and out of cities.

A 2.5 meter cobra just off the Khao San road is just the kind of thing you don't want to mention to the tourists, though!

MAK 4 years ago


I have traveled to Thailand for 25 years, been to just about every area, and seen a few dangerous animals during that period. I now live in Bangkok and yesterday I saw something that even amazed me. Yesterday evening around 11pm, I was on one of the side streets from Koh San Rd. heading to catch a taxi. I was walking by an abandoned car and noticed a rat, nothing unusual in BKK right, then I noticed there were several of them on this car and they seemed to be trying to get into their entrance in this car. All of the sudden there was a flash and a 2.5 plus meter cobra was rolling a rat right in front of me. I was blown away and the snake didn't care one bit that I was there. It quickly made short work of eating this rat then under a fence into a yard it went.

If you had of asked me yesterday if they had Cobras in BKK, I would have given it a very small percentage at best.


ysb888 profile image

ysb888 4 years ago

That Giant Centipedes look so strange!

Sparty 4 years ago

Will - this is brilliant!

Really useful information and comments from your readers. Although I quite liked being naïve and not thinking about the creepy crawlies in Thailand!

I am going in November to Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui (with a bit of island hopping and the half moon party!)The bit I am most worried about it Chiang Mai as we are planning a trek into the mountains for a couple of days.

Put my mind at rest - in such a short period of time I am unlikely to be chased by spiders, munched on by centipedes and eaten by snakes?? arent I??

(also another random question - I am definitely going to use mozzie spray but just wondered....does it smell? I have used anti mozzie suncream before and it stunk to high heaven!)

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

There is always sun! In the rainy season, you just see less of it.

I don't want to confuse people, but in the South there are both summer and winter monsoons. In the North, there is just the summer monsoon period.

It can be really wet in Phuket or Samui all the way up to Xmas. In the North, there is little rain from the beginning of November until the end of March.

The thing is, I wouldn't worry too much about rain here. It cools things off, keeps everything green and usually passes pretty quickly.

After a few days of sun, you will probably enjoy a downpour.

Ashley 4 years ago

Thanks for the reply Will, just one more thing, I'm going in june/july to bangkok and down to the gulf for a month. Will I need an umbrella at this time?

Rebecca callison 4 years ago

Hii Will great blog really helpful :D just wondering im going to visit Thailand in december for four months of backpacking. is this the sunny season i believe? And were are the best places to visit the must see's thanks so much i look forward to ure reply


Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

Thanks Gareth, I keep plugging away, lol.

You can have a good holiday in the rainy season. It is hotter and wetter than Nov-Feb, but there are usually long periods every day when it is sunny.

The rain when it comes is torrential but it is expected so it is not like everything grinds to a halt. Though, of course, the floods in the North were a real shock last year (not to be repeated soon we hope).

It may sound silly but I would bring an umbrella. The ones you buy here break in no time and it is too hot for waterproofs (except on a motorbike or maybe for mountain trekking).

Best of luck with your hols!

Gareth Jones 4 years ago

Absolutely brilliant blog, Will. THanks for still updating it all these years after the original post.

I'm looking to visit Thailand at the end of August/begining of September. Obviously this is the peak of the wet season. What I'm wondering is how wet is wet season? Is it a case of rain all day, or is it normally a couple of hours heavy rain then sunshine for the rest of the day? I really don't know what to expect.

Thanks for taking the time to read my comment.



Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

Centipedes are everywhere- in towns and in the countryside. They do run away from people, though, and they are quick. You really have surprise one and give it no choice before it will bite.

I trod on one in the dark in my house...

Very painful for two days but no lasting effects.

Ashley 4 years ago

What are the chances of encountering a centipede in bangkok or koh sumui? The bite sounds nasty...

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

You are right, eddie. Most people will never have a serious problem with the wildlife in Thailand and it is a great holiday destination.

I reckon, overall, the worst animals are the ants. They are everywhere and the bites are really annoying.

Let's face it though, if the worst thing that happens is an ant bite you can't complain too much!

eddie337 profile image

eddie337 4 years ago from Atlanta Ga

Will great post, I spent a year and half in thailand I seen a huge wasp in BKK at bosstower it flew up on my belcony on the 20th floor, never seen a wasp that big before! the scariest thing I encountered in BKK is ladyboy's that touch you lightly on the shoulder when you walk past them on the sidewalk in Nana they are harmless but can be get aggressive avoid eye contact and move faster lol.. in all seriousness in sisaket I seen a land crab and scorpion fighting in a rice field very interesting, but you are right everyone should be alert when visiting a tropical country, enjoy your trip to thailand this is great information, remember the food is great and the ladies as well, take in all the sites and think about life with a smile when you are chilling on the beach!

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

Spiders are not much of a threat here.

You need to be pretty expert to locate a tarantula living in the wild, for example.

On the other hand, there are some big harmless spiders that weave huge webs that worried me when I first saw them.

Overall, I don't think you will see any more here than you would see in Europe or the US.

Debbie L 4 years ago

Hello, I am considering doing a charity trek in Thailand which will take place in Thailand's Kanchanaburi Province (mainly jungle hiking). I am TERRIFIED of spiders and even freaked out at the photo on here. Be honest - what are the chances of me seeing one? I'll probably be camping too with around 30 folk.

Jim 4 years ago

You forgot elephants.

When these beasts lose it, all hell can break loose.

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

I have never heard of a shark attack in Thailand. We don't get the truly aggressive species. Speedboats are the worst threat if you are in or on the water.

So enjoy you holiday! There are some wonderful dive locations in Thailand.

elona 4 years ago

hi will, excellent site for information!! thank you! I am going to thailand mid March, and my bf is adament to go diving, i have a massive fear of sharks and i am very paranoid going diving.. are there many shark sightings or even attacks that occur in Thailand? I know that chances are very slim, however coming from Australia, attacks and sightings seem to be happening quite often these days... thanks in advance!

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

Hi Lasse,

I don't think I can help you very much. This page was written because there is not a lot of info around on the subject and it's important if you live here to know the common animals that might be a problem.

I dug deep into obscure areas of the net and used Google translate to get Thai publications. Mainly. though. I just talked to people who had been out here for a long time.

In other words, I don't have a pile of books to refer to.

The kinds of publication that might help would be from trekking enthusiasts and maybe military stuff about jungle survival.

