Koh Samet, Thailand: The sun was already shining bright outside when I woke with it’s rays pressing warm down on my face and stumbled into the windowless bathroom of my simple wooden hut before stepping back out to flip on the light switch.
Something long and striped caught my eye near the toilet, and in my pre-coffee daze, I simply wondered why I hadn’t noticed it the night before. A couple steps closer, however, and my eyes were as wide as noontime, suddenly awake, my mouth agape, and my mind running in circles – What? Why? How? Can it be? – before I realized it was, in fact, the biggest snake I’d ever seen outside of a zoo: A 3-foot long rat snake, wrapped around my toilet and water bucket (you often have to scoop flush the toilets in Thailand) and unprepared to move.
I looked over to the hole in the floor corner, used as a shower drain leading directly outside, and quickly sized the snake to be the same width. I exited, latching the door behind me and letting my heart catch up to my breath before arming myself with my camera and going back in to take a quick shot.
When I went to ask the Thai staff to remove the beast from my restroom, the young man simply grabbed a narrow stick, placed it on the snake’s head for about 30 seconds, and then carried it out, as if this kind of thing happens every week at this eclectic beach bungalow resort on Koh Samet, Bangkok’s nearest island.
It was my first morning on Koh Samet, and I had instantly liked it. I showed up on a whim and without a reservation, and somehow stumbled upon the best/quietest beach on the island: Loong Dum. Koh Samet’s proximity to Bangkok makes it a weekend party destination for the city’s up and coming, so finding a small slice of paradise felt like a bit of luck.
The next morning, I cautiously entered the restroom to find something else lodged in the shower drain – a large toad serving as the perfect kind of snake plug. I figured it was probably safe to stay for another week, thanks to my new friend.
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Koh Samet, Thailand: There’s a Snake in my Bathroom