Reticulated Python on the Loose in Chiang Mai


A typical Wednesday morning in Chaing Mai took an unexpected turn when I suddenly spotted a 4-meter long reticulated python. I have seen snakes in the city before, but never one so huge.

This animal was a good 20 cm thick and I’m guessing about 4 meters in length. According to Wikipedia, the reticulated python is the longest species of snake, with some individuals growing to nearly 7 meters long.

This particular snake was discovered in the area in front of Chiang Mai University. I just finished having breakfast at the little vegetarian restaurant where I usually eat before going to work. As I was about to get on my motorbike and drive off, I noticed something bright colored under the tree just a few feet away. The yellow and black patterned object at first looked like a piece of plastic because it was so shiny and colorful. Then I realized it was moving.

“Look, it’s a huge snake!” I called to the woman selling coffee nearby. A small crowd from the shops in the immediate vicinity soon gathered around, and we got to watch the beast slither down into a storm drain, presumably to hunt for some rats to eat.

I acted quickly and was able to snap a pretty clear video of the snake. In the video, you can hear the owner of the vegetarian restaurant ask if I want to take the snake home as a pet, to which I laughingly responded “Mai dai” (“can not”). You can also hear the fried banana seller urging the snake to move along with “Bpai loei luuk, Bpai loei luuk” (“Go on child, go on child”).

Thais believe that seeing a snake is good luck. It can even be a sign that you will meet with your soulmate! It’s just too bad that he or she disappeared down the hole before we could ask it for lucky lottery numbers.

I hope this python brings good luck to everyone watching the video 🙂

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