I will tell you, real dense jungle out here is scary. It is very dense, very dark and very muddy. Many plants are covered with long sharp spines and almost every plant is home to an army of ants that will defend it if it is touched at all.

Trekking holidays usually involve trips to less typical, less dense forests where you can walk easily.

Sorry to be so unhelpful but good luck with your book.

Lasse Mors 4 years ago

Hi Will,

Thank you for this great blog.

I am an upcoming danish author. Right now I am writing a book about two people travelling to Thailand for a jungle trek, and during my reasearch I ran into this page. Then I was thiniking: Are you my way out?

I really need a well-arranged list over some plants and animals of Northern Thailand. What I found until now, is not very useful, and my local library does not have a book that I can use. The only page that has been really useful is yours. The problem is though that it is only about dangerous animals. What I need is some dangerous and harmless plants and animals, the effect of them, and most important where they can be found in the country.

I do not know if it is too much to ask about, and it is completely alright if you are not insterested in helping me.

If you want to help me, I will find out excactly what I need and give you the list.

Best regards,


Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

March and April are the hottest and driest months here, so with any luck you should be fine!

hollie 4 years ago

thanks for the info about the caves! i'm going at the end of march/into middle of april. is there likely to be heavy rain periods of rain then?

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

I wouldn't worry too much about things coming into hotels or villas. I would be cautious about cave trips during periods of heavy rain, though. Caves can flood and from time to time people can be trapped.

This girl was lucky to survive a nightmare in a cave (but the rest of her party died):

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 4 years ago Author

I'm glad you enjoyed the page, 'Mrs from Finland'.

I'm glad to say that Thailand is not especially prone to earthquakes, although a recent quake in Myanmar was felt in the Northern city of Chiang Mai. It wasn't big enough to bring down any buildings.

Also, of course the tsunami several years ago was caused by an undersea earthquake.

I hope you enjoy Pattaya.

Mrs from Finland 4 years ago

I have been reading all these comments with great interest! Really informative tales.

I am moving to Pattaya for good in about 6 months and I am very excited. I have vacationed a number of times in Phuket, but the place is getting too expensive for me to stay on a long term basis. My bad experiences with Thailand have been only mosquito bites.. a lot of them.

I have had nasty experiences in the Philippines with sting rays, which love to hide themselves under the sand in shallow waters. Believe me, nothing worse can happen to you if you get punched by a sting ray. I still have a deep scar in my foot and strange allergic reactions once in a while still after 15 years.

I wandered in these pages mostly because I wanted to find out if Pattaya has suffered any severe earthquakes. It seems not. But I got so much useful information for many other things as well.

I read something about the sand flies.. In the Philippines they said that the bites we had had were caused by the sand flies (never heard of sand flies before).. though the truth was that they were bed bug bites.. nasty ones.:)

Thank you all and happy New Year 2012:)

Rls 4 years ago

Hiya thanks for the info i going on an expedition to Thailand and Cambodia soon and I was wonder if there are any Dangerous/poisionous plant that I would need to be aware of ?

Thanks again

GS 4 years ago

Been in Chiang Mai, Thailand 12 years now seen plenty of snakes around. Only this year have i had a close encounter for the first time by being stung by a scorpion in my sleep real nightmare stuff but in the end was harmless only hurt a little. The main thing is to know what to do when it happens! You can read about it on my blog also has an image of the scorpion.

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Will Apse 4 years ago Author

Snakes in the water. Giant centipedes and scorpions looking for refuge in your home. Leeches brought in from the countryside. Sewage being brought up from the drains.

Flood water in towns is something to avoid.

The main cause of sickness in the last big floods was thought to be bacteria in the flood water entering cuts or wounds caused by leeches.

Jacob 4 years ago

What about Thailand's flood animals? I mean dangerous ones. Can you tell me some?

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Will Apse 4 years ago Author

I've not heard of that snake repellent. If it works let us know.

I feel obliged to say for potential visitors- as scary as snakes are, very, very few people get bitten every year.

Even people who work cutting rubber (you cut at night, out in the rubber fields which is a great place for snakes to live)are hardly ever bitten.

Angel Bee 4 years ago

Pretty scary stuff!...Security guard just gave me a bag that looks like a mixture of dirt and some yellow powder.Told me to put it around the house and keep the dog in for the day..Guess these guys know their onions so will do it in the morning. Not really scared of much but Cobra are NOT to be messed with! Thanks Will for your replies..Will let you know how i get on...Angel X

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Will Apse 4 years ago Author

I came across a snake on my first floor balcony yesterday- it must have climbed a pretty sheer wall. I have seen them in all kinds of places you think it would be impossible to find them. They are just a fact of life and you need to be aware all the time.


Angel Bee 4 years ago

Dog is 7 and half yrs old Maltese and does not play well with others!!! Skin was looked at by 3 different Thais & is indeed Cobra...Knew it was cos spent 3 hrs on net looking up photos of the bloody thing. House is on new estate that is cleared jungle, guess it's to be expected but none the less still not the sort of thing i wanna see!! X

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Will Apse 4 years ago Author

Cats are great for dealing with snakes. Of course, the dog might need some persuading of the need for a few!

Angel Bee 4 years ago

Came across this page as was looking for info as yesterday i found a cobra skin in my garden..found one 3 weeks ago too! I am shit scared as the latter part of the skin was down a hole and still damp! pushed a rock in the hole,but afraid to let me small dog out in the garden today. Dunno what to do now!

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

I have seen giant centipedes in the middle of cities (popping out of drains to hunt for food). I have seen them on roof terraces 40 feet up in the air!

They certainly get about and they are all over Thailand.

They will run away if they see you, unlike scorpions and many snakes. You have to catch one by surprise to get bitten.

The bad thing is that the bites are very painful. The good thing is, you will recover completely in a couple of days.

Monsieur 5 years ago

Hey !

Great hub you have here.

Centripedes are really scaring me ;)

I was wondering if they were found in all part of Thailand ?

If i live in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, any chance of finding one in my bed ?

What about the other dangerous species (snakes, spiders...)

THanks !

What about the other

adash07 profile image

adash07 5 years ago from Des Moines and Travel Locations

I was in Thailand not to long ago and was actually wondering what creatures to look out for this is very informative. The monkeys can be real a-holes.

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

Sorry Marion, the Tsunami hit before I arrived. You could search 'tsunami animal instincts'.

