BootsnAll Travel Network

it’s a delicacy, right?!?

ok i think i get the prize now for the weirdest eating experience… grasshoppers, tarantulas – piece of cake. how about a little snake blood?!?! do i win??

(check out the end of the blog for the video evidence!)

to celebrate our last night in vietnam, emily, bryan and i decided to go to a village called le mat 7km northeast of hanoi to try out snake cuisine! we’d read about it in a teeny tiny (and not very descriptive) section in lonely planet, and decided that we wanted to see for ourselves. so we had our hotel book us a cab out to the “snake village.”

the weather has been a little strange lately and as we drove out to the village, a misty rain cast an eerie glow over the buildings we passed. when we arrived in the town itself, our cab was flanked on either side by two guys on motorcycles who were yelling at our driver. eventually, we began to follow one of the motorcycles down a series of streets and alleyways, getting more and more nervous the deeper we drove into town. we pulled up to what looked like a house of some sort, and inside we glimpsed jars of cobras and snakes lining the walls. a man came out holding a slithering snake, and the three of us looked at each other uneasily but decided that since we’d come this far we might as well go all the way.

a woman came out to lead us to her restaurant, and although we were hesitant at first, once we stepped into the entryway to the restaurant we saw that it really didn’t look so bad. it was a floating restaurant – charming, really – and directly in front of us was a large crowd of locals, gathered around meals, laughing, talking, and singing along to a guitar. we were led to our own table off to the side, where we sat down and joked around with each other about who would chicken out first.

we negotiated the price of our meal – settling on a little over $30 for our snake. king cobra was $60, and supposedly very good for you, but we didn’t feel like THAT much of a splurge. regular snake will do just fine, thank you.

(stop reading now if you’ve got a weak stomach…)

the “snake wrangler” guy came out holding the snake that we were about to eat and slit it open with scissors, draining the blood and the bile to mix with rice whiskey, then set a shot glass of both in front of each of us. the woman promised to make us 8 delicious dishes out of the poor snake, and left the three of us there still with hands clasped over our mouths in disbelief at what we’d just seen! we quickly ordered a few beers (liquid courage, anyone?) and waited for the food to arrive.

now, actuallly, if we hadn’t witnessed the slaying of our snake – if the food had just been brought to us at a restaurant as a “delicacy” – i don’t think it would have been that hard to stomach, but it took us awhile to try anything just because we’d just seen the snake slithering around! once we tried a few dishes, however, we were very impressed! it was actually quite delicious, similar to the spices and seasoning was similar to, say, chicken or beef we’d had in restaurants here. they used all parts of the snake – the meat, the bones/ribs, even the skin – and made us a feast! we walked out completely stuffed, although the old man who owned the restaurant came out and followed us to our cab, pressing tangerines into our hands and bowing deeply to thank us for coming to visit them. it was an experience i’ll never forget.

here’s when we finally decided to suck it up (literally) and take our snake blood shots:

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8 responses to “it’s a delicacy, right?!?”

  1. Mom says:

    Yikes…they must have a LOT of snakes in that area:(….pretty wild stuff?! Great talking to you….have fun! Love, Mom

  2. kimi says:

    Holy Crap!!!! I’m so proud of you…you did that like a champ! I don’t know if I would have been as smooth! wow…

  3. Brianne says:

    Snake blood….that definitely wins in my book.

  4. wisa says:

    You get the prize! Fresh snake blood!? Cheers! Love the rasta guy btw…

  5. christy says:

    crazy, crazy, crazy!! i don’t know if i could have done it! very cool though 🙂

  6. kim says:

    you win!

  7. kira Roberts says:

    Ew…actually I tried snake too, in Phoenix. It didn’t taste like chicken. More like fried calamari. I’m glad you got to experience that. How authentic!

  8. […] two countries 7 – had clothes custom-tailored just for me in hoi an, vietnam 12 – slurped down some snake blood in hanoi, vietnam 14 – got covered with water at the songkran festival in thailand 22 – visited […]

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