Recently I heard from an Australian on one of our Vietnam golf tours about the large cobra he saw when golfing at Vietnam Country Club. Previously, I knew that many soldiers had suffered from snake bites while in Vietnam. However in the 50 years since, I had thought that snakes were all but eradicated. In fact, I have had only two snake encounters while golfing in Vietnam.
A few years ago golfing at Long Thanh my slice on the short par-4 17th of the landed near edge of the lake. When I went to check my lie, I saw a large snake basking in the sun next to my ball. Nevertheless, my Vietnamese caddie wooed the snake away and I was able to hit normally. Another time there a small garter snake off the fairway at Van Tri Golf Club in Hanoi. This time it was the snake who was more scared than I and he slithered away after hearing me approach.
Anyway, I thought I would do some research and, to my surprise, I discovered that over 3,000 people are bitten by snakes in Vietnam each year, though there are not many deaths. Venomous snakes in Vietnam include pit vipers, cobras and kraits.
Although all snakes seem terrifying, the reality of the situation is that the rare snake on a Vietnam golf course would only attack if provoked. Of course, if you accidentally stepped on one this might be taken as an act of aggression. Therefore, watch where you step and you will be fine. Also, did you know that many bites are what are known as dry bites, which means that the snake does not inject any venom? Most snake bite victims suffer more from shock than poison.
Therefore, there is no real need to be worried about snakes when you are golfing in Vietnam, just show respect and use caution.