Marion South Africa 5 years ago

Doing a bit of research for a story and found all the comments really helpful. Would you know which Islands were worst hit by 2004 Tsunami and I've heard that animals can sense such danger - did you notice this with your animal kingdom before the Tsunami hit?

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

Thanks Dar,

People certainly shouldn't be shy about defending themselves from monkeys. They can be big animals and they have big teeth.

Shouting and gesticulating usually does the trick. I would be very careful if you have children with you.

Dar 5 years ago

Excellent advice - I was in Thailand for three weeks a few weeks ago and I'm already planning my next trip! The people in Thailand are wonderful, so friendly and so humble! I always went out of my way to treat everyone I met with the utmost respect.

Just to add a small detail to your monkey advice, I got approached by a couple of big male macaques at the monkey temple outside Hua Hin and they were after my pepsi! So I just thought I'd add that they'll chance trying to steal soft drinks too!

When the first one approached it bared its fangs, screeched and flung its arms around. I reacted without thinking and threw my pepsi at it hitting it in the face - I genuinely thought I was getting attacked.

Absolutely beautiful, amazing country with beautiful, amazing people. My advice to travellers is just to remember that paradise can be a little hostile and to treat the country and its people with the respect they deserve.

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 5 years ago Author

Thanks for that info, Prisana. I always thought trigger fish were pretty innocent!

According to wikipedia, female trigger fish are likely to attack if they are guarding their nest which is usually in flat sand.

The fish faces the intruder then points her dorsal spine straight up. That is the signal it is time to back away.

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Prisana 5 years ago from Thailand and Colorado

Excellent hub! I've encountered snakes, leeches, giant spiders, sharks, red ant nests (whilst hash running), jellyfish and several dangerous critters during my various trips to Thailand and while living there, but the only creature that left me injured was a mean-spirited trigger fish. I was diving at Koh Racha Yai, when I felt like someone had smashed their oxygen tank into my head. It took me a few seconds to realize that I had just been attacked by a trigger fish. He bit the top of my forehead and my diving mask, but fortunately the gash wasn't too bad. Needless to say, now when I see a trigger fish I try my best to stay as far away as possible!

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

Those are some great pictures, Jim. Thanks for giving us the URL. I met my wife in Koh Chang, so it was doubly good to see them.

ll 5 years ago

I stayed 5 weeks on Koh Tao and crossed paths with a lethal banded sea krait and a harmless green tree snake.

Blue ringed octopus is spotted occasionally on both coasts.

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

You are braver than I am! I wouldn't go near that bike in the dark if I wasn't absolutely sure he had legged it.

Ryan 5 years ago

Hi Will,

Awesome article!

I am in Phuket and just saw a hairy little spider scampering like greased lightning across my motorbike a few hours ago. Looks like a little tarantula! Either way, I'm right by the jungle and as you probably know it's been raining like heck here for the past week. I will just let him be in the motorbike and I'm sure by later tonight he'll be out and about looking for tasting insects instead of camping out on my ride ;)

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author


This is such a long page now I can't remember if I mentioned the Thai guy who married a snake- perhaps some of the ladies do the same thing.

Maybe a python outfit would be a good back up if you are feeling insecure!

gombo 5 years ago

excellent stuff will... i hope you get paid for this... I have question for you... I am about to have honeymoon in koh tao with my fetish loving wife... she tells me she loves it when the snake spits and im terribly worried that after a night of passion, one of these spitting cobras may find its way into the bedroom and overwhelm her with its size and spitting ability and she file for divorce and go off with him.... Is this common in the surrathanni province? please help me and forgive me at the same time.... peace

andy c 5 years ago

I had a problem a while back a scorpion bite my dog to which she died they flushed her system out but vet said scorpions will kill dogs in thailand and elephants,same here in Surin no vets at night sorry for your loss

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willythuan 5 years ago from Phuket, Thailand

My dog got recently killed by a cobra... problem in Phuket is that you can't find a vet at night.

andy c 5 years ago

When i spotted them on the tv i was shocked,that the tv said they live in caves, the only thing i could think of was my drainage system around the house,the reporter said one bite and you dead.Anyway cannot remember the name if i found out will let you know,

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

I would never touch a strange insect out here. The more colorful they are the more likely they are to be poisonous. Stripes are also a strong warning.

Are you sure the 'one bite and you die' thing wasn't about an allergic reaction?

All kinds of bites can bring on a fatal allergic reaction but only in a very small percentage of people.

andy c 5 years ago

I have lived in Surin area for last few years.One night i came across this strange looking beetle thing,but it was not a beetle a bluey color with strips and lots of legs,My wife didn't even no what it was.Few months later i was watching tv,They are very rare but one bite will kill,they normaly found in caves so god knows why it was on my gate post,no caves near me,any clue what there name is,i just cannot remember,sorry info a bit brief

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KenWu 5 years ago from Malaysia

The one that surprised me most is the killer ant. Yeap, I did actually heard about this via a Discovery Program and there are actually more than one type of species that are dangerous to human and animal. Ant is too small to be noticeable and if it lands on you, chances of getting bitten is quite high!

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

You are welcome, yr5r86yoyu.

Also just to say- the floods in Southern Thailand are gone. Which is a relief.

April 17 2011

yr5r86yoyu 5 years ago

this is an AMAZING site you have helped me so much thanks

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

Sorry to miss your post yesterday, Shirley- I was fighting the flood waters.

I have never heard of burning leaves to attract snakes- though it might drive snakes hiding in the leaves into the open where they can be caught and sold for anti-venom production.

I have seen plenty of footage on TV of huge pythons invading villages and causing havoc- eating dogs and so on. It is happening more and more often around Bangkok as the city expands into the snakes habitats. On TV they get bagged and sent to zoos. Off screen, I expect a few get eaten or sold to tourist attractions.

In some remote villages very big cobras have the honor of being worshiped. One man married a snake last year and is living with it in conjugal bliss, apparently.

Shirley Richey 5 years ago

Wow, Great hub! Very informative. I have a question re: snakes. I'm writing a book for children about Thailand but have never been there. In Countries of the World-Thailand, Jim Goodman states that during dry seasons Thais rake through leaves & rubbish in areas surrounding houses. They light bonfires to attract snakes and apparently, they capture & sell these snakes them to snake farms. Poisonous snakes are more expensive. Do they do this in Phuket? Have you ever seen anyone doing this? Thank you in advance for your help, and keep up the good work!

