Nature in All Its Glory

Happy Chinese New Year! In Praise of Traveling with Snakes

by Team Fathom

Photo: erllre74 / Shutterstock

This weekend was Chinese New Year. Welcome to the year of the snake! Specifically, the water snake, if we want to get technical. What's in store for the year ahead? Slithering your way into new adventures and transformations. Not that we're suggesting you shed your skin or anything too drastic.

But let's give the reptiles their due and recall the best encounters we've had with snakes on our travels.

Grand Canyon

When Man Met BoulderGrand Canyon
"Fortunately, there were a lot of people around who went to get help. Unfortunately, it turned out that in the course of falling, the rock and I had fallen into the lair of a rattlesnake. Who, somewhat understandably, went into full strike mode."

NOLA diary

NOLA DiaryNew Orleans
"Dr. John can often be found at the entrance to the museum, and he's quick to tell you that his house is filled with snakes. Big snakes and albino snakes and a 28-foot python. They make great guardians and friends, says Doctor John, because they are quick to judge and can tell whether a person means more harm than good."

snake doctor

House Calls for Snake DoctorsSri Lanka
"The guys are tough as nails, truly the original gangsters. They cultivate 80 different breeds and make anti-venom to save people who are attacked by the poisonous creatures. Some of these snakes are literally the most deadly in the world: You have about 30 minutes post-bite before you go into cardiac arrest. The snake doctor is a pretty important person to have around."


Las Vegas: I Did It AllLas Vegas
"Have snakeskin pedicure at Vdara Spa & Salon. It's a gel pedi topped with layer of naturally shed snakeskin. It takes two hours, and lasts a month or longer. Am surprised at how cool it looks."


Rock-a-Bye CasbahMarrakech
"My husband spent years waiting to haggle his way through the stalls of the Jemaa el-Fna marketplace, but instead wound up putting those negotiating/diplomatic skills to use by prying away the tacky trinkets (and live snakes) that  vendors would cleverly place in the kids' hands."

At risk of mixing religions, astrologies, and mythologies, we can't help but note that every good snake needs its proper garden:

Garden of Eden

The Garden of Eden is in MarrakechMorocco
"After that, I spend time in a round relaxation hall with a vaulted ceiling, a fountain, and soft beds to prolong my dream-like state. The only thing missing from this Eden is Adam. The first temptation? I'll have to come back again."


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We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.