Snakes on a Plate, and other Odysseys in Vietnam

Yeah, you read that right.

Ever want to try something truly bizarre? Want to have a story to bring home that nobody will believe? Then, eating the beating heart out of a snake in Hanoi is probably your best bet.

This practice has been known for years on the braver parts of the SE Asian backpacker circuit, but few are willing to go through with it.

The way to do it is find one of these “snake restaurants”. They’re considered quite popular in Hanoi. Le Mat snake village is one such place.

Upon arrival, you sit down, and the bit of theatre begins. Men arrive, live snakes in hand, and you’re given several options… including the opportunity to eat the still-beating heart of the snake, or drink it’s blood from a shot glass. Yeah… seriously.

The menu is, as you might guess, very “snake oriented”, and all the dishes at these restaurant usually contain some sort of snake.

On thorntree travel forum some years ago, there was a story of a remote snake restaurant in Vietnam that would allow anyone who took a full shot of snakeblood without flinching, to shoot an automatic uzi through the ceiling.

This was some years ago, and some might say the backpacker trail through Vietnam has become quite a lot more tame, but the legends persist.

Would you drink snake blood? Because I’m not sure I would….

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