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

26 March.

There is heavy rain across Southern Thailand right now, with some floods. Ko Samui is affected more than most places. I can't give anyone a reference- I have only seen it on TV.

I'll post again if things get really bad, as they do sometimes- in Samui, especially.

Snakes in Hotels? When it rains every kind of creature wants to come in and dry out!

Weeve 5 years ago

Sand flies are a nuisance and their bite can be potentially dangerous and is always unpleasant, use Deet when on beaches in Thailand

oscarmike 5 years ago

Hey, i am going to Phuket with my girlfriend in August and we are worried about snakes/spiders getting into our hotel room at night.

Was just wondering how likely this is? and for a 5* hotel?

Please help! Thanks

blackandyellowstripes94 5 years ago

Hi Will, great hub! Really good info. I am going to Ko Phangan, Ko Samui, Ko Tao and some of the other islands around these in April. I was just wondering what are the most common dangerous animals on these islands? Are the beaches and shallow waters generally safe? Thanks, hope to hear back

mattscottbuckley 5 years ago

hi will, great page. the info is the best i've found on the net about the dangerous animals in Thailand. i am going to go to Thailand shortly and i would like to know if there is a place that teaches you about all the dangerous animals and allows you to handle them and gives you hands on experience of dealing with them in case situation may occur in the future. thanks.

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

There is a common spider that makes its webs between trees quite close to the ground. The webs can be a meter or more across. Those are definitely harmless. Even so, I walk around them carefully with a little shudder of fascinated horror!

There is a picture of a giant spider from Mae Hong Son here. It looks like the ones I am familiar with:

Janet 5 years ago

Unfortunately I just got back from Thailand. Have you ever heard of Mae Hong Son spider?Has it listed as poisonus?I went to Koh samed for a week and was staying in this beautiful bungalow where we got welcomed by this giant of a spider that really scared me(aracnofobia)ehehe.

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superwags 5 years ago from UK

I went on a day trip out of Bangkok on the "Tiger Temple" tour. I stroked a tiger, held a snake and had a tarantula on my shoulder and not a bit of bother.

When I got to the "bridge over the River Kwai", I was stood in a shop winding up the guy's pet fish and the bugger jumped out of its barrel, bit my finger and wouldn't let it go!

Moral of the story: Thailand has dangerous fish, don't piss them off!

Tanya 5 years ago

Thankyou for your advice, I appreciate it. I am excited about going now!

Daniel  5 years ago

I take it from this then that snakes rarely come into your room while sleeping . I have read a story online in a newspaper about a young boy who was killed in his bed at night in thailand when a snake entered the bed for warmth and bite him in the night he was pronounced dead on the scene that is why I asked such a bizarre questions

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

I have never been to Chiang Mai (though I'm told it is beautiful), Tanya so I can't help with attractions in that area. My visits to Bangkok are as short as I can manage- it is a very, very crowded city and I like quieter places.

Western children are very safe in Thailand. I have lived here for six years and never heard of tourist children coming to any harm. I regularly see parents with youngsters and even single mothers with babies. The biggest problem is the sun- it is very strong here and children need to be well protected.

Another issue could be food, some Imodium might be a good idea. Your stomach will get a few different strains of bacteria and though people soon become as resilient as the residents, the first assault can be uncomfortable. Having said that, I have never had anything like food poisoning here. It is just stomach upsets of the inconvenient kind.

I have stopped answering the questions about snakes in the bed. It is hard to type and laugh at the same time! Just to say it one more time though- keep out of long grass and undergrowth and you will never come across a snake!

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craigmissuea 5 years ago from USA

Dangerous animals are very risky and should be dealt with necessary precautions. I did not knew ants which are so tiny can prove so destructive.

Tanya 5 years ago

Another question, you dont seem to want to answer Daniel's post about snakes coming into hotel rooms? Please tell me that will not happen! I would have a cardiac arrest on the spot!

Tanya 5 years ago

I am organising a holiday to North Thailand in January, looking at going to Chiang Mai, Bangkok and still organising the rest! I am taking my 3 children, 12, 11 and 6 and I am petrified they are gonna be bitten by snakes or stolen for the slave markets. Can you reassure me please? Are these the safest places for kids to visit? A few websites say they are but I want to make sure. Also, do you have any ideas for kids attractions close to these areas? We are doing Tiger Kingdom, Elephant Farm and the Snake farm. In Bangkok I am interested in Dreamworld, Oceanworld and the huge market. Its not confirmed yethowever so if you think there is any danger we are flexible to go somewhere else. Also, it will be me alone travelling with the kids, is that safe?

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

All the pharmacies in Thailand sell DEET sprays, Daniel. I have never bought one that didn't work. Sketolene is one of the more popular makes.

daniel 5 years ago

what's the best spray to get for thailand for the Mosquitoes then ? I may buy some tiger balm as well !

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

It is often the little, harmless things that give you the biggest frights!

If I forget to cover up the toaster there is a good chance a crawler (little lizards that live on the walls in every house in Thailand) will have crept in there. So first thing in the morning I start to make breakfast half-asleep, slip the bread into the toaster, switch it on and there is a mad scurrying noise and a lizard squeezes out in a panic scaring me half to death!

I quite like the frogs that turn up in the bathroom regularly, they just gaze at you as if you are no different to a tree or a piece of pond weed (they probably can't tell the difference). I don't even mind the Geckos even though they are big and have eyes like one of Satan's helpers.

I have started to have bad dreams about spiders lately, though. It is only forest spiders that might hurt anyone but big hairy spiders are just a little bit disturbing out here.

mikeyp 5 years ago

FROGS/TOADS, If you leave your shoes or trainers outside at nighttime, just remember to check them before you try and put your foot in them. I didn't one time and just got my foot in when I felt something, it was a very large frog or toad that jumped out of my trainer. It then decided to jump into the house and hide. Also check for scorpions, and little geckos. Especially if it has been raining during the night.

mikeyp 5 years ago

I have lived in Koh Chang, Baan Chang (just outside Sisaket) Pattaya and Rayong, on and off for the last 4 years. Never had problems with snakes, spiders or other large animals. Biggest problem I had was in Koh Chang, one minute I was fine the next I was hallucinating, sever sweats, shivering, hot and cold, lasted one night and after that I was fine, don't know if something bite me? Biggest problem for me is red ants when your sitting at restaurant tables. Make sure there is no food on the floor at your feet, and I do find a quick rub of tiger balm keeps them away long enough.

daniel 5 years ago

what's the odds of a snake coming into hotel room ? very scared of them and got no sleep last time I was there due to me keep thinking that a snake was on my bed ruined my holiday last year pls post any comments asap

Thailand Tony 5 years ago

Laurie, the odds of spiders coming near you if they can help it are small, they dont like you! I live here in Thailand and have never really had a problem, the route taken on the elephant tour is well troden, so they know to keep their distance!

