Horrified tourists saw their tour guide stung to death by crazed giant wasps, who then feasted on his body for four days.
Sanchai Phaoarun, 58, was taking a French couple sightseeing in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand last Saturday (October 26) afternoon.
But mid-way through a mountain trek the group was suddenly surrounded by thousands of angry hornets after their hive was disturbed.
They dive-bombed Sanchai and repeatedly stung him across his body. The guide collapsed on the ground in agony while the terrified couple, from France, fled in panic.
Locals from the nearest village heard crying for help from the two tourists, Jean Louis L'amour and Anne Mapile, who had also been stung. They were taken to hospital.
Rescue workers found Sanchai's dead body later that day but they were unable to retrieve it as it was still being feasted upon by the killer Asian hornets, or vespa velutina.
After being left in the deep forest for four days, the sting-riddled body was finally retrieved on Tuesday (October 29) afternoon.
Police Liutenant Colonel Sampan Yotin blamed the nightmare-like death on the wasps and said it was not being treated as suspicious.
He said: ''The station received a report about the death of the tour guide last week but the team was unable to collect the body.
''The French tourists were also injured. They have provided testimony about what happened and there are no suspicious circumstances.''
One of the rescuer volunteers involved with retrieving the body said it was difficult because the hornets were still swarming around the corpse.
They added: "We went into the wood on Monday to help the tour guide but the mission had to be abandoned after three of our team members were stung by the hornets that were swarming around their bodies.
"We planned for a safer method by covering our bodies with firefighters' suits and went in again today and finally we were able to carry the body out."
The local guide's body was handed over to the family who will hold the Buddhist funeral.