The distribution of this species ranges from southern Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, the Riau Archipelago, Borneo, Palawan and Calamianes Archipelago in the south-eastern Philippines. It ranges from the lowland to around 1,500m above sea level in mainly primary and secondary tropical forest but they can also be found in gardens, parks and in urban areas where it may come in contact with humans. Diet includes small animals, such as rats and toads, but will also feeds on other snake, lizards and small mammals. Although this snake is not aggressive in natures, when provoked it will raised the front part of its body, extend its hood and hiss loudly. It may also eject fine sprays of venom from the fangs which target the eyes of the provoker. The spray can cause temporary blindness when the venom enters the eye. Its venom affects the nervous system and could potentially be lethal. This species is being heavily harvested in some portions of its range in the Philippines but the remainder of its population is increasing because this snake is well adapted to oil palm and rubber plantations.
This species of cobra is front-fanged, venomous species. It is medium in length, an average between 0.9 to 1.5 meters (3 to 3.9 ft) in length but they can grow up to 1.5 meter (4.9 ft). Body is compressed; head is elliptical, depressed and slightly distinct from the neck. Dorsal scales are smooth. The snake has two color phases: a yellow form commonly found in Thailand and a black form found in Penisular Malaysia, Singapore and the Island where it occurs in Indonesia and Malaysia. Juveniles and adults have different coloration.