Have a great time, I am sure you will enjoy it!

Laurie 5 years ago

hay im going to thailand in feb next yr and im deathly afraid of spidrs i dont know why i looked up dangerous things but i didn't want to be surprised im going to phuket for a week and planned a jungle elephant ride, odds of spiders getting near me??

khunwilko 5 years ago

THe Thai record for treating snake bites is pretty poor compared to Australia - out of about 5000 bites only 3 die.

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

Thanks for dropping by curlynik. The wildlife in the home thing has been more of an issue lately with all the rain- mice and geckos are especially common visitors at the moment and tough to get rid of. My wife goes crazy on the cleaning front!

Also, I am seeing a lot more giant centipedes. Even wild animals like a roof over their head when flood and rain come!

curlynik 5 years ago

Thank you for all the information, you will be surprised how little info is out there in regards to Thailand's creatures! I have been here for many years but I was mostly interested to learn about the snakes (for my childrens sake mostly) - I found very helpful to identify a species and how deadly they can be. I have seen many large centipedes here in Samui, locals will kill them instantly! I was bitten by a very small red one (baby) it stung briefly but only for a minute. Spiders freak me out like most people but they have never caused a problem for me - I live near very overgrown plots and forest area - found a few big black scorpians dead in my pool and a baby red one in my house and have had tick and mouse problems but its what you get living with nature - being aware and taking precautions is best! Glad I found this site, visitors to Thailand should not worry as long as you are aware of your surroundings and take care you should have a wonderful memorable time in the land of smiles! :-))) x

Daniel  5 years ago

no problem could you answer my post really need to know thanks

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Will Apse 5 years ago Author

The weather has been pretty rough lately Lars, so I am not surprised by the jellyfish. I had sting marks on my back in the shape of an X last year- like the first attack was just a way of marking be out for a complete working over by King Jellyfish!

Sorry to miss your post, Daniel. I was away...

Lars 5 years ago

Thanks for a great post. Had to find some info after beeing at Kata beach Phuket for one day. Have been stung by jellyfish (bit more painfull than the ones in scandinavia) and just got rid of a quite large spider in my room :)

Daniel  5 years ago

anyone there ?

Daniel  5 years ago

hi will I am going back to Phuket for 15 nights on 31 January 2011 last time I went I kept wakening up thinking a snake was in my hotel room !!:( I am staying in Phuket near bang taio beach do snakes come into your hotel or anything if you are on the ground floor rooms ?? I'm just so frightened of snakes and don't wnt it to ruin my holiday to thailand as it is a beautiful place . any tips / advise would be much appreciated thanks

seghillsteve7 5 years ago

Many thanks, really appreciate your comments. Really looking forward to the good food, cheap beer and bargains.

As a geordie I wont forget mai phet (my pet) haha.

Thanks again,


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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

First of all congratulations on your upcoming marriage! Also Koh Samui has to one of the best places for a honey moon on the planet- so good choice as well

In terms of things to look out for- the greatest risk to tourists always comes from hiring a motorcycle. They are a great and inexpensive way to get about and no one will ask you for a license. At the same time, driving standards in Thailand are not high and you will see a lot of holiday makers with cuts, scrapes and worse because

a They didn't really know how to drive a motorcycle

b They didn't understand the eccentric and unpredictable way Thai people often drive

c They drove after a few drinks!

The island also has a reputation for bag snatching gangs so bags are not recommended for important items like passports or money.

Don't let this put you off though, Thai people are very friendly and the tourist industry is very efficient and well organised. Most people who come will come again.


Except in the cheapest restaurants, you will have English menus. The food is some of the best in the world but can be very hot (spicy) so if you aren't used to it, it is never a bad idea to ask: hot or no hot? Most foreigners (foreigners are called pharang by Thais) ask for no hot (mai phet).

If you like seafood Koh Samui is is an especially good destination- I would recommended the crab curry- it is the kind of food that turns you into a caveman. Nobody will never be allowed to take that crab away from you!

As to the weather- you are going to be there in the rainy season so on some days you will have a tropical downpour for an hour or two. It might be worth bringing a quality umbrella. Umbrellas you buy here fall apart very quickly. Clothes you don't need too many of. There are plenty of bargains to fill up your cases with for the return journey.

I would check out Lonely Planet for a fuller guide:

Enjoy your stay!

Seghillsteve7 6 years ago

My Fiancée and I are heading to Bangkok for two nights then off to the Northern Tip of Koh Samui for 8 nights of relaxing on our Honeymoon. Were there in mid June 2011.

Any tips on what to look out for? Also on a non animal related subject, what weather conditions should we expect at this time? I also hear Thailand is really cheap for eating/drinking out, any tips/recommendations?

I really repect you for taking the time to respond to pretty much every comment and hope you dont mind me enquiring about other subjects.

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TravelinAsia 6 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

Yeah I can not say where I read the 80% figure.

I do remember that the article said that there are so many different varieties of these Kraits that they almost never have the correct anti venom, and that even if you receive immediate medical attention they are unable to do much for you. Regardless, I don't think you want to be bitten by one!

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

You are lucky you saw it in time! I am surprised by that 80% figure but Banded Kraits have a fearsome reputation. Those black and white bands are worth looking out for.

TravelinAsia profile image

TravelinAsia 6 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

Great Hub,

I found one of Asia's most dangerous snakes in my yard.

The "Krait" is apparently 16 times more lethal than a cobra. I read that 80% of bites are fatal. I did manage to snap a photo:!/photo.php?fbid=393684026518&set=a.393621311518.171008.598876518

jetplain 6 years ago

Thanks for the info on spiders as I just found a lovely one that is 3-4 inches across scampering across clothing hanging in my bathroom (forested area of Phuket). Can't catch it, it's a fast critter. Will sleep better knowing it is likely not poisonous (no, it's not a tarantula, it's got skinny legs and body.)

