I went to Lumpini park today and spotted this reptile. Many Thai people have a superstiton that if you see this animal, bad luck will come to you. I remember when I was a kid and there were few of these reptiles in my school’s pond. Whenever my friends and I saw it we would scream and ran away because we didn’t want to have a bad luck. I don’t have such a believe anymore now.
The official name in Thai of this animal is ตัวเิงินตัวทอง [dtua ngern dtua tong]. เงิน [ngern] means money and ทอง [tong] means gold. It is a good name, people should think it will bring you good luck, right? I don’t know why people have the opposite believe.
Thais also call this reptile another name which is เหี้ย [hîa]. It is also a slang means something like ‘son of a bitch’. You don’t want to be called เหี้ย [hîa]
Have you ever seen dtua ngern dtua tong before?