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They didn’t put that in the brochure
March 9, 2011  |  by jess c  |  Koh Yao Noi, Thailand

It is sometimes the case that the pictures and descriptions of accommodations in guidebooks or on websites are, shall we say, different, than the reality you encounter when you arrive. For example, a hostel might fail to mention that it’s located over a restaurant that emits an especially fishy odor. Or that an “attached” bathroom is actually attached about twenty feet below your bungalow, which is mounted on stilts. But so far, these marketing omissions have been largely trivial, or even kinda fun (for example, the “attached” bathroom was attached to the stilts holding up our tree house bungalow!)

Other times, they fail to mention the apparently routine presence of COBRAS.

It went something like this: Jess M and I were sitting in the restaurant at Sabai Corner Bungalows, on the island of Koh Yao Noi in Thailand. It was just getting dark, when a nice German couple also staying at Sabai said that they’d just seen a very large snake on the path right outside the restaurant. A handyman came out from the kitchen and started looking around with a flashlight. A few moments later, yup, snake. A big one. Four to five feet long, we estimate. One of the servers then brought him a big stick, and he proceeded to pummel the snake to death. Or, near death, at first anyway. Before the serpent expired, there was time for a young German boy to come running up and nearly into the still moving snake. A second beating finished it off. Afterward, the ladies in the kitchen talked a mile a minute. While the discussion was in Thai, we were able to repeatedly discern the word “cobra.”

At the time, we didn’t have presence of mind to take pictures of the snake, dead or alive, as we were too busy having heebee-geebeez and trying not to think about how many other snakes might be lurking about in the bushes. Especially since we were staying in a tree house bungalow, with windows that could only be closed by shuttering them (something one is loathe to do in tropical heat), and that wasn’t wildlife proof in any event, even if the windows did close. See picture below of the tree frog who also shared our bungalow. We named him Delmar.

It was then that we started to notice that there was an unusual amount of cobra and snake-related art adorning our resort. (Perhaps we’d been distracted from it up to that point by the prevalence of penis art, which they also failed to mention in the guide book).

It seems that they knew something about this snake business all along.

Fortunately, we encountered no additional reptiles (save for the ever-present geckos, which are most welcome because they eat mosquitos) during our brief visit to Koh Yao Noi, which was quite lovely all in all. CLICK HERE for some pictures of our tree house bungalow and of the island.

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8 Comments


  1. “Cobras can climb trees with ease, but will rarely do so unless chasing his next meal”…from an internet source–hence the tree house bungalows :-)

    • We were mostly concerned that we WERE the next meal. But that is very good to know for our future cobra encounters.

  2. Was this on the same island as the penis art? Pictures are great! What was the price on the bungalow? Any discount for snakes?

    • Same island as the penis art. Both at our bungalows. Moderately thematic. And no nearly killed by cobra or knocked unconscious by giant penis discount

  3. Who got the meat and how was it prepared? I;m serious.

    • We were too freaked out at the time to think about what happened to the cobra. We didn’t even get a picture. But if it’s good eats 8
      I hope the poor guy who had to bludgeon it do death got to take it home.

  4. Wow, your site looks so great. Thanks for the FB note to subscribe.
    Did you name the cobra?

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