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 6 years ago Author

I'm also a dog lover Gingersnap, but in many areas dogs can be a problem especially at night and especially for older people and children.

I have no problems with the huge numbers that live as strays but I certainly reserve the right to defend myself in the way that anyone should- so sticks and stones if necessary but usually just a few guttural threats and a baring of my (not very impressive) canines.

As to rabies- it certainly seems to be on the decline in Thailand, there is even a push to make Thailand rabies-free by 2020. At the same time there are conflicting reports of the prevalence of rabies and the effectiveness of government programs. The decline in rabies deaths from around 350 to 70 per annum seems more to do with quality treatment post bite, rather than control of actual rabies according to some researchers.

The problem is that even though less than a hundred people die of the disease each year in recent times, it is such a nasty death I would rather people were more nervous about dogs than they need to be, rather than not nervous at all.

Remember too that dog bites are extremely common in every country- 250000 per annum in the UK alone with over 5,000 hospital admissions.

Gingersnap 6 years ago

I too was astonished to find 'dogs' on the dangerous animals list of Thailand. I've lived here 9 years and often pet & feed stray dogs in Thailand without problems. Any unfriendly dogs just keep to themselves, bark or walk away and I've never known anyone that has had rabies from a dog.

Not only are your facts incorrect but advising people to throw sticks & stones at dogs is shocking!!

I take my hat off to the numerous rescue groups of Thailand that selflessly help & educate the public on these misunderstood animals.

Ally 6 years ago

Hi there Will

I think your site offers a great source of information regarding some of the dangers existing within this country.

However, with a vast amount of experience and knowledge on the subject of dogs, I would respectfully suggest your readers look to sites which are able to report factual information, especially regarding "Dogs". Sterilisation is the only effective means of controlling the population and Raibies is not widespread.

If you able to visit a dog rescue group such as Care for Dogs in Chiang Mai, you might be able to further advise readers of this site with a full background on the subject.



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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

The kind of octopus you find in Thailand are pretty harmless. The Blue-Ringed Octopus that you find in Australia is something else. It is highly toxic and can leave you you in bad shape.

doodoodoodo 6 years ago

sorry i put and instead of any thanks =)

doodoodoodo 6 years ago

hello i have to do homework on thailand and i was wondering if there are and octopus thank you

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

I don't think the political unrest will be a problem. It has never affected Phuket. Bangkok has been quiet for a few months.

If you speak no Thai you will have no problems if you stick to the more upmarket hotels, resorts, restaurants etc that cater to foreigners.

Ordinary Thais don't speak much English so cheaper restaurants, bars, guest houses, transport etc can be more difficult. I would learn the Thai names for a few food dishes so that you can at least order something to eat anywhere! Also. remember to say 'Kop cuum kap'- thank you. Thais are very polite.

Rhi 6 years ago

Hi Will,

I'm planning a short holiday to Thailand at the end of november, planning on going to bangkok for a few days then phuket. I was wondering how hard it is to get by without knowing any thai language?

And if you think it's okay to travel there, with the political unrest.


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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

That 'snake bites pdf' I linked to above has some pictures of the poisonous snakes. Thais say if a snake doesn't run away when it sees you, it is probably poisonous.

You are right about people being friendlier here and a lot more polite and respectful of a person's space.

Heathrow Tel 6 years ago

I live in Thailand now. I have been a regular visitor for almost 11 years. My garden is full of Toads, Frogs, Lizards, Gekos, Skinks, Butterflies countless insect species etc.etc.I am trying to learn to identify the snakes so I will only call in "The Man' if I have a venomous one. In England where I lived before the human reptiles were much more threatening

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

I hope there isn't Malaria near you, Ting Tong. Mostly Malaria is confined to the border areas near to Cambodia and Burma.

The Thai government is good about anti-malaria drives. Having said that, there are occasional outbreaks all over Thailand, but they are small and usually confined to forests.

Dengue is all over SE Asia. I reckon I must have had all the different varieties by now. For most people, Dengue is no worse than a bad cold but for some people it means serious pain in the bones and joints. For a small number, it develops into a life threatening brain fever- not what you need anytime.

JoeDaz- I'm glad you are OK. I am twitchy about anything touching my feet these days but most of the time I don't worry too much.

This morning, I was eating breakfast at a restaurant in the center of town when a giant centipede came out of a road drain and started hunting for food. I hardly blinked, so I must be getting acclimatised.

Ting Tong 6 years ago

I have been living in Thailand for 5 years and I have come across a black Scorpion and Giant Centipedes in the south of Thailand and also a 1 meter long Snake inside the house. I have been bitten on the foot by a black Tarantula in the north, jungle. The most Dangerous and annoying of them all has to be the Mosquitoes, there is Malaria, Dengue Fever going around at present.

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

I have to agree with everything you said there, Joe- especially about the people! Also, you will probably get some remarkable frogs in your shower from time to time. Ask nicely and they might let you use the soap...

JoeDaz 6 years ago

I am currently in Thailand in Phuket. I'm staying practically on a beach in a resort in a rubber plantation and coconut plantation. It is so beautiful. However i saw my first snake (green checkered with a slight red shade on its head, about 1 metre long) it was climbing up the fence between my villa and next door. It has freaked me out totally. I am ok with everything else apart from that and the idea of scorpions, thats my biggest fear. The other animals and insects are amazing and beautiful. I has a giant snail in the shower which was amazing to see. The people here are so helpful and nice. I would recommed Thailand to anyone

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

You don't need to kill any of these animals. Just don't get hurt by them!

The right information can save a lot of upset...

thailand sim card 6 years ago


I will say after seeing this post, people like to scare in Thailand. AS i know, there presence are required on earth to make perfect cycle. so we should kill them just be aware of them, just let live them life us.

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

I would ask the local people or hotel staff about jellyfish before you swim at this time of year, Katie. Remember forests in Thailand have a lot more things that bite than forests in northern climates!

katie 6 years ago

hi im still really scared about the insects and sea animal in thiland and im going in three days why shouldn't i be scared of them?

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

You have bendy buses in London, though. And they are truly scary! Especially if you are standing in the middle...

lee palmer 6 years ago

i was going to thailand for a month in december but im well scared of all those animals im from london england our most dangerous animals are piegions lol

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

I had a similar experience once at Hua Hin, Polv. We had a little room on a pier built out to sea. I left the door open thinking there would be no mosquitoes with such a strong breeze off the sea. I was bitten like crazy by sand flies instead and had a miserable few days. It was the only time that this has happened to me, though.

I think it is maybe a seasonal thing or something very local as most people seem never to have had a serious problem with sand flies.

It is still a good reminder to keep insect repellents, long sleeves and trousers handy!

Povl Hansen 6 years ago

You should mention the problems with sandflies. In Chumpon my wife had 200 bites after sunbathing on the beach. Very painful, had to go to the hospital and get Anti histamine injections and antibiotics as well. An other lady on the same hotel had so many bites that she had to go immediately to Europe for treatment.

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

You are very welcome, Dmatt. To be honest, the weather in Samui is usually better than Phuket. It is only the tail ends of the typhoons that crash into Vietnam, from time to time, that seem to cause a problem. It is still worth getting a house on a hill!

Dmatt 6 years ago

Wow, thanks Will. I feel rather silly but I had not even considered the possiblity of flooding however it looks like its a serious consideration. Jellyfish in the bed are certainly unwanted visitors, their tenticle hugs are far to stingy!! As for the wildlife, its good to know what is around, even if you may not see it. I'm guessing the more inland you go on the Island the more likely it would be to see some of these creatures as it is more jungle in its habitat. Most likely to encounter will probably be the ants, scorpions and centipedes, plus the obligatory mosquitoes! Thanks again for the advice.

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

Ko Samui isn't very different to most places in Thailand as far as the wildlife goes, Dmatt. If you are renting a house though, I would bear in mind that there can be serious floods in some years and in some areas.

Someone put together this slide show from the floods in 2007:

ThaiVisa forums have some useful information.

You definitely don't want jellyfish in your bed!

Dmatt 6 years ago

Hi, great site for a general awareness of what you might bump into in Thailand. I am moving to Koh Samui for 2 years very soon and just wondered what, if any, the main dangers from the animal kingdom will be when I am there? When renting a house are there any precautions I should take to avoid unwanted visitors!? Thanks.

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

Snakes are not that common. On average, I've only seen one, once a year. Scorpions are the worst thing where I live. I've often been walking around my kitchen for five or ten minutes before noticing a huge, shiny creature standing in threat posture a few inches from my feet.

They won't run after you to attack but they don't run away either. Stand on one and it is painful!

The mosquitoes are a permanent nuisance. It just gets to be a habit to cover up or use a spray. Even then I use a tube of after-bite cream a month...

Mayapearl 6 years ago

Hi, love your post, however I live in Australia and encounter most of those critters. We don't have king cobras but a few nasty little snakes of our own.

I must say that when I lived in Thailand I never saw a single snake and I lived rurally but the mosquitoes where the buggest pain, hurrah for Skettoleene!

Ps: a Thai friend told me that snakes can be choice food in some poorer areas, this may explain their rarity!

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

Krabi is a great place for a honeymoon, Monty although the weather in September can be rainy as it is the time of the Winter Monsoon. The real tourist season starts in November when the Winter Monsoon is past and there is almost no rain until March or later.

Don't let me put you off, though. It doesn't rain every day and when it does rain it is usually for a few predictable hours a day- often late afternoon. One advantage of rain in Thailand is that it makes for pleasantly cool (but never cold) evenings. You will also see the flowers and trees at their beautiful best.

As for dangers- Krabi is a peaceful town and people are extremely friendly. The whole Thai tourist industry is amazingly efficient and people do what they say will do, whether it is buses, taxis or hotels.

Watch where you put your feet if you are anywhere but the beach or the street and your will avoid anything that might bite you. If you are swimming, take local advice about jelly fish. Overcast skies and stormy weather can be trouble.

Best wishes for your upcoming marriage!

monty 6 years ago

hello im going on my honeymoon in september to krabi. is there many dangers there. and what the weather like thankx

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

You see some big spiders indoors sometimes- no more often than you see a big spider in the UK- but I have never heard of anyone being bitten by one.

The tarantulas that will bite are forest dwellers and pretty shy. You will only see one if you go looking!

christabelle 6 years ago

I hope I don't see any of the spiders I can handl most of thoes except the spiders!!! are there many??

animals 6 years ago

Excellent hub with quality information :) Keep it up, will be back for more :)

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

If you never stray from the population centers and never leave the safety of paved streets, you won't see many dangerous animals, Nongchang. Having said that, even in sizable towns you need to be wary of of even tiny areas of vegetation. I have encountered several poisonous snakes in my local park. I have been bitten by a giant centipede that came into my house, The plants outside my door are regularly plagued by poisonous caterpillars. Scorpions are a fairly common sight in the little lane where I live.

On a short visit you need to be unlucky to encounter something nasty. If you live long term in Thailand, it is worth learning to recognize the dangerous animals and it is worth avoiding walking off road. I genuinely love Thailand so these animals don't put me off.

Nongchang 6 years ago

I have yet to see any dangerous animals in the 3 years i have lived here lol where did you find these animals? i have lived in esan buriram for a year poor town no dangerous animals i have lived in lop buri watch for the monkey and dogs and i have lived in Sriracha CHonburi nothing the dogs most common animal you will see and they really wont pay anymind to you although most dogs are hungry and if they come to you they are just hungry.

but its always good to know what thailand has incase of that rare chance you do meet some kind of dangerous animal. id be more scared of walking near the street.

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

You will need to very unlucky to be bitten by a snake in Phuket. It is a busy tourist destination. You won't find them on beaches or anywhere that there are a lot of people.

Just be watchful if you walk in any areas with undergrowth. Also, Phuket has a lot of high quality hospitals, well stocked with antivenom. You will never be far from help if you are one of the rare people who get bitten.

Rachel 6 years ago

Hey im going to Thai land in a few weeks.

Im very worried about been bitten by snakes.

Are there many posiinous ones in Phuket?


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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

Thx for that contribution, pholk but it is worth remembering that elephants cause very few injuries each year and are completely absent from major tourist destinations. There is a page on Thai elephants here:

pholk 6 years ago

I think you forgot to mention the thai's wild elephants. They are notorious for destroying farmer's crop and tourist in wild area such as Karnchanaburi and Phetchaburi province.

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

I'm glad you are reassured J. Wicks. They won't kill you. On the other hand the bites hurt like hell.

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J. Wicks 6 years ago from Chumphon, THAILAND

Just what I was looking for. I've been living in Thailand now for 3 months and found one of those giant centipedes just the other day. I had a feeling they could do some damage. The people I was with told me to kill it immediately because they are dangerously poisonous.

It's reassuring to read this though.

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

The worst thing about the poisonous snakes is that a lot of them don't run away. I remember once just stopping to admire a fantastic sea view near Hua Hin (a big holiday destination). I stepped off the road by about a yard into grass about three inches long and did the tourist thing, photos etc.

After a few minutes, I looked down and realized that I had missed stepping on a small but highly poisenous species by about 2 inches.

The creature wasn't at all interested in me- he certainly wasn't going to run away. If I had trodden to him, it would have been a hospital trip.

aquaseaCreative 6 years ago

I thought Australia had mean critters, but spitting snakes etc ... Thailand might just be the winner. Snakes freak me out at the best of times but my reassurance to self is that if you don't hurt them, they won't hurt you. I can't cope with the idea of them aiming poison at me from 3 metres down the road. Freaky (but excellent) hub.

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Will Apse 6 years ago Author

Those are big cobras, Alan. I hope you steered well clear. I've been lucky. The biggest I have come across was less than a meter. I came across it a few weeks ago in my local park stalking tamarind pods. Seriously, every time a pod fell off a tree (it was a windy day)the snake reared up ready to strike. They are not clever animals. Still scary though.

Alan a  6 years ago

I have seen Big cobras in Bangkok, some 4 mtres long .

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Vizey 7 years ago

Nice hub!! Till now i was in illusion that only south Africa is the place where we find these dangerous animals. Thanks for the this great information.

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Will Apse 7 years ago Author

Sorry for being so slow in replying to your query, Barbara.

Thailand is a place where you need to think for yourself as regards safety and you should make your decisions as you go along. The forests do offer genuine hazards in terms of dangerous animals, falls and floods but very few people suffer really serious injuries.

If you are fit and young accept the challenge! If you are getting older or have any health conditions, exercise care. There are so many wonderful things to do in Thailand which are perfectly safe there is never any need to take risks- though of course it is often the best experiences that come from pushing yourself.

Barbara 7 years ago

I will be going with a tour should I do some the optional things like, ride and elephent in the jungle? I plan on hiking boots, taping pants down. I am excited but scared too. I will be it turns out going during the rainy season in March so thanks for the info.

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Will Apse 7 years ago Author

I used to see one or two snakes a month in the local park when I lived in Thailand. My only cobra was quite small- about two feet long. King Cobras can grow to be nearly 20 feet long but are only found at this size in forests and fields.

I would say that are lucky never to have encountered one and may it stay that way!

domino 7 years ago

I have lived in Thailand 5 years and I have seen many cobra snakes!! I live in nong jok not to far from bangkok

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Will Apse 7 years ago Author

I agree completely 4hourmike about Thailand being a great place. It is so great some people just relax too much. In forests and long grass you need to keep your eyes open. Ask the Thais!

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4hourmike 7 years ago from Thailand

What an informative hub, Will. The pictures are great. But, Jeez man, you make out Thailand to be a scary place. I've been living in Thailand for the past year, both in the city and out in the country. The chances of actually seeing a King Cobra here are about as likely as winning the Thai lottery. I encourage folks to come visit. The people of Thailand are warm and friendly. The worst creature that you're likely to actually see while you're here is a mosquito.

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Will Apse 7 years ago Author

Thanks Mighty Mom. I really don't want to put anyone off visiting Thailand, a country that I love but I do want people to stay safe.

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Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Your hub is a must-read for anyone going to visit Thailand. It's important to know what to do in case you have a run-in with one of these creatures. Sounds like the Thai healthcare system is up on all the anti-venoms. Good, informative piece, Will. MM

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Will Apse 7 years ago Author

There are some sizable monitor lizards- up to 2 metres long- that live in the Bangkok canals and stroll around the main park (Lumpini Park). They avoid people if only because some Thais will eat them- folk recently arrived from the country have recipes for everything.

I lived in Thailand for several years but recently returned to the UK.

Mirela Tanase 7 years ago

Thanks you very much for all the useful info, now im better prepare for going to Thailand for 6 mouths , scary and exciting in the same time , but i guess that for such a long period , is a big possibility to meet some dangerous, mentions above.


Are any other dangerous thinks in Bangkok city?

Do you live in Thailand?


Alan Lewis 7 years ago

Very useful and non-alarmist. Some spell-checking needed.



jan petter halvorsen 7 years ago

thank you for this information. i live in Phrae and are offen in the woods. the only thing i have tink about is the snake, but nowe i will be more care full. parden my english.

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Will Apse 7 years ago Author

The cockroaches in Thailand can freak me out in large numbers- especially if they panic and start flying. Luckily. they are too big to get into your ears and don't lay eggs anywhere in your body!

On the other hand, there are common kinds of millipede that will lay eggs in any wounds that you have. The result is a large painfull swelling that needs to be cut open in a hospital so the millipedes feeding on your flesh can be removed.

There is also a (not common) kind of leech that will make its home in your ear and suck your blood causing a lot of pain.I will get some photos of these creatures and include them in the entries above.

As for mosquito repellants, I've never bought a repellent from a pharmacy and found that it doesn't work well. The very liquid types go a lot farther than the thick cream types. I usually use 'sketolene' because I like the smell.

Have a good trip to Thailand it really is a great place to visit- just watch where you put your feet!

I.C. 7 years ago

Thank you for all the info, I found it very useful as I'm going to Thailand soon. I have a question about cockroaches, are they dangerous? I heard recently that they can put eggs into your body during the sleep (through ears).. and this is really freaking me out!! I didn't find anywhere if it's true or not.. Could you please also recommend some anti mosquito repelent??

Thank you!!

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Will Apse 7 years ago Author

Thx, Gordon. Most people who only visit Thailand for a few weeks a year will never meet anything worse than a mosquitoe. Long term residents need to be a bit more careful. But, all in all, these creatures are more an irritation than a real threat and every country has its irritations- whether its speed cameras or financial collapses!

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Gordon Hamilton 7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

Fantastic Hub. Extremely informative. My Dad visits Thailand regularly and loves it - I've never heard him talking about this side of it before, however!

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